My floor-length is gown is hitched up around my thighs. Not quite the entrance I had envisioned for a soirée with Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City. Fireflies flit along the shoreline as I step out into the Indian Ocean where the water is as warm as the sky is midnight blue. The tiny island of Taprobane off Sri Lanka’s southern tip flickers in candle light as we wobble our way along the watery path lit by fire torches and the moon. Despite the crashing waves threatening to send us adrift we steady ourselves by gripping the sand bank with our toes. Just as the final metre of the path dips further into the ocean friendly hands reach out to save me and my short stature from total submersion. A slippery climb up a ladder rewards us with a sea of soggy sarongs and cocktails, as you’d expect at a magical party called Sex in a Sarong.
The guest of honour is adorned in a sparkly pink sarong teamed with Manolo Blahnik shoes. She swans around the home where Arthur C. Clarke (author of 2001: A Space Odyssey , among countless other futuristic novels) once lived. Her fans are charmed with stories about the friends who inspired the infamous book, television series, and films; although she’s adamant she had nothing to do with the big screen adaptations.
Candace is clearly ‘Carrie’, the protagonist, while her prim ‘Charlotte’ inspired friends apparently behaved more like naughty ‘Samantha’ in real life. When asked if she had found her own ‘Mr Big’, she answered: ‘No. I found Mr Bigger.’ A provocative answer considering her Russian ballet dancing husband spends much of his time in tights.
At last the time has come for our little posse to mingle with Candace, and she confirms the Russian character in the television series is based on her husband.
Oblivious to the purpose of the party a member of our group asks the woman in the pink sarong: ‘What kind of work do you do?’
Candace pauses for a milli-second and says ‘I’m an author.’
‘Written anything I’ve heard of?’
‘Well…Sex and the City?’ Candace looks amused. ‘And what line of work are you in?’
His wife inwardly dies a little.
Suddenly, the real-life Carrie Bradshaw is whisked off for more awkward conversations, leaving us to help the real estate’s wife plot her husband’s demise.
The above story (edited to the conservative title of ‘Soiree in a Sarong’) has been extracted from ‘Snapshots of Sri Lanka.’ The book contains many wonderful stories about the teardrop isle and proceeds go to Samadhi Grove, an early childhood development centre in the village of Smagipura in southern Sri Lanka. Your generosity is appreciated and for a copy please go to Vivid Publishing
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