If you clicked on this, then you are either:
A: Like me, you are broke af and desperate to find out what you can do with a chooty amount of salli.
B: The 1% YAMU-reading type curious about how the plebes live
Either way, I’ve tried my best to brave the mean streets of Colombo so I could come up with a few suggestions on what vagrants like ourselves could do for fun on a meagre budget of 500 LKR a day.
Transport (maximum – 100 LKR).
You know what I’m going to say. They’re horrifying, full of creeps and the occasional lecher but Colombo buses cost a fraction of what the tuk-lokkas charge to get from point A to B. Plus, sometimes the buses aren't so bad but only during off-peak hours. Get in at the right time and you could enjoy a half-empty bus to yourselves. Get in at the wrong time, it still makes for a fun experience reminiscent of school-trips but with more boring, tired citizens/ loathly jacksons instead. #ahnangi
Check out our map for the details.
Food (maximum – 150 LKR)
Ayyo patiyo, badaginida? Sorry but you can't exactly go dine at a fancy place with just 500 LKR, I make this mistake all the time and end up looking like a broke fool which is worse than looking like a fool. But you CAN dine like a Bankrupt Boss if you know where to go. You have a choice of either buth kadeys
or isso vadeys.
I strongly recommend heading down to Galle Face or Viharamahadevi Park for some patta snacks like some fat chunks of manioc, or delicious kadala in a paper cone so you can reflect on your childhood where you were once young and happy and not poor.
OR I got a really good tip from Shalini telling me that there's a range of 'poverty biscuits' (great name game, guys) that are available at super markets at the bottom of the shelves that go for about 10 bucks a pop for a packet of 20 so hey, if you're feeling like some biscuits, there you go.
Drinks (maximum – 70LKR)
One thing I noticed about the poor life is that you're forced to turn to healthier eating options which just makes it worse for me. So no alcohol, no Coca Cola no Iced Cafe mocha. Sorry men, it's just a sad fact of the #දුප්පත් life.
All is not lost! Here's a list of other drinks you can purchase with your podi salli:
I mean if I didn't include this on the list I would punch myself with my own fist. Going for a maximum of 50LKR ONLY, you can enjoy a nice big thambili under the merciless Sri Lankan sun. All my thambili thumbies (thumbilies??) where you at?
2) Street Tea
Streety Street Tea. Since we're on a broke safari we cannot complete the broke binge without stopping by a few street hawkers so we can show our support and enjoy a few glasses of tea. They go for 10 – 20LKR per glass which is a RIDICULOUSLY cheap price. So get the coins out, get the diabetes up and get chugging.
3) Packeted Drinks
Milk, Milo, Fruit Juices: 50-70LKR. The possibilities are (slightly) endless!!
Entertainment (minimum: 100LKR)
Now that we have the important details out of the way, let's focus on things we can actually do with 500LKR to spend.
Remember when you were in Grade 2/3 and you were super excited to see the 3D effect the dome had that brought the night sky to life in front of you? Well, it STILL had that effect for me, and took me back to my snot-nosed, not-broke childhood. So head down to the planetarium, tickets are priced at 100LKR per adult.
2) The Museum
What better than to ponder over artifacts of old at one of the kookiest places in Colombo? Head down to the museum, the tickets are priced at 35LKR per adult (YAY). However it's still under refurbishment (BOO).
This is right across from the Viharamahadevi Park, down the road that passes the Nelum Pokuna theatre. If you haven't come across this place then you must be new in Kolamba. The pavement is where talented local artists display their excellent artwork for sale and it's better than any obnoxious gallery art show I've ever been to. Sure, some of them are amateur but try painting a sunset scene that jumps out of the canvas and then give me a call.
4) Open Events
Check out the Karamu section for a list of happening events that you can attend. Most of these are entrance-free and you get to hit two windows with one stone because not only do you get to feel distinguished (being as broke as you are) you could also delve into the social loop and make some new friends. Colombo hosts a lot of events like art shows, musical programs and the like so if you look through, or ask around, check out activities on facebook I'm sure you'll find something that interests you.
If all of these tips sound too expensive to you then I'm sorry but you need to go borrow a job. Colombo is a thriving city full of things to do, so living la vida broka ain't that bad. So go forth and spend them 20 rupee bills y'all!