Sri Lanka: Why You Travel Alone, Mister?

After spending the first day in Colombo, I took a bus to Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka’s original hippie hangout in the 1970s. It has lost its splendor, they say, but we are not hippies either, I thought. Also, the ‘sunsets remain as beautiful as ever.’

The road, and the railway line, from Colombo to Hikkaduwa runs parallel to the Lankan west coast, just 10 meters away from the shore! For a person coming from the vast landscapes of Punjab, it was a pleasure watching the emerald waters that surround the island.

I arrived well before the sunset. The town is low profile as they describe. I could see the hippie charm. It was cloudy. No sunset for the poor me. Ghum na kar zindagi pari hai abhi. So I just took a picture at the beach and came back to the town.

Craving for some snacks, I entered the first grocery shop I found. (Sri Lankans love to talk. And you can almost always assume cricket will somehow find its way into the conversation.)

“Where are you from?” is the default first question.

“Pakistan.”

“What’s your name?”

“Sohail.”

“Ahaa. Aamir Sohail, haan?” he smiled presuming I know who Aamir Sohail was. Thankfully I knew and smiled back saying, “Yeah, Aamir Sohail.” :)

“Take this card,” he handed me a business card pointing to the directions on the back, “We have beautiful curtains and other stuff.”

“But I don’t need curtains, I am traveling.”

“Come with your friend, she will sure buy something.”

“Friend?” I looked around confusingly.

“The one you came with, your lady friend?”

“No,” I smiled, “I’m single.”

He looked at me with surprise as if I can’t be single and took the card back.

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