Jan. 30, 1976Dear Family,
My – what I have gone through in the last 24 hours – but I'm now in Colombo – in a "hotel" about 3 or 4 miles from town! Yesterday about 9:00 AM went to buy my ticket for the ferry – leaving my things at the hotel. Got there & found out – after waiting in line for almost an hour that once I got the ticket I would have to proceed through all the formalities of customs, etc. So ran back to the hotel (about 15-20 minute walk) & got my things – then back to buy the ticket. With luggage I didn't walk – took horse drawn affair.
All foreigners had to buy 1st class tickets – 50 Rupees – ! 2nd class only 28 Rupees! There were alot of young people going over on the ferry – I met & am now staying at the same hotel of a brother & sister from Iowa. Mike (the brother) just got out of the Peace Corps – taught Eng. in Afghanistan for 2 years. His sister (Mary) came over in November & travelled overland through Europe 1st. She is my age – he's a year older. Most of the young people I've met travelling have been very disappointing – always trying to beg $ out of me – giving some sad story of "woe" – I don't trust any of them – I always say go & see Am. Saxle [?]
Anyway – ferry was to leave at 2:00 – it left at 3:45 – arrived in Ceylon 7:00 – trip was rough – then train for here did not leave till 10:30 – no sleepers available. Before we got on train they gave us all these cards – BEWARE OF THIEVES on the trains. Keep possessions secure near you. Needless to say we all had a sleepless night – arrived in Colombo about 9:00 AM – did see some beautiful country this morning on the train.
Ceylon is – in general – I think cleaner than India – Animals look healthier – Money rate is 12.6 Rupees to a dollar – but everything is more expensive here. I spent 6 Rupees for breakfast (Amer b'fast – eggs, toast tea. Mike & Mary very picky about what they eat – they prefer Amer. food – haven't even tried alot of the Indian food.
I have a beautiful view outside my window – coconut trees, palm trees – everything nice & green! It rained last night – 1st rain I had seen in Asia!
Hope all is fine – am going out now to eat & check the town out w/ Mike & Mary ––
WARM here – Humid – but I don't pay extra for Air/Conditioning.