Abuku’s vacation in a war zone

My wife, Muni, and I decided to visit a different Asian country for a short, five day (long weekend, actually) vacation. So, on Saturday, April 28th, we arrive in Colombo, Sri Lanka and checked into the Taj Samudra hotel/resort. It is across the street from the “beach”, 800 yards from the Prime Minister’s residence, 900 yards from the US Embassy and one mile from the port.

The city was in a festive mood because the national cricket teams was going to play in the Cricket World Cup finals against Australia. Fine. The match was televised, beginning around 7:00pm local. Cricket matches are long and boring. So, Muni and I decided to turn-in for the night at about 10:00pm.


Being old farts (as we can all appreciate) we need to occasionally get up in the night to ease ourselves. Thus, we left the bathroom light on with the door ajar; and we left the curtains slightly opened to allow the city lights to filter into the room.

At 2:00am, we both found ourselves sitting upright in bed, in total darkness, and listening to: Boom, Boom, Boom, pow, pow, rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat. The sound of bombs, gunfire, and cannon fire was unmistakable and CLOSE. The entire city was under a blackout. As we sat in bed, we wondered whether we were caught up in a coup attempt or an invasion by the rebellious Tamil Tigers. We finally speculated (correctly) that the Tamil TIgers had fitted their two small planes (the part for which they had smuggled into Sri Lanka and reassembled on a camouflaged, jungle airstrip) with bomb racks and were attempting to bomb some strategic targets – which turned out to be two fuel depots about 2 km from the hotel. The anti-aircraft fire and ground fire finally abated after 20 minutes; and at 3:00am the power was restored — and the good people of Sri Lanka could watch the final minutes of the cricket match.

The next morning we fully expected lines of guests trying to check out and arrange flights out of the country. Nah, nothing doing. Everyone was cheerful (even though Sri Lanka lost the match) as if nothing had happened. So, we stayed and completed our vacation. Visited some nice temples and saw the devastation cause by the tsunami 2 1/2 yrs ago — that was sad. But, needless to say, everything after the first night was anticlimatic.

Our next vacation isn’t until September. We are planning to spend a couple of days in Dubai, then about 10 days in Morocco. Or, we may go back to Borneo where, three years ago, Muni attracted the attention of large, male orangutan while she was squatting in the jungle and relieving herself.

That big sucker came down out of a tree not 15 feet from where I was standing guard over my squatting wife. More details on that adventure when we next drink beers together. Until then, all the best to the BALTA gang. I think about you folks all the time.

Hasta la vista,

Albert Abuku


One Response to “Abuku’s vacation in a war zone”

  1. The Fool Says:

    What can be said?

    Abuku, please make doubly and tripley sure that everyone has at least a small Giant Load when you recount the rest of your story. Really!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: