8/20 – Random People Notes

A hotel room to the right – beautifully designed.

SRI LANKAN NEWS COMMENTATORS are the worst I have ever seen. Between one girl looking down at her notepad for 95% of the time, being able to see the reflection of her figure on the TV screen camera left, and her partner who was not speaking to the camera while constantly shifting her eyes, the program easily entertained. Even if I did understand the Singhalese language they spoke, I would not have been able to focus on what they were talking about.

Music videos. At first I thought I was watching parodies of sorts. Then I realized that all of the videos were not for jestering, but sincere. Wow (I thought). But then something happened. The dance moves not in sync, the interesting backdrops, the 80s hair styles and clothing to match started to make sense. I began to love the intoxicating images and pride of the Sri Lankan Style.

I have heard from a few local people that it is not uncommon for someone to kill themselves if they cannot be with the one they love. This includes teenagers in puppy love. Life is just not worth living. And the stories about couples jumping off of the cliffs of Trinco Fortress together fly out here as well. These people must really know how to love. I will keep my love senses on high alert so I can pick up some tips.

Not only are they sincerely over dramatic here, they claim to have one of the world’s highest alcoholism rates along with the suicide rate being ranked in the top ten worldwide.

But on the other side of the coin, or actually perhaps the alcoholism rate is involved on this: I have never seen so many smiles from people. Even hint at a person here that you are about to smile and you will be greeted with a brilliant flash of white teeth. Or of red teeth due to the beetle (tobacco product, like dip) they are chewing. Or no teeth.

But all the same, these people do not try to hide their happiness. But why then are they ranked so high in the world with suicide and alcoholism? I have read that there is some Aboriginal bloodline in the ethnicity mix – this would be a convenient answer. Aborigines, much like the American Native Indians, lack an enzyme that breaks down alcohol upon consumption. For this their bodies are drunk quickly, and are much more susceptible to falling prey to its addiction.

And I feel compelled to be honest – I have been on this prosperous island for 8 days now, and can count the amount of pretty girls I have seen on one hand, maybe with a finger or two from the other one. That surprises me. Maybe they are hiding out somewhere and I won’t find them until back in Colombo in the night scene? Although Natasha says the pretty ones get off the island and into other countries. I still have my doubts – but it is now easier to focus on other nuances of the society I guess right?

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