Saturday, March 30, 2013

The lowdown on buying a car in Sri Lanka!

For most people buying a car is a big expense and thus, a big deal. The process of buying a car is no different anywhere in the world. However, it's the things like importation rules, customs duties, excise duties and taxes in each country that are important to note when making a purchase. In this case, Sri Lanka.

I recently went through the process of buying a car. What was key to my decision-making process (other than the one of whether to buy a new vs used car) was factoring in the Sri Lankan motor vehicle rules, duties and taxes because of its impact on price. These duties and taxes hike up the price of cars significantly on the island (as compared to duties and taxes charged in other countries like the UK or US).

Buying a new car is straightforward enough, however, it pays to be cautious when buying a used car.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Royal-Thomian 134th Battle of the Blues: A Matter of Tribes

It's that time of the year again! Yes, it's the Big Match event, otherwise known as the "Battle of the Blues", the annual 3-day cricket match between Royal College and St Thomas' College (i.e. Roy-Tho). 

It has a long and illustrious history that began with its inaugural match in 1879 surpassing even The Ashes Test Cricket Series, which has been played between Australia and England since 1882. This year will be the 134th year the match has been continuously played in Colombo by the two boys schools. The match is traditionally held on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

How I unintentionally offended a beggar today... True story.

Today was a real eye-opener for me. Most of the day was enjoyable - I woke up, headed to the beach for a run, had a light breakfast, did some work, went for a delicious lunch, ran some errands and then... I inadvertently and unintentionally offended a beggar somewhere along Duplication Road in Colombo. It shocked the hell out of me actually.

I was in my car and had stopped at the traffic lights when this unusually tall, middle-aged and thin-looking Sri Lankan lady meandered around the cars with an outstretched hand begging for money. By the way, this is not an unusual occurrence around traffic lights in Colombo (more on this later). Anyway, I felt like being proactive so I wound down my window to offer her some money. Now usually I wait until a beggar actually comes to my car window before taking any action, so wanting to proactively engage was surprising. I guess I felt a little sad because she looked quite skinny and undernourished, and I was in a generous mood. She was still in the other lane so, although I had my hand holding money out the window, she didn't see it.