Pool Hall – The Last Black Billiards, Colombo, Sri Lanka

When I stopped by here about 4:30pm on a weekday the place was empty. While there’s a sign on the building overlooking Brass Founder Street, I had to guess which floor it might be on. I went up to the third floor and through a crack in the only door on that floor could dimly make out the glow of green felt. The young man watching over the place was startled when I came in. Probably because anyone was coming in, let alone a non-Sri Lankan.

This is a simple place. I was grateful the blacklights were not in use (the apparent reason for the name). Three tables, a few cues and the remnants of bits of chalk. The balls are chipped, and you can hear the cracks and divots in the slate under the felt. Some of the rails are dead. The cue tips are hardened so that chalk doesn’t stick. While I hope it’s a great introduction to the sport for the local youth, it’s not someplace a pool player needs to check out. Unless, like me, you just want to say you tried.

I stayed for about 10 minutes. When I went to pay (250 Sri Lankan Rupee for 30 minutes, about $0.65 US) he handed me 150 back and shook his head. It seemed fair, and he’ll have a story to share with the other lads when they start showing up later at night I’m sure.

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