Life in Mauritius - An intro

OMG ! What have I got myself into !

Back in September , a mischievous respond to a job advertisement landed me a job offer to move to Mauritius. Excitement to the oppurtunity to explore an Island nation and the boredom of everyday work routine in Kuala Lumpur, what to loose? got me decided to quit my job. 

I didn't do much of a research, had an idea its a pretty laidback country with less populated nation where honeymooners and luxury-resort tourists like to go, BUT I was wrong...!

By end of Nov I flew to Mauritius by Air mauritius ticket arranged by the employer and accomodation has been arranged too. Arriving at S. Rangoolam Airport before exiting the gate I was stopped by the officer, ordering me to open my suitcase and backpack. Nothing I malicously hid inside but the blatant noticable stuff in the duty free plastic bag that got me busted! I have never encounter this rule of only 1 carlton of cigatte allowed to be taken into, even if there is it would be confiscated however I was fined for the price of a 10 packets of cigarrete in Mauritian Ruppee (MUR) of having 1 carlton extra.

I didn't have MUR exchanged yet, so I said you can confiscated that 1 carlton I dont mind. The officer said I'm breaking his law and must pay the fine, ordered me to change the money at the money changer outside the exit. My stuff was left with them and I went to the money changers outside. I went to one , they didn't accept Malaysian Ringgit, went to next, same, in the end 5 money changers I talked to no ones accept my currency !!! what is this country?? WTF.. So I went back in talked to the officer with no MUR , the money changer didn't accept my currency - this is brilliant he will let me go BUT no they din't make it that easy ! He pointed out at my thick wallet I must have more than one credit card - they accept that too. So I gave them one, it is declined- it is a debit card issued in my country-i think doesn't work outside or need some sort of special verification, the officer looked at me and utterred " is this a fake credit card?" LMAO.

No they are debit card I have not use it abroad yet. What to do ..Finally the officer asked me to withdraw cash from atm outside the gate. Such a strange forex trading. either currency has to be changed into world's leading currency ie USD,Euro,Pound before it can be exchanged to Ruppess from Ringgit and vice versa. To get that USD/Eur/Pound, that has to be done in the country of origin..that left me with useless riggit in mauritius. No direct trading between Ringgit and Ruppes.. That explains why I couldn't change my RM to Ruppes in Kuala Lumpur.

On the gate , the company's driver waited with my name on the board, I noticed from a far and walked towards him when suddenly an Indonesian guy stopped me " johny? johny?" to which I replied with disgruntled face " No I'm not Johny ".

More than one occasion I mistakenly to be an Indonesian.. The Indonesian drivers were picking up some passengers from the same flight that they thought I was the one they were picking. My driver told me to wait for him at the carpark...The indonesian driver wasn't pleased and chased me asking with his broken english " you work in the ship?"...No I'm not.. pissed of.

First day at work was fine. The capital is like a ghostown when the clock tickings 6.30 pm. No one lives in the capital, Mauritian lives outside capital..The only ones who stays is the poors and the homeless. No shops open beyond 7pm and there's not much to do. And I know no ones other than newly introduced colleagues.
I was in disbelieve !

I was assigned to stay in this 2 bedroom apartment seems luxury enough in Mauritian standard and being fecth by the company's driver to and from the office, I questioned myself am I in a highschool again ? This experience is so strange and hard to grasp

Maybe the employer tries to accommodate very much the new foreign employees, me and another 2 colleagues. Given the town is unsafe to walk and not conveniently feed by public transport they rather fetch their staff at least for now. I would be ok to walk alone but the other colleague were girls. I feel no freedom when I'm stuck with timetable to go and coming home.

Admittedly I agreed to the employers offer without doing an extensive study on way of live in Port Louis, Mauritius capital.
I have an inclination that some country is good for holiday not to live and work..I think Mauritius is one of that country..!

I felt that working in my country is tedious enough, but the working culture here is bizarre.
I want to go home..!!!! But I don't have much cash to even buy one way ticket!!! This currency stuff really complicating things up.Maybe I need to spent another month or two...One of the working tradition I like and respect it much is eveyone who comes to work goes around every desk and shake hands when starting the day and shake hand again when heading home.
With the Dec 2012 end of the world phenomenon for the first time in my life I am really scared...being away from home and living in a totally foreign environment. What will happened if natural calamities hits the region or the globe for that matter?I can't be with family at home..Oh God help me..

Surviving Mauritius

I felt that working in my country is tedious enough, but the working culture here is totally a different ballpark.. I wanted to go home..!!!! Start the day at 8.30 and finishes at 6pm with half an hour lunchtime...really?? Will I survive? ..But one of the working tradition I like and respect it much is eveyone who comes to work goes around every desk and shake hands when starting the day and shake hand again when heading home.
I kept counting the day till the weekend..Everyday I showered by a cold water, I couldn't figured out where the switch and what part to turn on until last night I introduced myself to the tenant next door. A Madagascan who staying at the identical flat next to mine, he should know how the water heater works and it was sorted.

How excited I am that tomorrow is Friday finally !

I have survived the first week in Mauritius's capital. The first couple of days I  freaked out and homesick really hit me badly. Introduced to a new Mauritius colleague that had lived and studied in KL made me feel like I know someone from my home country.

This is not the first time living away from home hence I've traveled extensively back in the day and I lived in a foreign country for many years before BUT moving to this island scared me abit. The company has been really accomodating so far. They bear the cost of relocating from flight, finding the accomodation to medical check-up for the working permit application. And today I went to the clinic to get the result. I had a chat with a collegue last night on the medical result should I have some sort of terrible disease  the Immigration will reject the work permit application, I was hoping I have one so that the company can send me home!!!! Ha that's how scared I feel to live away from home again.

But the medical result turned out to be I'm a hundred percent healthy.. Only on my faeces test, the doctor mentioned there was a trace of worm in my intestine, must be from the kebab I had last sunday. The driver drove me to the clinic while on passengger seat I snapped pictures documenting on a glimpse of daily Mauritian life.


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