Kudos for our tourism industry

Despite the horror of the Easter Sunday bombings and the emerging reports of scams of various types, we do continue to hit the top of rankings of destinations for tourists. Smiling faces, readiness to help visitors and spectacular environmental sights and Wild Life Parks, is proof that only partial evidence of the oft quoted "Where every prospect pleases and man alone is vile "is deserved. The major draws are a legendary hospitality enjoyed by visitors particularly in rural and hinterland Sri Lanka.

A typical example is that of a visitor, Mr Bowen. Arriving quite fatigued he checked in very late and soon fell into deep sleep. Waking up the crack of dawn, he is greeted by a sweet voice which chirps "Ayubowan" "Indeed I am!" says he, mightily impressed by this remarkable personal touch.

Another great experience was by a Hotel room boy (of Chinese descent?). The conversation goes as follows:-

Voice ; Morny, rune sore-bees.

Guest: Oh sorry, I thought I dialed Room Service.

V : Rye . Rune sore-bees. Morny. Jewish to odor sunteen?

G: Yes, order something. This is room thirteen- oh-five. I want…..

V : Okay, torino fie. Yes Plea !

G : I’d like some bacon and eggs.

V : Ow July , then.?

G : What?

V : Aches, Ow July then? Pry, boy, pooch …….?

G : Oh the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry. Scrambled please.

V : Ow July thee baycome? Crease ?

G : Crisp will be fine

V : O kay. July Santos?

G : Uh. I don’t know……..I don’t think so.

V : No ? Judo one toes ?

G ; Look. I really feel bad but this, but I just don’t know what "judo-one-toes" means.

V : Toes! Toes ! Why Jew Don Juan toes? Ow boweenlish mopping we bother?

G : English muffin ! I’ve got it! Toast ! You were saying toast ! Fine. An English muffin will be fine.

V : We bother?

G : No. Just put the bother on the side.

V : Wad?

G: I am sorry. I meant butter on the side.

V : Copy ?

G : I feel terrible about this but ….. …

V : Copy? Tea? Mil………. ?

G : Coffee ! Yes, coffee please. And that’s all.

V : One Minnie . Ass rune torino fie, strangle aches, crease baycome, tossy enlish mopping

we bother honey sigh an copy. Rye?

G : Whatever you say.

V : Okay, Tenjewberrymud

G : You’re welcome!

Englishman: "Au Reservoir"

Frenchman: "Tanks"

So much for racial amity – learn each others’ language

Dr Upatissa Pethiyagoda.

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