posted 13.01.2009, updated 21.01.2009, updated 29.01.2009, updated 17.2.2009
13.01.2009 - 13.02.2009 35 °C
I've had quite a lot of administrative problems here. First the catastrophic news: The return ticket I bought to get into Mauritius in the first place and which the guy from Condor assured me was refundable turned out to be non-refundable after a period of a few days, a detail the vendor utterly failed to draw my attention to. This means I am graciously donating 450 euro to Condor airlines! They also asked for 150 euro to change the date of the ticket. Needless to say I was not very happy with this news. After some negotiations they let me change the date for free, and they told me they'd ask in Germany if I can get a voucher for another flight (which would be quite useless to me, since Condor's not very active in South-East Asia, my next destination, but we'll see). Anyway, with the new flight date I could finally extend my visa here until February, and this having worked I applied for a visa for India. Trouble is India also asks for return tickets. I tried to explain as best as possible that I don't intend to go back but am traveling on to South-East Asia, to which they declared that they'd consider my case. I'll know the answer on the 20th of January. Fingers crossed... To make the day complete, my brand new debit card I just received got stuck in an ATM and the bank doesn't want to give it back to me unless they get a fax from a Swiss UBS branch. I phoned to Switzerland and they told me they'd send the fax right away. Of course nothing arrived in Mauritius before the end of office hours and now I have to return to Port Louis only to get my stupid card back. Talk about not being flexible!
Ok, enough whining. Here are some more pictures:
Here we are enjoying some hard-earned decompression-beers at the dive center.
This is New Year's Eve. It started with Andreas and Toni (two Austrian motorcyclists I've met here) and me on my terrace with some spaghetti bolognese, beer, a laptop and loudspeakers with sub woofer. After a while more and more passing byers joined, and at midnight all of us were on a boat on the (pitch black) sea (fortunately the Mauritians know were the coral reefs are even at night) to look at all the fireworks all along the coast.
People told me this is a Tamoul temple. It's right outside Cap Malheureux and so kitschy I've had to take a picture.
The neighbor's kids, Rhianna and Stacy. They plundered my precious chocolate provisions and left my apartment as if a tornado had passed through. Damn kids!
Well, it seems like shouting at the manager helps around here. I went back to the Condor office (one more free day used to come to Port Louis, but I got my debit card back at least). After using the stick last time, I thought I would use the carrot and brought the staff some raisins. This turned out to be a great idea because they told me that the manager contacted his superiors in Germany and they are willing to make an exception for me. I also got my visa for India, they gave me a 6 months visa with multiple entry, which was more than I asked for. This is great because with this visa I will be able to go on side-trips to Nepal and Buthan. Thus I bought a flight ticket to India, I will fly to Mumbai (which was called Bombay until recently, I don't know why they are renaming their cities in India) on February 19th. Things are looking up...
Back in Port-Louis and great news! The German Condor-office agreed to give me back part of my return ticket money! I got 13'000 Rupees of the 18'000 I paid, so I got back about 325 Euros and paid about 125 Euros annulation fee. Finally! It was worth all the time and effort after all.