Not what I expected


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Africa » Mauritius » Port Louis
October 14th 2005
Published: October 14th 2005
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“Oceans apart day after day, and I slowly go insane. I hear your voice on the line but it doesn’t stop the pain...” - Richard Marx



Mauritius (More-ish-us)

I was going to edit this entry because it’s not very uplifting, but the more I thought about it, I didn’t think it would be fair to you or me to sensor it to make my experience here something different than it was.

There’s a quote from Mark Twain about Mauritius and I shouldn’t even quote it because its not exact, I didn’t write it down fast enough when I heard it, but it’s something like this: “Mauritius was made first, then heaven and they copied heaven from Mauritius…”The way Twain said it is more eloquent than my version of it, but it’s the same point… The morning we arrived into Mauritius I woke up early to go to a sunrise worship service. It was so weird waking up at 6am Sunday morning knowing that almost everybody back home wasn’t even in bed yet as it was only 11pm Saturday night there, anyway, seeing the sunrise over the jagged mountains of Mauritius was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I just stood in awe as watched the sun rise. We then worshiped for the following hour as we were puling into port. It was spectacular; I’m glad that I got my butt out of bed that early in the morning because it was one of those priceless moments that if you don’t take advantage of them when you get the chance you lose out. How people can see something that beautiful and not believe in God boggles my mind. After my morning, I was so pumped and excited for Mauritius and I think that was the problem: my expectations for this “tropical paradise” were too high. To be honest, I didn’t like Mauritius at all. I was so bummed after the first day there; I didn’t even want to leave my cabin. I just wanted to curl up like a little dog and sleep for the following two days. Seriously I would have rather stayed on the ship and gone to class, than to be there for the 3 days we were, that’s how much I didn’t like it. I don’t know, maybe it was all the hype that we heard before we got there. “Mauritius is Heaven on Earth,” “It’s a tropical Paradise,” “You’re going to love Mauritius it’s beautiful,” etc. I dunno, maybe the captain made a wrong turn and we ended up at the wrong island?? It’s just not what I envisioned paradise to be like. All I wanted to do was lay on the beach for the 3 days. I’ve been to a few beaches in my day, so I know a good beach when I see one. Except for the water being a nice shade of aqua, there was nothing really appealing about the beach. It stunk, there were flies, bugs, critters everywhere, the sand was hard, rocky and sea-shelly, it was over crowded, and it was small. It just wasn’t what I envisioned paradise to be. So, maybe I just didn’t like it because I thinking it was going to be this amazing place and it fell short of my expectations, I don’t know. That was my first day at port and the beach wasn’t even close, it was a 40 minute ride. The air here is so polluted as well, that it gives you a headache from breathing in all the fumes. I guess it just makes me appreciate Buffalo so much more. That night I really didn’t feel like doing anything but I didn’t put up a fight when my friends requested my presence at dinner. So I went and had a good time. Then we went to this tiny casino they had in town. It was on the waterfront in the shape of a pirate ship. It was kind of cool, but it made me miss home and going to the Casino with my friends. I got 50 rupees worth of coins ($1.75USD) and it kept me entertained for a couple minutes... The next morning I decided to give Mauritius a second chance. Just take a deep breath and forget my bad day the day before. My day was pretty unproductive which I think is a reason I was upset. I was just so frustrated; I know there’s power in traveling in numbers but it’s, ah, just so annoying; especially when everybody wants to do something, or go somewhere different. Nobody wants to make a stinking decision, they are all like, I don’t care, whatever, but when you step up and make a decision they are like no I don’t want to do that. So we just split up and a couple of us went and did whatever. It makes me miss my guy friends. Girls drive me crazy. I know I am one, and I am everything I don’t like, but guys are so much more laid back and don’t whine and complain as much and aren’t as moody and annoying. So that made me miss home too. Then the 3rd day we did the same thing. Wandered around the city aimlessly going to the same exact places we did the day before, its like Hello, we did all of this yesterday, is it necessary to do the same thing all over again? The problem is, we couldn’t do any tours on the island if we didn’t sign up with Semester At Sea prior to getting there. We had to be with a tour to do anything worth doing and they wouldn’t let us book our own tours because we were Semester At Sea students. So it just all around was not fun. Ok that’s it, I’m done venting.

