Saturday, September 29, 2007

P&A Shopping and Bike Repair Extravaganza

You guys must hate it when I don't travel somewhere during the week -- it gives me too much time to play on the internet and thus write useless, uninformative posts.

And I will continue with this trend. I have another ritual now that has developed over the last couple of weeks. I go to photography class Saturday mornings, then afterwards, I bike around the corner to The Commons for coffee and lunch. I usually sit there for a few hours, letting the hottest part of the day evaporate, generally going for a decadent second cup of coffee and some form of desert (hey, I biked into Colombo, I need some energy to bike back).

Today was much the same. Have I even told you about The Commons? Well, it is this lovely coffee house on Flower Road that has pretty good food, is in the medium expensive range and, yeah, has a fairly strong cup of joe. Plus, they have nice chairs and sofas and air conditioning, so it is a very nice place to sit around and read. Oh, and as they don't make a sunblock strong enough for Sri Lanka-- it is really for my health that I hang out there. Today I slathered SPF45 before leaving the house and before leaving The Commons and my neck is still red. Actually, today the sun burned through my clothes -- this is a first for me.

O.k. I'm getting off track. So I went to class -- it was slightly boring today, but it did inspire me to practice more with Photoshop. I came out to get my bike and my front tire was completely flat. Not a little low on air, but without air completely. I personally think someone slashed my tire. It was fine when I went inside after biking for 45 minutes on it. It is pretty rare for a pinhole to cause a tire to go totally flat in two and a half hours. Plus, the guy at the building where I've been told to lock my bike has asked me for the last three weeks if I belong to "the club," whatever that means. I keep telling him that I've been told to lock my bike here and I'm locking it to a light post, so really, what harm am I doing. But as I've said before, it is most likely a status thing and having a bike locked in their lot probably looks like some poor beggar is lurking about.

I decided a flat tire would not stop my ritual and went to The Commons anyway. I couldn't really enjoy sitting around though when I knew I'd have to find a shop and get a new tire and tube without assistance from Upul. Upul got my bike fixed for me the last time because he said, and I totally believe this, I'd get ripped off. I'd have taken my bike to the same guy, because he knows me now and I get air from him on a regular basis, but that would have meant taking a tuk to Boralesgamuwa and I had other errands to run and didn't see the sense.

I'm proud to say that I got a new tire and tube and had the tire changed (had to go to two separate shops, crazy) for what I believe was a reasonable price. Actually compared to America I practically stole the tire and the service. I got the entire thing done for a little more than the tube would cost in the U.S.

So since this did not cost too much, I was able to complete my other errand, buying new clothes. I'm lost some weight since arriving -- to the point that most of my pants are actually falling down. Oh, I have a new theory on this. I've decided that a great number of us who are not obese, but definitely not skinny just live in the wrong country. Check any group of expats and you will hear the skinny women (this theory only works with women) complain that they have gained weight, but the chunkier women will say they have lost. I'm not exercising more here (actually less as I don't have that daily bike ride that I had in the U.S.) and I'm not eating any better (probably worse). Yet, I'm loosing weight. So I've decided, weight has a lot to do with location.

Anyway, I went to P&A as I was told there are a lot of nice clothes there for very little money. I was told correctly. I bought four new shirts, two new skirts and a pair of pants all for less than $25. This is what these things would have cost at the second hand store in the U.S., maybe even a little more as the clothes are very nice (work-type clothes, but you know me, I'm very casual, so no suits). So finally, I have found something here that is actually cheaper in Sri Lanka than in the U.S. -- bike repairs and clothes!

No comments: