CONFESSIONS OF A GLOBAL GYPSY
By Dr. Chandana (Chandi) Jayawardena DPhil
President – Chandi J. Associates Inc. Consulting, Canada
Founder & Administrator – Global Hospitality Forum
Back in England
After departing France, we arrived at the Eastern Docks of Dover in the United Kingdom (UK) which serve as the main cross-channel ferry terminal. Often people rushing through Dover do not pay much attention to its history as a port and trading gateway which dates back to the Bronze age and before. Historic sites such as the eleventh century Dover Castle and the eighteen century Dover Western Heights were interesting.
In addition to being a major cross-channel ferry terminal, Dover is also a cruise terminal, maritime cargo and marina facility situated in Kent, south-east England. It is one of the world’s busiest maritime passenger ports with over 10 million passengers a year in the early 1980s. In addition, a vast number of lorries, trucks, coaches, cars and motorcycles passed through the Port of Dover every day. The modern port facility features a large artificial harbour constructed behind stone piers and a protective, concrete breakwater.
The train from Dover to London Victoria railway terminal took 90-minutes. After that, most of our trips within London were by the tube (subway), the most famous and oldest (since 1863) transport system of its kind in the world. This underground network of nearly 250 miles was always the most efficient and quickest way to travel around this great city.
We both were very happy to be back in London, a city we knew well and had many friends and a few family members living in it. As we both had spent a few months in London during our first visits there in 1978 and 1979, we did not plan to visit tourist attractions that we were familiar with. Soon after we arrived, we were invited to a few lunches and dinners hosted by our friends in London. I also met some of my Ceylon Hotel School (CHS) friends/batchmates. One of the parties organized by our friends to welcome us was also attended by four of my former guests of Hotel Swanee, who worked near London as school teachers. We certainly felt warmly welcomed back to London!
UN/ILO Fellowship Activities in UK
On my first Monday in London, the UN/ILO fellowship coordinator in UK for my individual program, Larry Wilson, met with me. Larry was an experienced consultant with useful contacts in the hospitality industry, the academia and the wine and spirits industry. He informed me that my first assignment would be in Glasgow, Scotland. After that, he had organized three assignments …….