Tear Drop in the Ocean-Sri Lanka
Ayubowan! Work has seen me travelling to Colombo on extended visits twice this year already, and it was my first time stepping a foot outside India. I can’t say I wasn’t excited about the prospect of being in a different country even though the flight was as short as a flight to Kolkata might have been!
The first thing I did in the country (other than catch up on sleep) was try out the local cuisine and finding many similarities with the cuisine from Kerala. One should definitely try the crab there. Beyond local cuisine I was also excited to see a Burger King franchise. I tried to pick up a few useful words, though could only pick up ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ till now. It’s not even really necessary because everybody speaks English. I’m also going to remember Colombo as the only city I’ve been to so far where Zebra Crossings for pedestrians actually work as intended (I admit I’ve crossed roads slower than necessary many times just because it was such a fascinating experience to really be given the right of way as a pedestrian).
It was amusing to be asked about Bollywood stars at work, and to learn that Monday was going to be a bank holiday on account of the full moon. Buddhism is predominant in Sri Lanka, and every full moon in the year is regarded as a day for religious observances, called the Poya Day.
Train tracks running down the west coast provide the means for a beautiful journey or getaway on the weekends (when you’re not working them!). Galle Fort and Hikkaduwa are places you should keep on your itenary if you ever find yourself in the country. When roaming as a curious tourist, you will be quick to notice how welcoming and friendly the locals are.
I’m going to summarize by saying that the country is beautfiul, the food is familiar and the people are charming. Truly a wonderful experience to work there!
~ By Soham Sanyal, Batch VII