The flight was very pleasant and the free internet at Colombo airport was welcome. For those with a laptop/PSP/whatever using the airport, don’t head for the internet cafe. You’ll have to pay 200 Rupees per hour to access there. Instead, walk towards gates 4-12 and spot the posh lounges on the right and left. All of them have free internet and you don’t have to go inside to pick up the signal. You should get a couple of bars by sitting outside.
Unlike the inbound flight from Mumbai, we left dot on time and with nowhere near the amount of stringent security. Despite the minimal flight time – around 40 minutes airborne – we got a very tasty meal (some kind of veggie wrap, yoghurt and apple juice). Hans didn’t even have time to fall asleep, we arrived so quickly! Trivandrum, here we are!
On the ground, luggage was offloaded very swiftly, but for some reason someone was taking it off the carousel and piling it in one corner. Weird. We also once again came across the Indian philosphy that the closer you queue, the faster the line moves. Hans and I were near the front of the immigration line and were leaving the polite gap between ourselves and the person being dealt with – maybe four feet. The guy behind kept jabbing our elbows and pointing forward as if he was sure someone would leap into the gap and delay him. Needless to say, no people materialised from thin air, though the time we took to walk those four feet could well have cost him a valuable two seconds.
This must still rank as one of the fastest non-domestic airport departures of all time. From the on-time flight to walking out the destination gate and into a paid taxi couldn’t have taken more than 80 minutes! We were at our hotel (Hotel Ganesh) shortly after 21:30 where the rather abrupt clerk on the desk checked us in. The room’s passable enough but there are a gazillion mosquitoes around as the night progresses.
One bonus was free wireless. Someone nearby seems to have a nice broadband connection that they’ve left insecure, although it logged itself out in the early hours of the morning, so I’ll have to wait for them to log in again before I can download more MP3s. Very kindly, they’ve even left their router with the default – and stupidly easy-to-guess – username and password so it’s easy to check once they’re back home and online.
I sat up nattering to friends on MSN till gone 3am when I sat in bed and read. The “new” Pratchett is coming along nicely, and Hans is barreling through the copy of Airport I finished recently.
It’s very humid here, but finally I zonked out after covering myself liberally with anti-insect spray.