Wandering down Galle Face Green at sundown is a typical Sri Lankan experience. As the sun sets, street vendors uncover their creations, painstakingly handmade in private homes by the lady of the house each morning.
Rolling out gazebos, frypans, tables and chairs, the instant food court appears miraculously and the smell of frying spices fills the air.
Hollering about these delicious tapas, crowds are drawn to stall after stall of deep fried baby crabs smooshed into red coconut roti. Large shops sell fresh seafood – seasoned prawns and tiny squid stare blankly, while large crabs eyeball your choice – perhaps rolled into a fresh roti or served piled high with pungent sambol. For desert, devilled cashews await, or fresh pineapple dotted with chilli. A delicious contrast of the sweet and salty.
Nearby, a man sells blow up animals, while the navy watches on in amusement. Techno monks with i-phones take pictures of the sunset, and lovers hide under cover of colourful umbrellas.
It’s Colombo in all its glory, often overlooked on a trip to the south coast. But before you head to Talalla Retreat, spend a day on the Green taking in the colonial sights, and watch as this incredible city makes up for 30 years of stagnant growth before your very eyes…..
Image courtesy of D.Jones Photography and is not to be reproduced.