Getting stranded in Colombo en route to Phuket

Phuket Travel Blog

 › entry 59 of 89 › view all entries
Colombo Garden Airport Hotel...pretty in the daytime
Colombo, Sri Lanka

I am thoroughly defeated by traveling now.  Through the incredible ineptitude of Sri Lankan Airlines and / or STA Travel, my plane ticket from Colombo to Bangkok at 1:45 am was cancelled without my knowledge or approval.  That's not very helpful.  Through way too many international phone calls that literally bled me dry of both rupees and American dollars (most countries are more than happy to unload you of your American dollars at ridiculously lower conversion rates) and 2 hours of AIM, I was able to buy myself a new $600 ticket to do exactly what I had paid $600 earlier to do, but fly through Singapore instead of Bangkok.

My swollen, mosquito-defeated right eyelid. Not happy.
  (One of my more memorable moments was making it clear to the idiot answering the STA phone in LA that I urgently needed to talk to my travel agent because I was stranded in Colombo at 2 in the morning and every time (3 times) she ruined the call transfer through hanging up or putting me through voicemail, costing me US$3 which was rapidly running dry.)

Needless to say I was frustrated and tired and not very excited to convince the rifle-armed guards loitering outside that I wanted to go from the departure terminal to the arrival terminal to book a hotel to sleep during a continuously shrinking window of time until my 10:25am flight the next morning.  The AK-47s (or some archaic but equally intimadating model) kept my attitude in check, but just barely.  I finally made it to the one airport hotel in the area and proceeded to progressively throughout the night put on on 4 layers of clothes and use the bath towels to supplement the thin sheet left on the bed and no remote control for the AC set at 19 C, or less than 65 F.  When I finally managed to get warm enough, the mosquitos found the one vulnerable exposed part of my body--my right eyelid--to snack on much to the detriment of my lovely double eyelids.  Waking up with a puffy eye and the lingering effects of hypothermia are not a high for me. 

I am now waiting for the  flight to board as the WHOLE COLOMBO AIRPORT goes through intermittent power outages.  I sure hope that doesn't extend to air traffic control. The Coffee Bean was still able to make a delicious tuna sandwich without power which makes me think anything is possible. If this plane arrives late to Singapore, I will possibly miss my connection to Phuket, the last of the day.  Claire, whose ticket wasn't cancelled, is already on her way to Phuket from  Bangkok, where I am supposed to be as well.  Deep breath with eyes closed (a little difficult given the inflamed state of my right eye).  I'm going to play the Beach soundtrack and pretend I'm not annoyed.


Once I finally got on the plane from Singapore to Phuket, I thought, "Whew, what a day! I figure I'd start drinking..."  Given my ridiculously priced last-minute business-class ticket, I had access to as much alcohol as possible int he 1.5 hour flight to Phuket.  I tried to get the super-attentive flight attendant to just leave the mini-bottle of wine, but she thought I was being polite and I didn't have the nerve to be like, no, I just want to get drunk.

I finally get to Phuket and have to take a 40-minute cab to Phuket Town to meet Claire.  And what would be indicative of the level of English-speaking in Thailand, I asked the taxi driver if he knew how to speak English, to which he answered, "Yes."  He then proceeded to know no English and not be able to read the address of the hotel written in English.  Ah well.  When in Thailand,...

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Colombo Garden Airport Hotel...pre…
Colombo Garden Airport…
My swollen, mosquito-defeated righ…
My swollen, mosquito-defeated rig…
photo by: Aclay01