It’s almost been a week in this new country and I have seen more Landrovers and BMWs (and a few Bentleys too) in the last 6 days than I have seen in my entire life – and I have stayed in GK-1 of Delhi !!
Finally there !
As I got out of the airplane – a dry – hot – negligibly humid – strong wind hit my face. The temperature was around 47 degrees – one of the hottest I have experienced. It’s just the beginning of July and this is just the starting of a promising summer ! I have been drinking so much water after coming here.
|The lovely Colombo Airport !|
The size of the average vehicle is that of a Toyota Corolla – smaller cars are so very rare. The speed at which the drivers here zoom at is 120 km/h. The roads are amazing. At least the ones I saw till date. I live in Salmiya and have been to Avenues and The Gate Mall (Around 30 odd kilometers between them)
Another interesting thing to note is that there are very few 2 wheelers – occasionally you see sports bikes, but that’s it – which makes sense – because if you ride in this heat – you might will melt. Fewer than the number of two wheelers are the number of ATMs. You have to drive around quite a bit to find one. I was stunned to see date trees – this is the first time I am seeing these.
Restaurants remain closed till around 6 – 7 PM in lieu of Ramadan. There’s a pretty cool app called Talabat.com – very easy to use and convenient – you can order in food of all kinds. (Until we got our kitchen up and running, we used this daily)
There are several small departmental stores called ‘bakala’. Language becomes a problem – many bakala store owners talk only in Arabic. Luckily, we found one owned by an Indian. Our flat caretaker (They’re called ‘Haris’ ) is a friendly guy, but again talks only in Arabic ! Oh, and our neighbours happen to be – guess – Gujaratis !!!
|Water Towers – I found these very pretty !|
Oh the malls. The grand huge malls – you can actually find people in track suits jogging the expanse of Avenues. Shopping has been an amazing experience. We visited Carrefour and I think my workout for the day was done. Buying all our electronic appliances from X-cite was another amazing experience. 2 whole floors dedicated to everything that runs on electricity – and some that doesn’t need electricity.
|Beautiful ceilings ! The malls are all so beautifully done up.|
We also visited the Friday market ( also called the Souk-Al-Mubarakiya ) and it’s unlike any market I have ever seen. The market is divided into huge pavilions – each selling second hand and new carpets, furniture, electronics, clothes and everything in between. From old paintings to kitchen utensils – everything.
My week here has been so busy – and it’s been a cocktail of emotions. Apart from staring outside at the traffic, I have been writing, reading ( this one ), watching TED videos, and looking out for jobs.
A small home tour ( by the talented hubby ) ! Do watch.
Written by Shruti Shah
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|Nejoud al Yagout