Of Beamers and Corollas

A strange island this is. We are (supposed to be) one of the poorest nations in the world, but on par with the western world in literacy rate, no of deaths at child birth and health/medical care etc.

Even the shanties in Colombo have televisions, some even have their own set of wheels – be it a motorbike or a three-wheeler.

We no longer see the age-old automobiles frequent our streets, seeing a classic Morris Minor in Colombo would be a pleasant surprise. Most of the latest models are here - I'm just waiting to see the H3. American cars were never a hit here a few years back, but thanks to dimo, the Chrysler range is here.

Buying a Toyota Corolla or an equivalent here would cost you as much as you'd pay for a BMW 3 Series in a cosmopolitan city like Dubai. I don't think even Dubai has as many BMW's as Corollas in Colombo. Same could be said about most cities in the world.

Just imagine, if there were no vehicle taxes here, every Corolla owner could be driving a beamer instead. Would we, or could we, are a different kettle of fish altogether - but it's a nice thought though...


  1. I saw a Hummer around Hunnupitiya, among other places. It looks ridiculous on these narrow streets

  2. There are around 2 Humvee's here in SL. They are the jumbo size (H1?) original versions. One is red, other is black..

    As for vehicle tax, if that were removed, why ordinary people would have nice new cars, and that just wouldnt do ;-)

  3. I suspect you are seeing the "advancement" of our country in very superficial and simplistic terms. The ability to revel in the consumerism of the west is not a reliable measure of our countries "development" simply a means of making us as aspirational as every other developing country.