Capitalism has entirely collapsed in Sri Lanka, and the country is out of petrodollars and ergo out of petroleum. Cars snake round the city in giant petrol queues, like dinosaurs lining up at a vaporized watering hole after the asteroid. They don’t know it yet, but they’re extinct. I ride by on a bicycle, a formerly pathetic mammal now moving faster than these fossils.
I borrow an electric car to take the kids somewhere and we drive through Slave Island. It’s called that because the white people used to encircle slaves with crocodiles here. Now it feels like the state of the whole country, surrounded by international bankers and their leg-breakers, the IMF.
Slave Island used to be the home to a beautiful community, but they kicked them out to build luxury condos for no one and elevated highways to nowhere. Now the condos are uncompleted and the highways are just dumped in the street. Huge pillars stand there, like Ozymandias’s feet. Their size cries “Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!” But, “Nothing beside remains. Round the decay, Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.”