The Tear Drop of India

Written by Jo Malcolm

The woman is about 60; the man is about 40.  And they’re sitting sipping cocktails in a beach bar in dazzling sunshine, overlooking the Indian Ocean, in silence.

She’s German and he’s local. It looks like it’s an awkward silence they’re sitting in, but it might be a romantic one, and it doesn’t really matter.

The gorgeous island of Sri Lanka is not only everything colourful and lush you might imagine, it’s also a good place for a Western woman in her 60s and 70s to find a youngish lover or husband if she wants.

Nothing new under the sun, except it’s a refreshing role-reversal of what’s been going on for years in Thailand, for example.  And it explained why my two friends and I, (none of us young), kept getting smiles and waves from afar – (maybe because they couldn’t see us very well) – from young Sri Lankan men on the beach. We quite liked it. Briefly, anyway.

Sri Lanka, ‘The Tear Drop of India’, formerly Ceylon, was also known by the lovely-sounding name ‘Serendip’, where the word ‘serendipity’ comes from.

It’s a sensuous and sensual island,  has excellent tea, ( Scotsman, Sir Thomas Lipton of Lipton’s Tea fame set up his business there ), lots of lush colour, beautiful fabrics, stark hot sunshine, snakes, appalling poverty, drenching warm rain, a bloody history, spices, religious diversity, great food and lots of tuk-tuks.

The Dutch, Portuguese and British were all there to plunder the island’s riches, but they also left missionary schools, churches, elegant hotels, school uniforms, the railway system, and of course the current and proper post-colonial conversation about the ethics of subjugation.

Sri Lanka has had terrible financial problems in the last two years, resulting at one point in a scarcity of food and essential medicines, but the economy is on the way up again, and the tourists are returning.

How about taking a trip there to help get the country back on its feet and simply see one of the most beautiful countries in the world ?

Recommended Read: So Much Left Over by Louis de Bernières
Recommended Listening: Stevie Wonder You are the Sunshine of my Life

If you would like to know more about this story or Sri Lanka please contact

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