Published: September 2nd 2010July 17th 2010
It was one of the newbies birthday’s and so we went off to the Boathouse in Beau Vallon to partake of its Creole Buffet, all very civilised and so it was until we got chatting to the table next to us, which god love’em was full of Americans. We found out, the island is full of em’ because the largest ever fleet has just landed in Mahe. All two thousand of them. Awesome.
We’re polite and chat and find ourselves invited back to the hotel room, sorry villa, where they’re staying. The other one is not so keen and we’re out on it but we finish paying and see that two of the newbies have already done one and left with them and the other couple with baby are also going. So why the hell not, I say, it’s probably the only opportunity we’ll get to step inside a posh hotel.
We mosy along and feel a little bogus as we ask the directions to our ‘friends’ bungalow, ‘ahh the Americans you mean’ is the maid’s reply. Er yes, that’ll be them, rumbled. We knock on the door indicated and there’s no reply. We’re not sure and go to leave but no, the door is opened by one of our ‘friends’ from the restaurant and we’re in. In the room with the bar and what seems a lot of men.
We’re led out into the garden where there are even more men and its a gorgeous view - out to sea that is… : ) Asked what I’d like to drink, I think it only right and fitting to have JD and Coke and that’s what I get.
I’m not a military gal and remember getting soundly told off by my Dad when on Remembrance Sunday I wore a white instead of red poppy, but the times that I have ever spent in the company of the armed forces (rare and random always) they’ve been unerringly polite and thoughtful and this was no exception. Bless, they’d spent four months on the ship and were just happy to have company other than themselves (the way I was wittering on I’m not sure there was that much quality control going on). I flitted about chatting and they were really interested in Seychelles and in us and I was amazed at how most of them were about my age (mid 30s-40) and nearly all coming to the end of their service and from what I could tell then set for life (though quite a sacrifice to make I’d say). I can’t pretend that I understand the need to fight for Queen and/ or country and the culture that can sometimes breed but what they’ve seen, what they do and what they live with, I can’t even begin to imagine.
Did I mention they were all officers? And some of them fighter pilots? A Top Gun wet dream, though perhaps not so camp (though I had my suspicions about a couple of them). They weren’t quite the Cruise/Kilmer standard but one was the apple of my eye for a couple of hours. Ahhh, one of those moments in relationship life when I appreciated the advantages of being single - until the other one spoilt it all by dragging me home. Still, he got to smoke a big fat cigar or two - with the pilots. I love life, you really couldn’t make it up - including their call signs - but I think that they’re best unrevealed. To be honest I’m not wholly convinced they weren’t pulling my leg, though that might involve irony. Perhaps the bigger irony was that the USA vs Ghana game was on - I had the foresight at least not to reveal I was supporting Ghana.