Monday, March 26, 2007

The Journey of the Luggage

Friday, August 11: Day 3 (Part 2)
Once back from shopping, we had another nap...seemed we did a lot of that the first day or so. When we woke up, we found out that some of our luggage had came in, so we all hopped in the van and our driver took us to the airport - Sri Lankan driving - I will talk about this in another entry!

We experienced our first two roadside checkpoints on the way to the airport. Being that the airport is a high-risk target, security is extremely tight as you draw closer to it. What seemed a little scary at first, actually became second nature after the first few were under your belt. The van door was opened and we had to be prepared to show our passports. But we were blessed with an awesome driver...both times Matthew said that we were tourists from Canada and talked with them a little more and then they let us through...hassle free!

When we got to the airport, it was not just a simple task of showing up to claim our baggage and then go back to the hotel for supper and sleep. We had to present our passports, fill out a form and wait to be granted permission to have a one hour security pass to enter the airport, so we could make our way to claim the luggage. Once we had passes, we proceeded through countless security checkpoints, some where we just had to show our passports and security cards, but also some where we had to walk through a metal detector and be patted down - one even checked through the contents of any purses!

Once we arrived at Lost Luggage claims, we had to get a form, take it to customs and have it signed and then proceeded back to Lost Luggage. They then took us to a place to get our luggage - there was quiet praise being lifted up for the fact that all the luggage was there! Then we had to take it back to security so they could break the seals they had put on it and then we examined it to make sure everything was there. After this, we had to return to customs and have a form filled out and then signed. That form granted us financial means of retribution for the trouble caused - we received this both in the morning and evening. Then we were allowed to leave and go back to Negombo for supper.

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