The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the day “January 2, 2015”

Customer accidentally leaves £6000 tip at Nando’s

This story amused me for many reasons not least because leaving a tip is actually very complex on most PIN machines and we are increasingly asked if we want to. i once left 22p as a tip by simply getting the units wrong. The whole thing is getting a little ridiculous though as the other day in the pub ordering at the bar routine drinks and paying by credit card, I was asked if I wanted to leave a tip on the machine……..

The chicken dinner below is Sri Lanka and not Nando’s by the way!

Herb Crusted Chicken Breast. A rarity .Copyright Chris Bushe

Sri Lanka – Memories of a Tsunami Survivor and photographs of Then and Now. Hotel Citrus Hikkaduwa

One of the more interesting characters I met in Sri Lanka was the man who looked after the poolside and his main role was to give out beach towels and beds to those who asked him. A highly intelligent man who kept and read many of the magazines left behind by the hotel guests. He was pleasant and helpful as are most Sri Lankans. He told me one day his Tsunami story. He was on duty that day and heard the eerie silence that preceded the Tsunami. He saw the waves coming and ran, so was luckier than most, and ran around 2 kilometres to collect his wife and family and then went up in the mountains, where he stayed for 6 days. No one knew what was happening, there was very little in the way of effective communications there and his memory when they came down from the mountain was dead bodies floating in the sea, lots of dead bodies.  In any other country this guy could do most jobs, but here he is doing a job way below his intellectual capacity.

The before and after photos are from the Tsunami museum at Telewatta and the ones I took, so approximately 10 years apart but the differences are eerily small.

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Food Photographs Sri Lanka

The food quality in hotels is high. Many foods are offered at all meals including fruit and curry. Some of the best fruits are the pineapples , mangos, watermelon. The bread tends to be of the American type and a little sweet mostly although the basic white and wholemeal loaves contain no additives and taste great. For me the pineaple was the best food, this was available easily and cheaply. The Sri Lankans enjoy their sweet foods too and desserts are essenatially types either of cake with cream in them of various flavours, or mousse like desserts. Sri Lankan coffee is a little of the acquired taste. Can I recommend it? Not really. The tea though is wonderful and like a totally different drink to what we have in UK. There is no need to add milk to tea. Meat is not offered in huge amounts and tends to be…

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Reflections on Sri Lanka

The last time I visited Sri Lanka was 15 years ago before the Tsunami and when the civil war was threatening to ruin tourism. Many things have changed. To start with the Tsunami although a devastating event did open up many lines of altruistic development in the country. People visited and learned what a beautiful people the Sri Lankans are, investment has flooded in and importantly time is a great healer. The end of the civil war also meant that less money and effort was being expended on weopons and death. So what did I find?

The first clear difference is that when arriving at the main airport near Colombo, Bandaranaike International Airport, there are no soldiers lining the avenues that form the entance and exit. The second difference is that there are now 2 international airports. A new one has been built down south at Hambantota.

Mattala Rajapaksa International…

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Sri Lanka. Images of a Beautiful Country

There are few reasons not to choose to go to Sri Lanka. Whatever one wants from a holiday can be found there. Here are a few images I took on a visit there in July 2014. Please enjoy and encourage others to visit this wonderful country. There are photos here of photos from the Tsunami museum.

Best best2  best4     image    IMG_0007 IMG_0008 IMG_0012 IMG_0014 IMG_0017     IMG_0024 IMG_0025      IMG_0039  IMG_0043    IMG_0051 IMG_0052 IMG_0053 IMG_0054 IMG_0055 IMG_0057 IMG_0058 IMG_0059 IMG_0061 IMG_0062 IMG_0063 IMG_0064 IMG_0069  IMG_0077  IMG_0080 IMG_0085  IMG_0089      IMG_0100        IMG_0137 IMG_3736 IMG_3779 IMG_3798 IMG_3969 IMG_4020 IMG_4021 IMG_4157 IMG_4190 IMG_4244 IMG_4247   IMG_9602 IMG_9602f  IMG_9605 IMG_9606 IMG_9607        IMG_9628 IMG_9629 IMG_9630      IMG_9640 IMG_9641 IMG_9648 IMG_9657 IMG_9660  IMG_9660zx   IMG_9663 IMG_9664  IMG_9670 IMG_9671 IMG_9672 IMG_9673  IMG_9699   IMG_9712   IMG_9719  IMG_9748     IMG_9761 IMG_9765 IMG_9769  IMG_9789 IMG_9796 IMG_9797  IMG_9805 IMG_9806   IMG_9810    IMG_9817 IMG_9819  IMG_9832   IMG_9866              IMG_9906      IMG_9928    IMG_9946   IMG_9953    IMG_9964c IMG_9965  IMG_9980  IMG_9983  IMG_9986 IMG_9987 IMG_9989 IMG_9991 IMG_9992 IMG_9993  IMG_9996   Marvan  sunset Tsunamia Painting

Paintings by Vincent Van B for Xmas 2014

Rubber Duc. This band could be massive in 2015. You heard it here first.

One of the biggest musical finds for me in 2014 was Rubber Duc. A South African trio whose members are:

Nick Jordaan – Vocals, Guitar, High-hat

Brendan Campbell – Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar, Kick

Sheldon Sham – Saxophone, Percussion

I found them thanks to my daughter working out in South Africa. The first discovery was that they have 3 songs on Spotify. And of course You Tube videos. Their musical genre really means or meant nothing to me “ folk swing”. They are relatively new launched in 2013. The songs have great lyrics and meaningful ones at that.

The most recent single has a great video . It’s Alright

‘It’s Alright’ is about the beauty and freedom of individualism. Whether you are rich, poor, crazy, sane, quiet, loud, shy, a couch potato, an intrepid explorer, all about the treble or all about the bass, it’s alright to be who…

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Tsunami Photo Museum Telewatta Sri Lanka

On Dec 26th in 2004 the Tsunami hit different Asian countries including Sri Lanka. Very many lives were lost, at least 40,000 and because records are not so excellent there numbers may well be higher. Sri Lanka in fact was the second worst country that was hit. Since then the country had had a resurgence with a second international airport recently completed in the south and the start of a motorway system embedded in the country, meaning what was previously a 5 hour trip from Colombo Airport to the south is far nearer two hours now.

What however many people remain unaware of is that there is a museum devoted to the Tsunami. From the outside it does not look like a museum, in fact it looks remarkably like a ramshackle house that was hit by the Tsunami in the Pareliya area just back from the coast. This is exactly what it is, a house ruined that has been left essentially damaged but turned into a small museum that houses photographs, paintings and stories of how local people built up their lives from scratch. There is free entry and one can leave donations in a small box.

The aim of the museum is to keep the stories alive for future generations and show people what actually happened.

When I visited in August 2014 it has to be one of the most emotional places I can recall visiting.

The museum is almost opposite the National Tsunami Monument near Pareliya junction ( where around 2000 people on a train lost their lives that morning), and is on the main road traveling north out of Hikkaduwa around 4 km or 9 km south of ambalangoda.

Their website is

Further information can be got on

Below are a selection of photos I took of the photos in the museum, I challenge anyone not to find these things quite emotional.

photo 1-1    photo 2-2 photo 2  photo 3-2 photo 3 photo 4-1 photo 4-2  photo 5-1 photo 5-2

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