A Dream Palace, Sigiriya
Two amiable men in white shirts smile at me when the car approaches the drop point, near the entrance to Sigiriya Rock Fortress ─ probably the most prominent landmark of the island nation of Sri Lanka. As soon as I get off the car, the first man greets me, “Konnichiwa, Japan-san!”. Bewildered for a slight second, then I politely decline his offer and walk directly to the ticket counter while the second man keeps saying the exact same thing repeatedly a few moment later. I always remember what Suresh, my reliable driver in Sri Lanka, said to me the day before that some local guides tend to make up stories about the history of an ancient site, enticing tourists with catchy tales.
In my past travels, local people in different countries thought of me as Malaysian, Singaporean, Chinese, Filipino, Thai, or even Maori of New Zealand. So, now Japanese is…
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