Perhaps this is a test of our Buddhist patience …? Well, due to circumstances beyond our control, we have to stay a bit longer in Sri Lanka – um, oh darns! Yeah, right.
I had some of my medications shipped via Fedex to me from California ($78 for 14 oz) – and the “overnight” package arrived pretty much on-time, about two weeks ago. Gee, that’s about how long we’ve been in Sri Lanka! Anyway, Customs has been the hold-up on releasing my daily medicines! One could die – or get hooked into the local medical system – before meds are available! I was told what would be needed to get the meds, complied, and then left for a 4-day trip around Central Sri Lanka, thinking that’d give enough time for Customs to do their 3-day release as planned. Upon returning, I received no messages from the hostel or email from Fedex, so when I called them, I was told that it would take another 3 business days because Customs needed my signature on some Declaration forms! We immediately set off to Fedex, and made a day of doing the mundane travel stuff – Fedex, Sri Lankan Airlines changes, and visa / passport pickup – since they were all in downtown Colombo, about 10 km from our hostel. BTW – all this was done with an impending headache and stomachache. Probably the flu, something I ate, or a bad bug bite. So, as the day wore on, I wore down.
After signing the docs at Fedex and paying an additional Rp. 5,000 ($50), the next day I was told they needed a doctor’s note describing what the medicines were for (those are in the package – ha ha!). I emailed a copy that Mark had sent me last week as a backup. Now it’ll be next Tuesday before I can receive the medicines!
I had discovered that the Sri Lankan Airlines had rebooked last week me for the wrong time on the right date – a freebie change as it was our first one. I asked for a Mar. 4th departure, and had asked what time it would leave, but the agent didn’t tell me, and said he’d email me the details. I expected the departure time to be around the afternoon. It turned out to be 12:01 am – one minute after midnight on the 4th. I was going to check out on the 4th – at 10 am! So, that wasn’t going to work. BUT, I had to admit that the agent DID book me for that date!
So, the second call to Sri Lankan Airlines to correct the date, ended up with a charge. I figured, if I’m going to be charged, it’s at least a good thing that I called Fedex first – and booked departure 2 days after the latest that I would pickup the Fedex package! Amy was thrilled – more time with Hodi! Expecting the usual change charge of $100-150 / person, we were hit with Rp. 500 each – about $10 in total! No problem in paying THAT change charge!
Another glitch came up however, as we also knew there was a Canadian cricket team staying and had booked out the hostel – almost entirely. It is Cricket Season with the ICC Games going on – International Cricket Conference – but this team is a high school team from Toronto. We were warned earlier we’d have to move out to somewhere else on Friday. So, we packed everything up, despite the fever I had (103.3F makes it hard to concentrate, you know, esp. when all joints are sore?). Amy cleaned off the balcony where Hodi had the run of the place while we’d stayed there, and I was about to lug our stuff downstairs when we got a phone call from Newas about an elderly couple checking out. A reprieve! We didn’t have to move and could stay the entire time! Yay!
In my mind I had gone through all sorts of scenarios – walk down the road (it is called, “Hotel Road” after all) and find somewhere easily; Newas had even offered his home! He also mentioned the owner’s neighbor had a room at the top that is let out once in awhile. But none of them allowed a puppy. So, we were going to shop for hostels / hotels around the area WITH Hodi in tow. Glad that didn’t have to happen.
In the meantime, we figured we’d check out the Buddhist temple where Madu suggested we donate the puppy. No one was available, though there were people in prayer or meditation, and a man with two young boys, the older one begging money for food, and an old man who looked a bit wildly at us, but smiled. We returned to the hostel. We’ll check out Newas’ elder care center that he was talking about and would introduce us to in the evening.
Unfortunately, a severe thunderstorm showed up – brilliant and loud! Puppy relocation postponed for one more day! Yay! Hodi – and we – have been very lucky today. Plus, I’m feeling much better, and no more fever. Amy was so concerned that I got malaria that she began doing some internet research last night about blood-sucking insects and symptoms! I showed her how to take a pulse and measure temperature, as well as log her findings. She noted my headache as a, “migraine!” LOL – it was bad, but not THAT bad!
What a day – glad it’s over.