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November 17, 2003

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Tomorrow we break from India and visit Sri Lanka. Today we wait for our flight in Trivandrum. The official name of Trivandrum is Thiruvananthapuram, but unless you're being paid by the letter there's no reason to use that name. It's the major city of the southwestern coast, an international airport sits on the outskirts. We bought air tickets to Sri Lanka here, on-the-spot, for $65 US one-way. Of course USA airlines don't work that way: they charge outrageous prices for last minute and one-way tickets. We've found that non-USA airlines do not charge extra for one day advance tickets and that one-way tickets cost half of the round trip fare.
Most Indian marriages are arranged (although many Westernized cityfolk are increasingly finding their own 'love matches') and despite claims that caste isn't an issue - "caste no bar" - it still stands as an uncrossable boundary in many arranged marriages, especially in rural areas.