Driving in Mauritius could be quite tiring. Chaos everywhere – cars park by the side of the road forcing you to go over to the opposite lane, cyclists or motorcyclists doing just too slow on the road, group of human beings walking along the road, dogs suddenly dashing across the road, small kitten (must be a baby one) crawling across the road when I first left the hotel and probably the same kitten crawled back to where it came from when I returned, chicken crossing the road when I left the hotel and probably another chicken crossing the road when I was back, drunk motorcyclist fell off his bike only to get himself overran by another motorcyclist with a passenger and our van driver nearly ran over these three poor fellows lying on the ground in the dark, people doing weird things on the road with absolutely zero courtesy and anticipation is definitely not any of these Mauritian drivers’ department. You can tell by the amount of shattered glass inside the roundabout.
Gods know why we have chosen to station in the north when the client site is somewhere near the south. Every day we spend 70 minutes going to work and another 50 minutes back. And because taxi is so unaffordable – imagine I paid about S$28 for a 20 minutes drive – we have to wait for one another to get into the vans or cars. You don’t even have the flexibility to go home early or on time. At times, I am glad that I do not have a car during weekdays; I have more excuse to get into the 6.30pm van. As you can see, I am forced to work 9 hours a day, whether I like it or not. Not to forget to mention that the journey is so bumpy and it virtually zaps your energy away.
The hotel is very isolated from any nearby civilization. The only thing you can do is to stare at the beach full of corals that guarantee to bleed your feet should you wish to walk along the beach barefooted. The best thing about staying here is that during weekend, if you manage to be in around 5.30pm, you will be able to observe the most magnificent sunset as the resort is by the coastline facing west. Besides the obvious benefit of staying in a hotel, which is having someone cleanup your place once a day plus changing your towels at night, I can think of none. There is a gym I have not get to use it yet and you could have a good run around the resort that I am going to do it one of these days.
I take it as you will be interested in whom my colleagues are, let me introduce them to you one by one. I was actually on the same flight with 2 girls from KL transiting in Singapore. I did not know until I touched down. Chin Yee is a newly promoted manager and we were in the same eProcess training back in 2 years ago. She was so surprised that I got married and I was so surprised that she got married too. She married an Accenturian while I married an ex-Acian.
David Black from the US office joined the project the same time as me. He is a Catholic coming from the Eastern Church. David’s age could as well be qualified as my dad. Barbara, from the Manila office, also is a Catholic. She is someone in her late thirties whom looks like someone in her early thirties. Worked in the firm for 14 years so you could roughly work out her age. I have to admit that Barbara has a very friendly attitude. Anyway, three of us attained the English mass at 10am and it is interesting to exchange beliefs and opinions with David talking about Eastern and Western churches. David is doing IT security while Barbara is in the PMO doing marketing.
Helen is originally from Australia and is now based in Thailand. Just joined the firm for a year or so and have been working with the government doing some very interesting stuffs that required her to travel to places that I have never ever heard of (somewhere in central Asia). She got her university degree in the year of 1972 – the same year I was born. In this project, she is responsible in the organization piece of work working with John Antony whom is at the organization PMO level.
John is a Singaporean Indian married to a Chinese with two kids. Though I have heard a few unpleasant things about John, at a personal level, he is a respectable individual (whatever it means). He was the one who took me out for a trip last Sunday with her family and the family of our van driver. John is a Catholic too and he was the one who took me to this Catholic Church in Grande Baie.
Of course we have Meng Kiong whom I have worked with in the OCBC day. He is a manager from KL with a very serious look and feel during work. His wife, Catherine, follows him and works as a project EA. Catherine loves to eat and that explains her size. Someone whom I can talk to and who knows, maybe having a good relationship with the project EA may get myself better treated along the way.
And Michel Borst whom I am sure you know and need no further introduction except that he is the program director and his wife Tina has moved to Mauritius because of his job.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have Cin Dee who always sticks around with Kelvin, a Singapore manager, and Jon Song, a Singapore consultant because they have managed to monopolize a car just for their own use. Rumors say that she is going out with Jon. The guy does not seem to deny while Cin Dee herself of course deny. Due to shyness I guess. This trio was branded as the “Radisson Gang” partly because they seldom come out of their circle and mangle with the rest.
Another gang is perhaps what I call the “Van Gang”. We have Gary, a new promote (Consultant) from Singapore who has a rather unique taste in music, Rabin, an Indian Consultant from KL who has a rather arrogant attitude. Reminds me of our good friend Sreepathy. Actually Rabin is quite a nice guy. I would say that girl may find him attractive and he does have a very good body as he exercises often. Rabin is working under David Black doing IT security. Sharon kind of fit into this gang as she really has nowhere else to go.
Another group of people stay in Sunset Boulevard. A very nice place in Grande Baie with shops all around. Ron Lim, a Singapore consultant who has brought his family into Mauritius. That guy may as well be my age but he is married with a 3 years old boy. Amazing. Bee Leng, a Singapore strategy consultant, has a very approachable attitude and a fun person to be with. