Arrival in Mauritius

Trip Start Apr 12, 2011
Trip End May 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Gold Crest Hotel

Flag of Mauritius  ,
Friday, April 15, 2011

The flight was long, 11 hours, made longer by a large number of babies on board, heading to family vacations in Mauritius. They made for a raucous chorus for several hours after takeoff and before landing. My in-ear headphones were even more appreciated that usual. When I tried to get some sleep after dinner, the 7 year-old French girl next to me who was reading with a flashlight, haphazardly flashed it over my closed eyes every couple of minutes with rather startling effect. When I gently explained the problem to her she politely apologized and was much more careful. In any event I didn't sleep too much, but did make some progress on a Dorothy Dunnett book. I’m getting close to the end of the Niccolò series, and I’ll miss those when I’ve finished them all.

There were quite of number of young Nordic-featured couples, slender and handsome, on board, but I didn’t recognize the language. It didn’t sound like Norse or Danish or Swedish, which I can usually pick out. Many were blond though, so I decided they were probably Nordic and so I wondered if they were Finnish; that language doesn’t sound like the others in the region and is hard for me to recognize. I waited (these flights are long!) and finally surreptitiously glanced at a passport as a couple was filling out entry documents and found I had guessed right, they were Finns.

Later, I noticed on the flight map that we made a slight dogleg around Benghazi over which a straight line would have taken us; I suppose the pilots were taking no chances with stray surface to air missiles or anti-aircraft fire. Good for them!

We arrived in Mauritius half an hour early; at 06:30. I was toward the front of the plane so I was able to move quickly to a short immigration line and was through formalities more quickly than usual. I picked up my rental car called a Proton Kenari, a boxy ski-boot of a car I had never seen before. I asked the attendant who made it, and he replied in French "it’s Malaysian." Then he thought better of it and looked closely again “or Korean…” he guessed helpfully. If so, I hoped it was from South Korea. We’ll see what happens.

After the 40 minute drive to Quatre Bornes, I parked on the street, and checked in. They didn’t have my room ready yet, so they gave me a temporary room where I could rest and clean up, while I waited. The wait ended up being fairly long, until 13:30. I worked on my laptop as long as I could preparing my weekly member letter, but by the time I could get into my permanent room, I was quite sleepy. So as soon as I changed rooms, I took a two-hour nap. While I was sleeping Jocelyn Prodigue called to say he and his wife would be by after work around 6:30.

The Prodigues arrived at the expected time and we chatted for a while in the lobby discussing the situation in Mauritius since my last visit and also our schedule for the next few days. The news was good overall, and it’s very good we can be together for the next few days. They confirmed to me that this will be the first Passover observance for the members in Mauritius to be personally conducted by an elder of the Church.

After they left for home, I walked down the main street of Quatre Bornes to the Happy Raja, a very pleasant Indian restaurant. I particularly appreciate Indian cuisine and eat it most days, sometimes twice a day when I’m in Mauritius where such restaurants are plentiful and usually inexpensive. I used to eat it three times on some days, but the Gold Crest has stopped offering vegetable curry as part of its breakfast buffet…
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