We never officially entered India. As transit passengers we continued to the Air Sri Lanka check in desk for new boarding passes and went through the wringer at security. To be more precise, I passed through without controversy, but Ken's equipment really got the once over. He lost two screw drivers and a razor blade after a thorough examination of his high tech toys. No one batted an eye over our bottles full of water and shoe clad feet.
The layover was about three hours and we could feel our eyelids and brains beginning to slip. My worst nightmare is to sit down and fall asleep somewhere and miss the flight altogether. You can’t sleep while you are eating, so we went to a familiar looking food court. Things looked like home until we read the menus more closely. A chicken patty on a bun was as close to a big Mac as we could get. We never eat at McDonald’s at home, but when our brains are busted, something predictable is about all we can handle. It was disappointing not to find an ATM, but the McDonald’s staff was ready to take cash in most of the major currencies of the world. There was lots of shopping both duty free and local handicrafts. The strict limitations on the weight of our luggage for future internal flights have taken me out of the shopping mood, but India is so good at exporting such items. I would hate to buy something here and find it at Pier One.
We landed in Columbo, Sri Lanka at 10:30pm local time, which was about 3am body time. Instead of walking past duty free and handicraft kiosks, the airport here had an extensive collection of white goods - stoves, frigs, washing machines, etc. for sale Can't imagine why you would come to the airport to buy such things. It must work for them...
Then things got a bit dicey. Ken’s suitcase appeared on the baggage carousel; mine did not. My blood pressure was on high, when the baggage claim agent went in the back and found mine in a pile of transfer luggage. Wonder where it would have headed next. We had arranged for a ride from the airport to our hotel, but none of the men in the exit area holding signs with names on them had ours. People scurried around to help and eventually the right connection was made and we were at the hotel.
With that typical Asian hospitality, we were greeted with cool herb scented hand towels to wipe the sweat from our brows and a delicious cold fruit drink. I think the hotel and our room are beautiful, but I won’t be sure until my eyes are open again with brain attached.