Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 21st 2015 Contents A29
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Some things about the film business
have changed for actresses in the more
than five decades since Sophia Loren was
first discovered, and some things have
stayed exactly the same.
Take pay equity, for instance, and the
reality that worthy actresses sometimes
make less than their male counterparts.
"It never changed. It's always the same.
It's always the same like before, but not
only in the movies. Even in life some-
times, unfortunately," Loren said on the
red carpet Monday night before the non-
profit Americans for the Arts honoured
her at its National Arts Awards. Loren re-
ceived the Carolyn Clark Powers Lifetime
Achievement Award, presented to her by
director and choreographer Rob Marshall
before a star-studded crowd that included
Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga and artistes
Chuck Close and Jeff Koons.
Herbie Hancock and Gaga were also
among the honorees, but it was Loren
who stole hearts in a black evening gown,
accompanied by son Edoardo Ponti and
daughter-in-law Sasha Alexander.
At 81, Loren still works when the mood
strikes. The word retirement is not in her
vocabulary. "That's terrible, the word re-
tire. Never," she said. "We start always
like it was the beginning of a long career."
With the onslaught of technology
Loren said she enjoys embracing the
"new" in life. (AP)
Sophia Loren: Retire? Never!
Are you from India? This was the first question
I got as I walked out of the Bandaranaike Interna-
tional Airport in Sri Lanka. I was taken aback because
the guy who asked the question looked similar to
me.According to my bearded friend, I apparently look
like an "Indian."
That question signalled that this was going to be
an interesting journey on the other side of the world.
As we drove off to Colombo, I asked the driver
about his country and the first thing he said was:
"It is cleaner than India." Further along, he told
me there were some important things I needed to
know while in the country. He proceeded to give
me a crash course in Sinhali---the official language
of Sri Lanka. All I took away from his class was
"isthuti," which means thank you, and "aubowan,"
which means welcome.
He said the national dish was rice and curry
but I should be careful with the spices. As we
drove into Colombo One, he said, "You will pass
this rough area before you enter where you are
going." The area resembled Beetham Gardens
in Trinidad. He said Colombo One was the
area where all the deals for metal and car parts
take place. The guys in the area were rough,
he said, and I must not come this way, all the
while still asking whether I was from south
He gave an example of the kind of thing
that happens there. If a driver lost a hubcap
he would drive into the area to buy one and
guys will rush to try and sell to him. Once
they realise what he is looking for, they will
tell him sit in the car and don t worry to
come out in the heat. While one guy
engages him in conversation, another one
will go to his back wheel, take out the
hubcap and sell it back to him. Of course,
the driver thinks he s got a deal when he
has actually bought his own hubcap.
As we reached Colombo Three, I saw
high-rise buildings and two like the Twin
Towers in Port-of-Spain though much
higher. It is called the World Trade Cen-
tre and much of the country s trade
takes place here.
I spent one night in Colombo and
then it was down to Galle for the first
Test. A tuk-tuk ride took me to the
nearby train station which was south
along the coast. This ride was rem-
iniscent of of the drive along Manzanilla Road. It was
breathtaking to see the sights of waves crashing in
on the shore and small houses built alongside. There
was also brisk trade in the small towns we passed
through. I arrived in Galle around lunchtime and a
tuk-tuk driver took me to my hotel. The hotel was
about five minutes from the train station but this
driver---playing smart---charged me 450 Sri Lankan
rupees (TT$22). He drove through a village and brought
me back out onto the main road and to the hotel.
Every day I walked to the cricket ground which
was opposite the train station and it took me around
ten minutes. He pulled a fast one on me, it s a good
thing I did not take his advice and book into a "won-
derful" hotel in the Fort. After he realised I was a
journalist covering the Test series, he said he had a
nice place to show me because I needed peace and
quiet to focus. Little did he know that I worked at
the T&T Guardian with loquacious assistant sports
editor Keith Clement making noise all day.
As I stepped out to get to the hotel he recommended,
I had to jump over water on the premises and when
I went to the room it was old, dingy and there was
a mosquito net over the bed. I would have rather slept
at the train station than stayed there.
Galle was very hot but the people were so warm
and friendly, they reminded me a lot of the people
at home. There were shops along the main road and
people selling on the pavements, all the while keeping
an eye out for the law---reminds you of somewhere?
In Galle, I had an opportunity to speak to people
who had survived the dreadful tsunami which struck
in 2004. Some said the wave came in at around 20
feet, some said as high as some very tall coconut
trees. One thing about the people here, they seem to
be extremely resilient. They built up their city and
were going about their business like it never happened.
The cricket was depressing, so during the lunch
break I went into the Fort to look for the Villa owned
by the cricket icon Mahela Jayawardene. It was a
lovely place that was on the market for rent. Further
down the road, the authorities have converted the
old Dutch Hospital into a business centre and the
other cricketing legend, Kumar Sangakkara, had a
restaurant called The Crab and Tuna. He and Jayawar-
dene also own another restaurant in Colombo called
the Ministry of Crab. It s a trendy place that attracted
a lot of people because of the star s pulling power.
After the match, it was back up to Colombo and
a three-hour ride in an air-conditioned bus that cost
270 Sri Lankan Rupees (TT$13).
T&T Guardian sports journalist
is in Sri Lanka covering
the West Indies Test series. He wrote this piece describing the sights and sounds
of a country that remind him very much of T&T.
CONTINUES ON PAGE A31
The World Trade Centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka, was
reminiscent of the Twin Towers in Port-of-Spain.
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