I was on the bus and this drunk guy leans over and says, ‘Centigrade?’ I don’t know what the answer for that is. 27? I try ‘no’ and putting my headphones back on. Turns out he thinks I’m from the band Centigradz, which makes him comfortable enough to lean over and rub my head. Anyways, long story short, I can’t move and this is his tale.
Basically, Sri Lanka is going to shit and I should move to Europe. He said he recommends coming back once a decade. He said the only people making money are those who bought land a hundred years ago and that it’s the ‘end of an era’. I tried to explain that the Euro is crashing and there’s no work in the Europe or US, but he didn’t understand, and he may have had a point, albeit perhaps involuntarily.
I mentioned tourism and stuff and he said he was a musician and it didn’t help. He seemed to be talking about some place that existed before the Cinnamon Grand and Crescat and stuff, and how there was nothing for him there now.
I dunno, I think he was mainly drunk, but he’s certainly a lot less optimistic than I am. For a long time the safest, sanest options were buying land or getting out of the country (preferably both). Which is what dude drunkenly advised, but I thought perceptions might have changed. It’s a sample of one I guess, but sitting there on the bus, I honestly couldn’t see development. Public transit still sucks, as do a lot of public services.
If you think about it, a lot of stuff is going down, but it’s all big money. The jobs are then supposed to come, but that’s in a while, plus it’s not even clear that enough Sri Lankans are trained for those jobs, or that the system as is can train them. The people making mad money will be investors and a lot of that money will go out. A lot of the consumers, also, will be foreign. I still think a rising tide lifts all boats, and that development’s not a zero sum game, but at least one random guy on the bus is pessimistic. Just saying.