After we left the Cancer Hospital, on the way back, Karu had his driver take us through the shopping district. A few comments. First, I took these photos out of a moving vehicle – so glass was in the way and we were in motion, which does not make for excellent photos. Some day, when I’m there and on foot, I’ll take more photos. But this will do for now and should serve to give you a bit of an idea what it’s like.
Another comment. This is apparently the major clothing shopping area – for locals. The foreigners and wealthy shop in places like Crescat and Odels and Irenes. Places like that – upscale with price tags to match. This is where everyone else shops. Well, there are other shopping malls as well, and I’d guess the middle-class shop there. But anyway, whatever. This is where the good deals are. This is where ya wanna go to see what’s really available, and this is where ya wanna go if you want to save money and spend like a local. Bargaining is expected, and they’ll charge foreigners a lot more than they’ll charge locals. You can bet yer sweet bippy on that.
Elephant House – it’s a big brand name here, for both ice cream and soft drinks. EGB, as it’s commonly called, is Elephant Ginger Beer – a very popular soft drink. I’ve had it, and I like it. Ginger Ale in Canada and the US is based on Ginger Beer, but I gotta tell you, ginger ale is pale in comparison. Ginger Beer is the real stuff. It’s got a bit of a bite just like real ginger. Mmm. Huh, I even have some in the fridge right now. Maybe I should take a break and have some?????
You should also notice in these photos that the shops are small – very small by North American standards. They’re set up just about anywhere, and sometimes, the shop consists of nothing more than a few tables under a canvas roof.
I’ve also mentioned that Bata shoe stores are prevalent here. They are the one chain I’ve seen in North America that I’ve seen more of here than anywhere else and more than anything else, even Perera and Sons Bakeries. Also note the people who’ve set up shop on the sidewalk with displays laid out on the ground. That happens a lot here, too.
You’ll even see goods laid out on abandoned or no longer used railroad tracks. Use every available square inch, eh? (Yep, that’s me sneaking Canadianese into this.)
You’ll also notice, for the brick ‘n mortar stores, that signs, while mostly in Sinhalese (the round, curly letters), are frequently also at least partially in English. They’re sometimes in Tamil, although in this batch of photos, I found no examples. It’s not as common in this part of the country. Now, if we were in the north or east part of the country, it would be mostly Tamil if not all Tamil.
And yes, oh yes, many women walk around under umbrellas in the sun. I believe I’ve mentioned this before. Here’s proof. No rain. See? Sun shining. Umbrella.