Life in Mauritius. Part II

Its my first weekend in Mauritius, last weekend doesn't count. I set foot in Port Louis last Saturday, quickly had to absorb, started work on Monday to Friday and got my first paycheck on Thursday. So this weekend pays for all the hard-works done.

Saturday morning, an Indonesian colleague drove us (me and another new colleague) to an upscale suburb shopping mall called Bagatelle. That was the weekend routine for them to do a groceries shopping and to have a decent lunch besides having a tasteless chinese food most of the time during weekdays.

I didn't have lunch there coz eating out is fcuking expensive. For a good meal it cost between 200 to 250 MUR equal to 6 Eur. For the standard of salary Mauritian are paid, I wonder how they manage to eat out and shops around.

I also haven't been working for full month and only paid for a week. The wage is subject to 15% tax (for all employees) and house deposit of 13,000 MUR is deducted too from that little paycheck. I need to plan to survive till the next payday so I bought raw chicken, spices,rice, cooking oil and tupperware. From this week onward I'm going to pack my lunch and never eat out.

Back from the mall I cooked my lunch and boy was I so full of chicken briyani I cooked myself ! Later Saturday another Indonesian colleague drove me to their new rented place in north east of Port Louis. Its a gated community with hotel, clubhouse, river front villas. Their apartment is the villa. It was serene and peacefull. The villas built on the edge of river sort of canal with bridges, to get there cars have to pass through a winding road with rough cobble stone.
 I was looking around on best place to live as the place I'm currently staying only temporary under a month contract. The villas of 2 storey comprise of 2 bedroom with 2 ensuite bathroom upstairs and livng/kitchen downstair. This sort of place of course not cheap to rent, it is 24,000 per month. For a shared place it would be ok to pay half but for 1 I don't think I can afford that.

I stayed there for good couple hours hangout with newly married Indonesian couple. On the way back to my place we dropped by at the indonesian colleague I was with in the morning. He is leaving Mauritius for good before Xmas holiday break. The landlord is looking for his replacement. I think the area is very rouge and the 2 storey house is kinda old. Its only a very basic living, to get to the house one has to pass over narrow street full of yobs and homeless.

I decided the villas is too expensive and far to commute, the second old bungalow is not condusive to live, my current place is the best so far. Athough Port Louis itself is difficult to walk around and unsafe at some point, I just have to get use to it. Adapting my best till how long I could.

Weekend has passed its a new week to endure. The jetlag that still running in me works on my way. Hope it can last longer. Coming from 4 hours ahead of time difference making me wakes up 4 hours early and feeling sleepy early. By 6am I feel awaken from asleep, the sun rises at 5.30 am this summer time in Mauritius.

I had to return the company's phone they lend me for easy navigating during my 1st week. Now I'm phone-less. Fortunately I have an un-secured wifi link in my apartment complex for my netbook. Thanks to that, I wouldn't have access to internet to blog and rambling about my misery...1 or 2 bars signal sufficient. Can't get a hold on life outside without internet.

At work the internet only accesible to familiar website not even mail-based site, no yahoo no google mail.

Its blocked. Apparently because of internet abuse among younger coleagues, the employer blocked some site. Internet shops is nowhere to be seen so far. I have come prepared to this..With iphone I bought back home and prepaid 1GB download limit, I'm able to connect wih friends and family by email and through social networking site.

I have managed to convince my landlord to decrease the monthly rent to 11,000 MUR equal to 300 Eur. It was from 15,000, my employer got it for 13,500 and now I got it 11,000 MUR. And tonight I have paid my first month rent, the deposit 13,500 was paid in advance by employer and was deducted from 1st paycheck. The other day the landlord came by meeting me up and replaced the tv to the new plasma one. That allows me to watch satelite channel and keeping up with latest world's news of BBC World.

The old tv has only 3 channels of Croele, Indian channel and international program BUT all programs are French and are dubbed in French if not! That left me with nothing to watch!

For most of the time the Creole channel shows their tradition of dancing, they are having a summer festival. Its bizarre seing a group of nearly half naked young girls dancing a-la- bootylicious on a stage. It was sort of a live show from somewhere in the local village. And there was singging and dancing competition of a local standard.

Mauritius a once French colonised country, local speaks French, Creole and depending on ethnic, Tamil and sub indian language is spoken. But English also widely spoken.

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