January 31, 2023

Well – it was a much stranger journey than I expected, but I won’t complain. Part of travel is to embrace the unexpected – which I did my best to do. Interestingly, the plane I was originally scheduled to arrive on – has not arrived in Sri Lanka – not because it disappeared in the Indian Triangle, but because it is still on the ground in Malaysia. Broken.

For all I know, many of my fellow passengers on that flight are also still there. My privilege was so apparent in this situation. With only some gentle insistence I was given first class lounge access, then a hotel room, then a new flight to Sri Lanka via Singapore on Singapore Airlines.

In that process, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time in Changi International Airport – and I even made a few videos to post on YouTube – which I’ll share below. So, I’m very fortunate and in fact – despite being a little bit tired and inconvenienced – in general, I had a very nice time. I am a little bit sad in that I had intended to arrive on the 13th so that I could see and take part in the celebrations on the 14th – which is the big annual full moon holiday (Poson Poya Day)  that celebrates Buddhism arriving in Sri Lanka. Like the Buddha but without the enlightenment, I arrived on the same day – but it was nearly the 15th when I cleared customs so there were none of the street celebrations or festivals still on going – and certainly, the ongoing gas and economic crisis is a part of that. It is likely that this also plays into why my original flight didn’t make it here. The woman next to me on the Singapore Airlines flight told me that Sri Lankan Airlines is bankrupt and doesn’t have enough money to do even basic airplane maintanance – which makes me a bit nervous about my flight to Dubai on Sri Lankan Airlines at the conclusion of this particular leg of the trip.

Having a driver meet me at the airport was one of the best decisions I’ve made – I think when possible, I will do this in the future. Avoiding touts and taxi drivers and having pre-arranged transportation is worth the cost – unless it is extremely expensive or a country where you are familiar enough to brush past it all. My driver mistakenly drove me to the Sri Lankan president’s house which is right across from the Hilton in Colombo – so I got to see some of the camped out protestors and the luxury of the presidential palace – you don’t get that experience every day! It would have been funny if I had gotten out and knocked on the door demanding my room….lol

In addition, Hilton upgraded my room and I have to admit that while the room is a bit worn – the view of the presidential palace, the dedicated work space, and the box of chocolates and bowl of local fruit waiting for me are a very welcome bit of luxury. All the view photos in this post are from my window!

Here are the thoughts I posted on the free limited edition NFT I made today at https://vagobond.app.bio

Arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka last night and can’t help but think that what is happening here is a precursor to what everywhere else will experience over the next two years. People waiting up to 36 hours to get a couple liters of petrol, prices up 300% in a matter of months, everything shutting down as costs make staying open an inefficiency and thus fueling more scarcity higher costs etc. It all happens really fast

And below – you’ll find my silly videos from Changi International Airport. Enjoy.



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