Letter to Cynthia: Quite an Interesting Weekend

How was your weekend?  Mine was kind of interesting.  You shall see.   Well, my weekend started on Friday night.  For the past one week, I have had a car shared with those who stayed in the new hotel.  Believe me, I don’t quite like driving in Mauritius.  The traffic was so chaotic.  Cars, motorcycles, cyclist, and pedestrians can just come out from anywhere.  Besides, the roads are very bumpy.  In short, driving here can be quite tiring.

Anyway, back to Friday.  I have to pass the car key back to the owner and I can only collect my weekend car (2 managers per car during weekend) at the hotel.  Wee Leoung has returned to Malaysia for good.  Hence, only left myself, Chun Keat (the new KL analyst, 27 years old guy) and Denis from Philippine (34 years old guy).  We kind of click really well.  Rabin, an Indian from Malaysia (28 years old guy) wanted to join us to have dinner at Port Louis (the capital halfway between the client place, Curepipe, and where the rest are staying, Grande Baie).  Absolutely no problem.  To paint you a better picture, Rabin is a social animal.  He has a certain charm and definitely he had plenty of girlfriends before.  Besides, he is real rich (driving 2 cars back in KL and his dad takes helicopter to work).  Denis and Rabin click really well.

Anyway, we had a dinner somewhere and went over another place to have beer.  Well, the purpose is that having drinks at the bar is expensive (relatively, but still cheaper than in Singapore) and we have discovered a real cheap place to have beer.  Some more, you can sit by the port and have some decent quiet and dark place to drink and chat.  The idea was that each of us would buy one round of beer.  Ideally, we would have four rounds of beer before heading to Grande Baie.  As expected, Chun Keat was the one who stopped at the 3 rd round.  Actually my tolerant level has gone up somewhat.  Usually after 2 cans of beer, I am kind of pass out.  The topics we have covered were not surprisingly – sex.  In fact, it was Rabin and Denis who have contributed the most.  They were the real bad guy trying to talk Chun Keat into getting laid on Friday night.  I kind of played along but knowing that Chun Keat has a girlfriend back home (he told us that she was only a half-half girlfriend), I told him not to listen to them when they had their bathroom break.  Why half-half, well, I think he has committed 100% when the girl only commits 50%.

We were supposed to check out a new place called “Star Dance” at 10pm meeting up those guys and ladies in Grande Baie.  At 10pm, we were still at Port Louis.  All of us (except Rabin who lives up North) had a shower and off we went.  Rabin drove because I trust him.  3 cans of beer means nothing to him.  By the time we reached Grande Baie, it was about 11pm.  The plan was we shall have another round of drink (he got whisky) at his place and he needed to take a shower too.

Oh, while we were in Port Louis, Catherine (our project EA as well as Meng Kiong, my supervisor’s wife) called me telling me that Tina (Michel Borst’s wife) preferred to go to Banana cafe.  That was fine with me.  By the time we arrived at Grande Baie (2 hrs late), I couldn’t find anyone in Banana cafe.  Coincidentally, while I was on my way back to the car (I got down while others remained in the car), Meng Kiong drove past me.  Catherine told me that she called it a night.  However, the rest of the gang was coming over to Banana cafe as the crowd there was too ‘local’.  Fine with us.  Soon, Tina, Michel Borst, and Sharon (the Malaysia analyst) has arrived and Tina bought us the first round of Tequila.

After midnight, we entered into the disco.  The dance floor was pretty empty and we started the dance together.  Michel then bought me another beer.  Though I could drink a few more glasses.  I stopped there.  Only use that bottle of beer that Michel bought in quenching my thirst throughout the night.

The music was kind of techno in the beginning.  I am fine with Techno.  In fact, I begin to like techno.  Soon, Barbara (the Filipino), Geoffrey (the American) and Helen (the Australian) all arrived.  The party got a lot hotter.  The music also changed into quite pop (like having “It’s My Life”).  All the gang were so amazed that I danced all the way till 3am non-stop.  Even when they all rested and I danced all alone.  They thought that was weird.  To me, it is just the music and my move and nothing else.  Doesn’t matter whether they are there or not.

Plan A was to let Chun Keat to drive the three of us home.  I thought he had more drink than he could handle so I didn’t think it would be a good idea.  Plan B was to let Denis drive but by the time he got to the back seat, he fell asleep.  Rabin doesn’t live with us in the hotel and hence, I have to drive.  Surprisingly, I could drive OK.  I mean really OK.  The conclusion is that the alcohol kind of pass my system after 3 hrs of exercise and I am hyper active.

Took everyone back home safe and woke up at 11.30am the next day.

As you can see, Saturday was half gone the moment I woke up.  The plan was that three of us tour around Mauritius during the day time but Denis was having a hangover (that makes me think twice about his tolerance level).  So Chun Keat and I ended up shopping around Port Louis while Denis has his good rest.  Come to think of it, Saturday is the only time I can really shop around in Port Louis as the shops close after 6pm during week day and only open on Saturday.  What a country!  I tried to buy something special for you but the things here are not that special.  Don’t think you are really into sea shells.  And besides, the price is really steep.  In the end, I bought a frig magnet instead.  Hope you like it.

At 4pm, as planned, 3 of us left the hotel and headed towards Grande Baie.  The plan was to go to the supermarket and to buy some beers and wines for the house warming party.  Others cooked.  The party was at 5pm but I suggested we going to a beach nearby to watch the sunset.  Hence, 3 of us went to a beach, watched the sunset with a can of beer each.  That’s life.

