I’m not sure if it’s jetlag or the anti-malarials I’m taking, but since we’ve arrived in Sri Lanka, I wake up at 4am every day. Not only do I wake up at 4am, I’m at peak operational ability. It’s unprecedented. My mind is buzzing so fast I could broker peace in the Middle East, or at the very least solve a Sudoku puzzle.
Instead, I like to think about people I know, but mostly people I don’t. Sharon Stone for example. I’ve put in some serious energy worrying about Sharon. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her in a movie. Has she fallen prey to Hollywood’s renowned discrimination towards women of a certain age (notable exception Meryl Streep)? Is she in rehab? Just taking it easy with the (grand)kids? Did she have kids? Does she still think about Basic Instinct? Then I remember that Sharon Stone was in MENSA, which gives me some relief. At least she’s got that to fall back on.*
I’ve also spent some time thinking about Sri Lanka’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. That makes more sense, since I’ve seen him on a billboard at least every ten kilometres since we got to Sri Lanka. He’s got a crack PR team, that man. Give the people what they want, they decided in a Colombo office after too many cups of Dilmah. Cancel the hospital funding, hold the poverty eradication program. We need to get some blanket bill boarding happening, stat.
El President has more poses than a Kmart Catalogue. He does Walking Purposefully, Holding Hands with Country Men and Waving to the People. Then there’s Proud and At Peace, Beaming Beatifically and my personal favourite, Look At This Great New Road, You Ingrates. I can’t speak for his politics but he’s got a terrific handlebar moustache.
I’m feeling even more in touch with The President since he’s been staying just around the corner from us in Tangalle on the south coast. He certainly travels in style: three navy frigates offshore to keep watch, and a legion of bodyguards every time his wife wants to go for a jog. He’s also got police check points every 200 metres; Preetha, our taxi driver, went through two just to pick us up yesterday.
I wondered about talking politics in Sri Lanka, but people have been quite forthcoming. Preetha had many political opinions. I think one of them was that having three navy patrol boats on hand while the President was on summer holiday was overkill. Still, a man with a moustache like that can’t be too careful.
*Oh no! Wikipedia tells me Sharon finally admitted that she never was a member of MENSA. I might have to worry about her, after all.