Gear Patrol is a website and magazine stuffed full of…stuff. Must-have shiny, expensive stuff: clothes, watches, Lamborghinis, various assorted gizmos—and even a wicked-looking titanium folding knife.

It also, for a not-immediately-obvious reason, has a long, well-written, very nicely illustrated and altogether interesting piece entitled ‘How I Learned To Love Sri Lanka’.

Here’s a sample: “Over the years, each return to this island that drips off the southern tip of India has brought a battle between old and new. And it’s no stretch to say Sri Lanka has drastically changed my life. My experiences help explain the island’s ancient name, Serendib, from which we get the modern English word “serendipity,” meaning a “happy accident.”

“Sri Lanka has lived up to its moniker for centuries, beckoning travelers like Paul Bowles, Arthur C. Clarke, Mark Twain and Marco Polo, who called it “the finest island of its size in the world.” The Dutch, Portuguese and British all colonized it at one time or another, trying to capture the elusive magic of the place for themselves.

“When I first visited back in the 1990s, vacationers who avoided the frontlines of the civil war in the north and east, and who didn’t linger too long in crowded public spaces, could almost vacation without fear of a suicide bombing, for which the Tamil Tigers rebel group was infamous. Dangers big and small lurked around every corner. It was a country of malarial mosquitoes and war, cobras and crumbling infrastructure.

“My girlfriend, who was Sri Lankan, insisted that I check in at the heavily fortified American embassy, just in case anything happened. Of course nothing did, because of — or perhaps despite — the checkpoints manned by skittish soldiers in baggy uniforms toting automatic weapons.”

There’s more. A lot more. We can’t recommend it highly enough. And you might find some shiny stuff you can’t live without.

A bit of a must read. So read it here.


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