So the second day we stumbled across this bookstore and I bought a book. That’s how messed up this country made me. I went to a bookstore and bought a book, I don’t like to or for the matter even have time to read, but I had this desire to buy a book. Odd…
That night we went to see a movie. It was a Bollywood movie. It was humorous and really random but it was ok. The best part about that experience is there is hope for Metal Bike, because we’re at similar skill levels. All I have to do is move to India and be a Bollywood producer… After the movie I called home and I got to talk to my mommy so I was excited. I was so happy that it was Columbus Day because she didn’t have to work. Talking to her made me happy. Then I went back to the ship and some of us just chilled up on deck 7 and talked for a while. We were going to sleep up there but it really wasn’t comfortable and the crew kicks you off at 4am so they can clean the deck and it was around 3am when we were ready for bed so we just decided to go back to our rooms and sleep instead of going to sleep for an hour and then relocating to our cabins. This could be another reason I was crabby because I’m running on very little sleep. I'm going to have to take a lot of naps this next week because my India trip is rigorous and involves a lot of traveling and early morning departures. We have to wake up early, 4am, early and sleep on trains and travel around a lot and I need sleep or I’m not very pleasant.

Ok, so here’s why having a shaved head in Mauritius is a bad idea. It’s really sad but funny at the same time and you just have to laugh. Incident 1: In Mauritius they had public bathrooms in town because they don’t have them in shops or restaurants. So in the bathroom they have a “bathroom attendant” right? But each time I tried going to the bathroom they were telling me in French to go to the guy’s bathroom and were motioning for me to go next door. So when I didn’t they then asked me in French if I was a man or woman, and I was like yes, I'm a woman, and then they all looked at me with disgust as I walked into the bathroom as if I were some pervert or something because they didn’t believe that I really was, and then after they FINALLY realized that I was a girl they just laughed at me… Incident 2: I was in this shop, minding my own business and this guy came up to me and asked if I was a girl or boy, he said he could tell that my friend was a girl because she had big breasts but he was unsure about me. Even after I told him I was a woman, he didn’t believe me and made my stick my hand out so he could tell by looking at it… Incident 3: we had to take a little “water taxi” from our ship to town and these dudes would hold out their hands and help the women get on and off, but they never held their hands out for me because they thought that I was a man, but whatever I didn’t need their help.

Alright, that’s all I have for Mauritius. Don’t come here. Go to the Bahamas, or St. Thomas or Myrtle Beach or even Beaver Island, because they are paradise compared to this place. Mark Twain definitely saw something that I missed.

hint, hint, wink, wink, its not too late to send me mail to Vietnam, Hong Kong and Japan. You might be thinking that you would really like to send me mail but you don’t have the addresses, have no fear my friends, you can find the addresses under the first or second blog entry posted on this site!!!! So far I’ve only received letters from my mom (THANKS MOM!). And one from Sandra and I’ve been to 4 ports already, that’s 4 missed opportunities. I'm not going to lie; it’s quite depressing when everybody else gets tons of mail, but not me… HINT, HINT! Especially all of you who have received 1 if not numerous postcards from me. Do you know how hard it is to find a post office in a foreign country and ask for a stamp to the US in a language you don’t speak? Not to mention how much it costs to mail from all the way around the world!! HINT, HINT, HINT, HINT, SEND ME MAIL! ;o) THANK YOU HAVE A NICE DAY! It really doesn’t bother me that I'm only receiving letters from my mom; I am exaggerating a bit to make my point. I just wanted to bring this to your attention, but seriously send me mail.

P.S. if you have not received a postcard and would like one, it’s not because I don’t like you, it’s because I don’t have your address. So, if you want to email me your address I would love to send you a postcard or even a random letter for that matter.


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15th October 2005

Glad you were honest
I just got caught up on your blogs. I read Souath Africa, saw the pictures and read Mauritius. That was a rollercoaster. I think you should get a doctorate after this trip. You've lived and experienced more than most people in a lifetime. At times you write philosophy and other times poetry, all while trying to assmilate God's creation and man's response to it. You will ponder some of these things to eternity. Usually after awesome experience there is a crash, yours just happened to be in Mauritius. Don't apply to be their public relations director. I don't believe that was one of your new career picks anyway. It was great to see your pictures. Thanks for spending the time to send them. You look great! Joy's Wedding is just three weeks away . It's hard to believe. Also Aunt Joy had her baby. You may already know by now. Benjamin is 7 lbs. and 20 inches long. Both mom and baby are healthy. It will be great to meet him. Continue to pray and read the word, as you travel. You will discover great treasures in its pages as you experience life beyond the ports. "May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; may the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you (joy) and peace." Num. 6:24-26 I love you, Aunt Nettie

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