Sri Lanka is a really interesting place. I could spend
days weeks walking the streets. I brought 3 cameras: my XA, Leica lll, and an old folding 6×6 (Agfa Isolette) that I’ve been dying to try and 15 rolls of film (mainly Acros) in preparation for all the opportunity I would surely find. Well at the end of it I found about 30 hectic minutes at dusk one day and one late afternoon, plus a couple snaps here and there. The 6×6 didn’t get out.. That’s business travel for you:-) Don’t complain. It’s an opportunity- take what you can get.
I was there during Ramadan and although Sri Lanka’s population is predominantly Buddhist they declared a national holiday on the last day,and no alcohol was allowed in restaurants and in public places. There were a lot of people down at the beach in Colombo that evening enjoying the holiday.
I ordered some HC-110 from Freestyle along with the bulk film a while back so I tried that out with these. This was “Preparation H” which is diluted 1:63, 10″@20c. Easy with no pain.
- Sri Lanka felt safe and looked very clean:-)
- There are a lot of tourists, particularly from Europe and China. Someone told me they expect 2.5 million visitors this year (population of Sri Lanka is about 20 million).
- People overall seemed really happy and upbeat. One person told me that it was because things had been really bad due to a war for so long everyone is so happy that it is finally behind them.
- The food is delicious and there is a nice variety but it can be extremely spicy. Fire department emergency spicy. Even when they say it is not so spicy. Be careful.
- The driving takes a bit to get used to. Crossing the street as well.
- Set the price with the Tuk Tuk driver before getting in and going someplace. This helps with “misunderstandings” and possible hurt feelings.
- Bring your own black and white film. I visited a couple major camera shops and there was none to be found. “You want what sir?? Film??!” I did find some warm Kodak Colour 200 in one store. Almost expired. Sri Lanka is firmly digital.
- People start dinner late; 9 or 10 pm is common.
- There is visible poverty, however Colombo doesn’t seem anything severe like Dhaka, Bangladesh or Manila, Philippines (I have been to these two places).