Beauty Queens and Crabs

Fat crab martinimandate.com

A sarong clad decrepit of indeterminate age greeted us at the Sea View Inn, off the Marine Drive in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The wicker seat of his chair had worn through, leaving a gaping hole. He had no desk – there wasn’t room for one. We were in a small, dimly lit room which served as both entrance lobby and reception. The paint had once been a shade of red.  Our receptionist greeted us cheerfully and quoted room rates – Rupees 1400 (about £7 or US$ 10) for up to four hours or Rupees 1700 for the night. As an incentive to tarry overnight, a room service offer of two cups of tea (made and delivered by his unwashed eminence) was thrown in.  My dinner companion, the Glamorous Mop Head, turned to me with an “I don’t find this funny anymore” look on her face.

We were in the wrong place.

Escaping the temptations of the knocking shop we found the darkened stairway next door…

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