Warning: Pedestrians cross everywhere!

Driving to Water's Edge Sunday morning on the Baseline Road, I get stopped by cops for speeding. True, I was driving fast - but when I spotted the cop with a camera from a distance, I slowed down to a speed that I thought would be “reasonable” for a three-laned highway.

Having driven in a fairly good amount of countries, I made the first mistake of calculating the “reasonable” speed in the fast lane to be around 80 kph. What a mistake that was, I was caught at 79; apparently 50 is the limit.

I have been driving in Colombo for the last 8 months, but have failed to see the signs that indicate the speed limit. Eventually, I managed to discover some: hidden on pavements, camouflaged by trees, lamp-posts, election posters and parked vehicles.

Apparently, the road signs are for pedestrians, that's why they are fixed on the pavements. So that, when they jump to the street - as they always do - they would know how hard they are going to get hit. Fifty kph doesn’t kill you; that's why it’s the limit. Beyond sixty does (as it was advertised in Australian tv sometime back). That way, one would get a hefty compensation and a well deserved rest, and of course a great topic to boast about in dinner tables.

Driver's shouldn't know the speed limit. That's why there are no warnings (such as “This road is controlled by radar”) or the speed limits on the central divider for the drivers to see. If they knew, how would the cops survive?

I think it's just that my Taprobane is too developed for me to fathom; they expect everyone to have the sixth sense in driving. I’m just new here, I shall attain it in due course...

Of Beamers and Corollas

A strange island this is. We are (supposed to be) one of the poorest nations in the world, but on par with the western world in literacy rate, no of deaths at child birth and health/medical care etc.

Even the shanties in Colombo have televisions, some even have their own set of wheels – be it a motorbike or a three-wheeler.

We no longer see the age-old automobiles frequent our streets, seeing a classic Morris Minor in Colombo would be a pleasant surprise. Most of the latest models are here - I'm just waiting to see the H3. American cars were never a hit here a few years back, but thanks to dimo, the Chrysler range is here.

Buying a Toyota Corolla or an equivalent here would cost you as much as you'd pay for a BMW 3 Series in a cosmopolitan city like Dubai. I don't think even Dubai has as many BMW's as Corollas in Colombo. Same could be said about most cities in the world.

Just imagine, if there were no vehicle taxes here, every Corolla owner could be driving a beamer instead. Would we, or could we, are a different kettle of fish altogether - but it's a nice thought though...


All you need is a Mac

Life in Taprobane

Here's some great news. Apple has released "Boot Camp" (beta) that enables new Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP as a native operating system.

A Mac and a PC in one cool machine. Imagine that.

My iPod & Mac