Don't Have to Set Up a Tent After All!

After looking for a place to rent for over three months, I've finally found a house. As usual, it was pretty last minute with one and a half weeks to go before my moving out date.

But what a house! Yes, I am paying a fortune for it (and, of course, some of it in Euros), but it is huge. I am now the proud to-be-renter of a "villa" with 4-bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 living rooms, a study and an atelier. I've never had so much space in my life and I'm sharing it with only my two kids. I fear we'll be wandering the halls like lost souls in space. My daughter is worried about my son and I being lonely next year when she'll leaves to study abroad and says that I need to find a man by then. It's a novel idea; get a man to fill a house ...

The atelier is ideal, because I've long wanted space to do Reiki and other "spiritual life coaching" in and now I no longer have any excuse to put it off. So apart from the excitement of moving, I'm also getting worked up about the business I'll be starting.

There is no internet connection in the house, so I might be offline for a couple of weeks until Intelvision sets up my connection. I have pre-posted the Wordless Wednesdays and hope to post something inbetween from the internet cafe.

That's if I ever come down the hill. My only regret is that I'll be leaving Bel Ombre and moving to Glacis. Visto Do Mar Estate is a pretty swanky area, but I shall miss the atmosphere of Bel Ombre and the proximity to the beach.

Thank you to all my well-wishers; I am sure the "good vibes" really helped.

Off to new shores! Or hills, as that may be ...

Ingrid Betancourt Swaps One Jungle for Another

It seems everybody who is somebody feels the need to visit Seychelles at some point or another. We've had Brad Pitt, Prince William and maybe even Jim Morrison gracing our shores with their luminance.

Now, Ingrid Betancourt is on a (much-needed I'm sure) holiday here after her 6 year ordeal in the Colombian jungle. It turns out that she lived here for two years in the early Eighties and had the dubious pleasure of giving birth to one of her children in Victoria Hospital. And, according to this article, even indulged in a spot of wet-nursing whilst here.

Sarcasm aside, I truly wish the poor woman has a good holiday here with her kids. If anyone needs the peace of Seychelles, she does.

Who next, I wonder? Obama? He seems to be as keen on indulging his wanderlust as the last Pope...

Desperately Seeking Rental Accommodation

Just like many others on this island, I'm looking for a house or flat to rent in the north of Mahé.

My landlord is tearing the house down in the beginning of August so that he can build executive flats to rent out in Euros. There is hardly an owner on the island these days who is willing to rent out in Seychelles Rupees. This is largely thanks to the developers of Eden Island and some of the new luxury hotels who are more than happy to shell out their foreign exchange to accommodate their staff.

What, I wonder, will happen when these people finish building their own houses (as is planned)? The bubble is bound to burst then and all these renters will be stuck with their over-priced apartments and houses.

I put an ad on Seybay, our local online classifieds site and got a phone call from someone today who is renting out a 3-bedroom flat in Beau Vallon for Euros 1000. On the black market (which is how everbody calculates these days) that is SR 20'000. I could manage Euros 500 if pushed, but even that is a ridiculous amount.

Two years ago, you could get a nice 3-bedroom house in North Mahé for SR 6000 per month. That's bad enough considering that the average wage here is SR 3'500 a month. This is why most single people stay with their parents until well into their 30s.

Sleeping on the beach is dangerous these days, so I don't even have that option.

I live in hope of a miracle...

New Online Community for Seychellois and Friends

I found this site a few days ago and just signed up. It's still in beta, so it's too early to tell whether it will take off and how many people are actually going to participate. So far, 11 male members (sic) and 27 female members have signed up.

This is their tagline: Join our online community for both Seychellois and international friends of the Seychelles! Fill in your profile, upload photos, discuss, buy, sell and / or trade items in our Forum, chat and more!

And this is from their FAQ: Do people actually meet on your site? Do they ever get married? Thousands of people meet on our site daily and go on to date and start relationships. We've also had hundreds of marriages across many borders. To see for yourself, check the site for real stories of real connections.

Umm, thousands out of the 11 guys and 27 gals?

The confirmation email upon registration is not immediate. I'm still waiting for it. Still, the slowness gives it that certain Seychellois touch...

Sunset Video from Beau Vallon Beach

The sunset is like that practically every day here, yet I can never get enough. This one's for all you guys out there who don't get to see it daily.

Wish I could swim that fast...

Jim Morrison Alive and Kicking in the Seychelles?

The Daily Mail interviewed the Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek and this is what he had to say: 'I often wonder if his death has been an elaborate charade,' and 'Jim was a restless soul, always looking for something else in life, and even six years of success - and excess - with The Doors hadn't been enough for him. A year earlier, he had shown me a brochure for the Seychelles and said: "Wouldn't this be the perfect place to escape to if everyone believed you were dead?'
I'll keep my eyes peeled for an old doped up white guy. It would help if I had one of those nifty FBI aging programmes.

If you're reading this Jim, get in touch. It would be a gas to hang out at your pad. Far out, man. Groovy, baby.

Maybe Elvis is here, too...

The Coral Strand Hotel is Open Again - Sort of...

Contrary to everybody's expectations, the Coral Strand reopened as planned on 1st July. It's not open to the public yet and they have a total of 2 hotel guests. Some staff are working and the small kitchen is open to cater for the lonely guests. I don't envy them at all. Imagine going on holiday to a place touted as paradise and having to live in a hotel where the renovations are still ongoing.

So many people have come to this blog searching for information on what is happening at the Coral Strand this week, that I felt I had to do my duty. Intrepid reporter that I am, I snuck up this afternoon to take some pictures.

This is the front entrance of the newly 4-star rated hotel. The rooms are still as tiny as ever, far too small for a 4-star. And what is that thing on the left? A gatehouse of sorts to keep all us plebians out?

I can't see that anything has been changed at the bistro, except that it's obviously closed. No lunch or tea whilst gazing at the sea for the hotel guests.

Nor any lounging around the pool, unless the highlight of the holiday is watching the builders doing whatever it is they're doing.

I suppose the guests could always sit in this weird pavillion thingy whilst watching the labourers. Wonder why they replaced the lovely thatched roof with this circus tent and chairs reminiscent of the 1970s?

Is this one of the lonely guests? I took this picture during what are usually happy hours at the Coral Strand, so perhaps it's just some lost soul looking for a beer and a bit of cheer at the still closed pool bar. No joy for him, either way...

I feel really sorry for those poor guests. The management was very shortsighted in thinking the renovations would be done in two months (everybody told them it wasn't going to be possible in the Seychelles), but I reckon they were too greedy to pass up on the few bucks they could make. It's sheer irresponsible to take in clients and charge them the newly hefty prices for a lousy holiday. They should have moved them to another hotel and paid the difference.

I wonder how many other poor suckers are arriving this week for their holiday in hell...

UPDATE: Food Crisis? It's Napa Land here all the way.

UPDATE: I've noticed many visitors to this blog still read this post, although it's from 2008. Do we still have a food crisis here in Seychelles?

I don't believe we have. Oh, of course our supermarkets are not as full as those in Europe, but we're doing pretty ok. We even have a mini local supermarket chain called Kanu's that is very well stocked. They import a brand called Emborg, which I strongly suspect is EU overproduction for export (but, hey, it's still good stuff).

Prices are higher than ever, though...


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More