Published 17.2.2009, updated 24.2.2009
13.02.2009 - 19.02.2009 32 °C
Alright! Free at last! Finally I finished working at the Orca center here in Mauritius. The work itself was not that bad and the coworkers were great people, but the base manager is a total asshole. This guy missed his time by quite exactly 70 years. It usually takes a lot for me to really like or dislike a person, but with him the case was clear within 3 days. I couldn't avoid him either since we were only 4 people working in that center (Roshan quit in December, he couldn't take it anymore). But since Orca told me they would pay me part of my ticket to come here (I paid 750 Euro only in plane tickets), I didn't want to just quit or I would loose that money. I finally got that money yesterday, plus some more, I got out quite well. So basically this small episode showed me that I will shut up and swallow my pride during three months for a mere 1000 Euros. Damn I'm cheap! :-) It's funny how the value of money changes, after one year of traveling, 1000 Euros have become a big amount of money. Oh, yeah, february 5th was the anniversary of my departure date. Well, that was quite an eventful year...
So, enough blabla, here are some pictures:
Here's my good friend Mala. She's working as a waitress at the restaurant right next to my house. I must have paid no more than 2 beers during my 3 months stay.
This is Timea and Konrad, a Hungarian couple that dived with us. Really cool people, we spent a few evenings together.
After a while they decided to spend some days in the South of Mauritius. Bad idea, they got so bored down there, they had to buy cards and a Monopoly (and a lot of beer!) to pass the time. I visited them down there on a free day and they showed me the Blue Bay:
Although undeniably beautiful, there's just absolutely nothing happening and we went back to drinking beer after 10 minutes.
Anyway, the only place on the island where something's going on in the evening seems to be Grande Bay in the north (thanks to the tourists). Even the capital city, Port-Louis, is dead after 9pm. It seems the only thing the locals are doing in the evening is drugs and each other.
Anyway, since my flight is only on the 19th, I decided to spend one day doing some normal tourism. Here's a picture of inland Mauritius. You can see the sugar cane plantations (or whatever else they're growing here) and the local mountain range in the back. Most of the inland is just sugar cane or chili fields.
This is Port-Louis, the capital city, more exactly it's center. There are big slums spread around the city from where thiefs spread out in gangs to rob people all over the island. The skyscrapers you see belong to banks. I heard Bin Laden had an account in Mauritius, but as a Swiss person I'm not going to comment on that :-D
I spent an afternoon relaxing in the botanic garden in Pamplemousse. It's really big and supposed to contain really rare plants, a fact that was of course completely lost on me (I really should learn to distinguish at least the edible plants from the rest).
What I really enjoyed in the garden is the calm, something that can be at least partly ascribed to the fact that there are practically no Mauritians in there, even though they can get in for free.
What finally drow me away were the mosquitoes. They are the sneaky kind that you don't hear or see before they land on you. Little bastards!
I also visited a the biggest Hindu temple of the island in Triolet dedicated to Shiva, I think.
This is Ari and Larissa, my two (married (to each other)) coworkers from the dive center. we had a really good time during the three weeks the manager spent in Germany in January. During the rest of the time we suffered together. At least I can leave now, these two poor buggers have to continue to work there. I really feel sorry for them, they are great people. Ari's been diving since he's fourteen, he taught me a lot.
Here are Jessica and Gom. Gom is a fisherman and lives in a little shack (around 2 x 4 m) next to my house. Nevertheless he decided I need to learn about Mauritian food, so he sometimes brought be food he made for me (mostly fish). That's incredibly generous from a person that owns practically nothing.
Well, so far so good. Now I am in a bank in Grande Bay. I've been trying since yesterday to get rid of my 1300 Euro I have in cash (I really don't want to walk through Bombay with that amount of money on me...). Since I'm not a Mauritian resident it would be quite time-consuming to open an account here, and sending the money with Western Union or MoneyGram is really expensive. Who would have thought it is so difficult to give money to a bank! I'll now try to send it from Larissa's account here, this should work.
I'm at the cybercafe now and I managed to transfer the money to my account with Larissa's help. I also sent my diving gear back to Switzerland per post. I chose the cheapest option, which is transfer by cargo ship. They told me it should take 5-6 months to arrive. It's a long time, but I don't think I'll need this gear during the next half a year. I wonder in what state my equipment will arrive (if it arrives at all)...
So, all the big problems have been taken care of, I'm ready to go to India. I'll arrive in Mumbai on Friday at 2:30 am, and so far I have no guidebook, no idea where to go, and no plan.