Well I’m on my holiday in Sri lanka. I was warned I was setting off in the monsoon season but what the hell, I thought – it’s got to be better than that icy arctic blast that was blowing up the skirt of Old Mother England as I left. Well it’s definitely warmer than Newcastle, I’ll admit it, but the torrential non stop rain we’ve had for 48 hours would have brought the UK to a stand still and had people canoeing around the roundabouts like it did it in that lovely wet spell we had last July. Luckily Sri Lanka has something we do not have in Britain, capacious storm drains, which deal easily with the extreme downpours. The only thing to do in such circumstances is, well, shop, really. It’s obvious. I hadn’t been here for very long at all, before I’d bought a 22 carat ruby ring and narrowly escaped protracted negotiations for the purchase of a green sapphire. Sri Lanka is famous for its sapphires, which are found in many colours. Lady Diana’s eighties engagement ring was made with gems from here and indeed Sri Lanka’s jewels are one of the reasons I wanted to visit this tear drop shaped island at the foot of India.
Look at my Rubies!
Shopping is always fun in the Indian sub continent. Beautiful hand made things are so cheap. You can haggle in the markets for the best price and the locals will always ‘super serve’ you. They know it’s important to please the customer and after all, they don’t have the option on the dole if they can’t be bothered to make the effort. There is no ‘clone town’ syndrome here like there is in England where it is very hard to get at all excited by high street shopping when all the shops in every town are the same and frankly, prices and choice are much better on the internet. Shopping at its best is one of life’s great pleasures. It can be enjoyed at any age and in any state of mind (funds permitting) and is less harmful than many other common pastimes.
The wrapping station at Paradise Road
One of the things we seem to like to do in foreign parts, is to laugh at other countries misuse of the English Language. This is churlish to say the least as our command of any language other than our own is generally deplorable. Somehow we still feel superior when another culture makes a mistake or uses English in a way which we find amusing. It might be that old British Empire thing, who knows.