Adventures in the Bajaj

What a day yesterday was!  We operated on very little sleep, but we’re getting used to the time difference. It’s about 8AM on Aug 3 here and 10:30PM Eastern on the 2nd.

Yesterday we went by bus and by foot over the Pettah bazaar area not too far from here. We mostly looked around and then went on to do a little shopping for groceries, postcards etc. On the way back to the hotel we decided to take a Bajaj which is basically a three wheeled cab with no seat belts.


The four of us are piled in on the single bench and we hit the road. Cars, trucks, buses and humanity are flying by as we go. It was really amusing all of us packed in like sardines driving through the maelstrom so I decide to shoot a little video of us and the world around.  Turns out I accidentaally had the camera out while we went past the presidents’ house (did I mention Sri Lanka, especially downtown Colombo is a police state and constantly under lockdown?). Suddenly we hear a loud voice screaming at us! The police saw the video camera and pulled us over.

He was apparently yelling, probably cursing, at the driver saying he’ll take his registration etc. for allowing us to shoot video. Our host jumped in to help the guy out saying we were Americans and that we didn’t realize what we’d done and that we’d be glad to delete that video. He then started cursing at Joseph in Sinhala saying basically screw America, the U.S. didn’t help them with the war,  we always side with the Tamils, etc. and threatened to arrest him. After about 5 minutes he ended up letting us go without consequence. I guess that was our first bit of excitement.  Something tells me there’s more to come. Check out the video: .

More to come later on the police state…



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Betsy Barton said,

    Never a dull moment…

  2. 2

    Melissa Irby said,

    I’m glad they didn’t arrests y’all! How would we explain that to the children?

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