The house that Kelvin (Singapore manager) and John (Singapore consultant) rented is really out of the way.  But it is real big.  I mean gigantic in my standard.  (Talk to myself: don’t get jealous, don’t get jealous).

In the party, everyone turned up.  Ron (Singapore consultant) brought along his wife and son and guess what, the host of the party put on America Pie (VCD).  The video is about sex and so on and we have a kid under the same roof!  Gosh!

After the party was ended, we returned to the hotel with one additional passenger, Sharon.  She has decided to move to our hotel.  Oh no!

Sunday is the Lord’s day of course.  9.30am, me and Denis left the hotel (oh, by the way, we had sparkling wine to go along with our breakfast) and reached the church just before 10am.  Barbara (just moved to Grande Baie) came with Jon Antony (Singapore senior manager) late.  In fact, I brought along my guitar thinking that we may practice some hymns at the end of the Mass.  Christine (Australian woman) forgot to bring along the book so we were ‘glad’ and left the church at about 11pm.

Barbara, Denis and myself wanted to have our lunch then but the restaurant was not opened yet.  You see, three of us always have lunch together after Mass.  It is a Catholic kind of thing.  So we visited some shops that opened in the morning to kill some time.

When we finished our lunch, Denis wanted to go home and work.  So I traveled all the way back to the hotel to drop him off (that was when you called me) and Chun Keat changed his mind and decided to follow me for an adventure.

We then drove to the North East side of Mauritius.  The weekend kind of fine until here.  You shall see why.  Get prepared.  Bear in mind that I am safe and sound now in the hotel room.

After going through all the not so interesting villages, we have reached the east coast and decided to go for coastal drive.  At the first beach we have reached, we got off the car.  In fact, I didn’t feel safe at that beach but Chun Keat really needed to pee.  There wasn’t any toilet so he decided to walk to somewhere secluded.

We got off the car and I managed to take some photos near the beach.  I swear I saw two guys followed him into the small road and I wasn’t brave enough to enter the wood with him.  And at the same kind, there was an Indian cutting into my path while I was making my way to the car.  He spoke with me in English but I acted mute.  I didn’t reply and pointed here and there.  He was confused and I took the chance to step to the car and opened the door.  He did not try to get in but he was touching my car here and there.  While I was inside the car, I saw Chun Keat came out of the wood stared at my direction and disappeared to the bushes again.  I gathered he had not peed yet.

In the end, the guy told me that he wanted money.  So I pulled out some coins, opened my car window just enough to pass the coins over.  I tried to wait for a while but there was a group of local cyclists coming to my direction.  The last thing I wanted to have a group of 10 people stop my car in this neighborhood.   So I made a decision to drive off so as not to get myself stuck.  They tried to follow but gave up after a few corners.  I timed myself and made a u-turn.  Just in time to see Chun Keat emerged from the bushes.  I horned and he came running at the car.  I picked him up, made a u-turn (dead end in front) and drove off at record speed.

And that was our little adventure.  In the end, we got home safe.  Once again, thanks God.

Well, we did manage to see some beaches but I think I can classify the beaches in Mauritius in two types.  The one with big waves and the one without.

Okay, at least I now kind of know where are the not so safe area.

On This Day US Gained Independence

Today is US Independent Day.  Only when we went to Hard Rock Café did we realize it.

Okay, woke up late and didn’t feel very well.  Decided to see a doctor and ended up seeing one of the doctor in the apartment.  Interesting to know that even the doctor refuses to take the ice cube in the restaurant and he even suggested to wash the apple with warm water.

Took one day off and went out for shopping.  Spent most of the day watching MTV.

The best was yet to come.  That was our (Kenneth, CC, and I) first time visit to Hard Rock Café.  Had a delicious meal (the most decent place in Jakarta) and they left the place just when the live band appeared.  For me, I stayed on and danced till two in the morning.

Only when I stepped into the taxi did I feel scared.  I mean just me alone, and single and the driver (to me a small boy under eighteen) kept on telling me that the strip show is very exciting so on.

I am a decent guy right?  Must live up to my decent reputation.

Good Time Bad Time

Ridicules as it seems, I called up JP at three last night.  She sound very cheerful and oh, how much I miss her sweet voice.  Been talking about work here and there and her ex-ex, J, called just before we broke up and returned all her photo albums to her.  Also, she got herself a mobile phone.  So, life seems to work out really good for her.  As for mine, it is just a mess.  God, how can I ever get out of this?

I ended up not being able to sleep for the whole night and went to sleep at 7 am.  Obviously, I couldn’t get up.  Eventually, I walked into the office at 10:30 am.  Sophie was “concerned” and I quickly went up and apologised.

The office was very empty today.  Guess a lot of them took Friday off and have 4 consecutive days of holiday.  Other than Aurore and Claude, all of us were in the office.

At five, everybody started to leave and I left at 5:30 pm.  Usually early.

Laurent has invited me for a party tonight and therefore, he picked me up from my hotel.  More and more people joined in and in the end, I have lost count of the total number of people.  I guess that was around fifteen.

We went to this Chinese restaurant with Karaoke.  Started from 7:30 pm and we all stayed up to 2 am.  Kind of crazy but I was having a great time.  Laurent’s girlfriend is a Vietnamese and is actually very pretty.  The songs varied from Cantonese to Mandarin to English to French to even Vietnamese.

It was a great party and when Laurant drove me back to the hotel, we shared a lot of our personal life.  He is a great guy.