Sugar Water I spilled on the table at Barefoot. Sorry…
Everything is closed on the weekends so I have to visit the usual suddha flytraps for a birthday present. When I was living abroad I’d go on the same circuit every Christmas, so I guess its an expat thing as well. A few of the stores, however, are filled with so much useless shit. Then they have a plethora of boxes for to put the trinkets and baubles in. I think the system works by first buying a lot of crap, and then containers for the crap. If I buy enough plastic chillies and pebbles and stuff perhaps it’ll all make sense. However, I still have half my clothes in a suitcase and I don’t think I’m the target market here. I went to Paradise Road and Elephant Walk before finally giving up and buying something at Barefoot. I’d say that the latter isn’t really in the same category.
Gallery Cafe is probably my favorite building in Colombo and the goods in the adjoining Paradise are bougie and nice. Also generally useless. There’s a lot of loofahs and scented candles and the same wicker containers that’ve been hanging around for 5 years. Their Sri Lankan language motif stuff is really cool, though. The pillowcases and plates and bags with Sinhala/Tamil letters are cool. Unfortunately, besides that you could find a lot of the other stuff at Pier 1 Imports (a chain in the states). The book collection is also curiously irrelevant, with coffee tables on Man Ray and minimalist architecture and nothing on Sri Lanka. I like the flower candles and household stuff, but nothing worked for a gift here.
As far as I can tell its the same exact same stuff as Paradise Road. I know a total of 4 people who have houses so all the silverwear and placemats are useless to me. I actually can’t think of a single thing that differentiates it from Paradise, oh, they did have some nice framed maps of SL. The cafe looks nice, but I didn’t sit down. It’s on, er, I think Ward something, up the street from Odel’s.
I spend way too much time here and I tried to avoid it, but this was the only place I found something to actually buy my sister. I think the jewelery is actually quite nice, and the book selection is excellent. They also used to have Jenga sets, but I think I bought the last one months ago. I’m not much in the market for the housewear or clothes there, but the colors are distinctly Sri Lankan, or tropical at least. Even the plates and stuff are bright and different. I’d venture that some of the clothes are a bit on the mumu side, but I don’t really want to go there. All in all the place has personality, which sets it apart from the polish of Paradise Road and all. I’d say I like both, but I find more stuff with actual functionality at Barefoot – I mean, besides floating in a bathtub or being stored in endless sets of boxes.
And that is all. I am laid up with a cold and this post is of limited value, these are just the places on the tourist circuit. Add Lakmedura or Lanka Hands for some overpriced tea and Odel’s/Arena for clothes and you’re pretty much done for the holidays.