Not one among the dozens of beach-facing restaurants in Varkala have beer and cocktails in their menus.
But ask a waiter for alcohol and he’ll produce a tattered home-printed sheet from his pocket listing Tom Collins, mojitos, Cosmopolitans, all the classic mixes. Order a beer and an ice-cold Kingfisher bottle will appear in seconds.
The restaurants aren’t allowed to sell alcohol. But like anywhere else, in Varkala, the rules are negotiable if the price is right.
When selling bootleg books didn’t work, the boy turned to begging for food. He looked 12 and was still perfecting his pity pitch.
After four days in Siem Reap (and another week in Sihanoukville), I got used to saying no to child sellers and beggars. I read enough articles to know giving them money does more harm than good:
It’s something of a privilege seeing a country start to flex its tourism muscles. Like a baby’s first steps, it’s at once endearing and clumsy, and it only happens once.
Years of robbery and kidnapping by paramilitary thugs made travelling within Colombia a fool’s venture, but improved security over the past few years has sparked a [...]