Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Grass Is Only Greener 'Cos You're Blind

Switch on the news and yes, it's another typical day in Sri Lanka; a bomb goes off somewhere in the north - east, killing more civilians and soldiers than reported by the news. Politicians play musical chairs in parliament; members of the opposition jump to the government, and vice versa. The president makes a statement containing standard catch phrases such as 'peace through unity' and 'unity through peace' and 'fight against corruption' etc. The stock market falls. The price of bread increases, thus leading to the increase of petrol, eggs, tomatoes and socks. The weather forecast says sunny skies, so everyone carries their umbrellas to work for the pounding rain that is sure to fall.

No, things are not good at home; it's amazing that we still listen to the news faithfully. My father used to buy 2-3 papers every day to read; now he just buys 2-3 a week. It must get pretty monotonous to read the same old garbage regurgitated every day; especially if the foul stench of BS is so obvious. Don't get me wrong though; all is not lost. True, it's not exactly a time of prosperity, but things could be worse. And so what if every other nation on this Earth is either cutting or cancelling foreign aid to this island? We don't need the "white-skins'" money; we just need them for tourism.

You see, despite the instability of our economic as well as political situation, not to mention the civil war that has been synonymous with our country for the last 25 years, we still have tourists. Couples in their late 50's or even families for that matter still travel to our shores, mesmerized by the vision of elephants and smiling short Asians waiting on their every desire, pouring tea out of ornate porcelain pots and calling them 'Master'. Despite all our flaws, I must admit we probably have the most sensational tourism board, capable of some serious deception. After all, tourism IS all about deception; promoting the good and hiding the ugly. If there’s not enough good to promote, or too much ugly to sweep under the rug, we make something up along the way and people buy it; hook, line and sinker. It’s confusing to say the least; many sports teams have refused to tour our island, stating security reasons. However, it seems where young, tall and strong athletes of South Africa and Australia fear to tread, the old, short and camera-armed Chinese are not. And then there are the Germans. Don't get me started on the Germans.

What is it about tourists? I’m not going to launch into some sort of racist dialogue here, don’t worry. If you think about it, we’re all tourists in our own way. A majority of us have been to another country, either for a vacation or education, and I have no issues with that at all. But as I observe another tourist bus passing down the street, I notice that most of the occupants are, as mentioned above, in the twilight of their lives. I just don’t get it; what possesses them to spend their hard earned life savings to travel to this country of all places? We’re not known to be fashionable, or modern, or even quaint and rustic for that matter. Why not some forgotten Mediterranean island with cobbled streets and soft music in the air? Surely anything beats our broken roads and congested traffic!

I guess the point I’m trying to make is; isn’t it amazing how other people can find your situation to be totally desirable and even envy you for it, while you cannot think of a single sane reason to stay? Just as I find it ludicrous that people choose to vacation in Sri Lanka, there are countless people from various nationalities who are actually dreaming of landing on our shores. Why is that? During the holiday season, the queues to get onto the planes out of the country are almost as long as the queue for people waiting for a taxi at the airport to get them to their hotels. You can imagine the scene; us looking at their queue, shaking our heads saying “Fools, what are they doing here?” while they look at our queue and say “Schochen! Wie einteglechen von tischenkauf lieber scneider wunderbra haffen!” I remember how excited I was when I first went to Goa in 2002; when I got there however, I found the place flooded with my fellow college mates. I can only assume that the rest of the Goan’s were in my campus, lodging in our hostels.

Yes, the tourism industry is all about deception and manipulation. We know there are people out there who will pay good money just to leave their country. All we have to do is promote ourselves to the fantasy of their choice. “Yes, come to Sri Lanka, we have wonderful beaches and great resorts. What’s that? You’re calling from Jamaica? Well we have mountains and stuff filled with green things too! Ya maan! Rasta baby, rasta!”

1 comment:

alicia said...

take a bow.

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