Sunday sort of shortie-ish.
I’m indebted to Alison for experiencing this with me, and prior to that thinking Sri Lanka was a good place to go on holiday despite the fact that when we went the Tamil Tigers were still kicking off. There was a bomb explosion the day we arrived.
We didn’t let that discourage us. We were there. Two weeks. Whatever.
Shortly after we arrived, we found a little restaurant on a cliff top*. It was nice, quiet, staffed with engaging people. We sat, ordered dinner.
‘Oh I’m sorry sir. You need to move. To a bigger table. There must be more room.’
That was promising, as was the fact the beer was served in glasses crusted with ice that made cracking noises.
We moved, and got a table right on the cliff edge. No fences, no barriers, just don’t fall over. Steep drop, I can tell you that. You won’t survive that fall. Don’t lean back in your chair.
We sat in the feeble light of an oil lamp. But we weren’t without other lights to look at. Not by a long shot. There was a lot to watch.
We were surrounded by fireflies. I think Americans call them glowbugs. They were everywhere. It was magical. Meanwhile, down the cliff, there was a lighthouse flashing its life-saving signal. The surf hitting the rocks at the foot of the cliff was phosphorescent, flickering away with each wave. Out over the Indian Ocean, a storm was gathering, and the lightning was flashing and illuminating the clouds in the distance.
I, we, saw this in 1994, twenty five years ago, and I still remember the wonderment, the delight, the almost incredulity. It was truly breathtaking, awe inspiring.
I saw the light.
*Later we found a restaurant where we were given menus in German. ‘But we’re English.’
‘Oh I do apologise, sir.’
New menus turned up in English. The prices were about a third lower.
‘Errmmm, why the price difference?’
‘Germans don’t tip. English people do.’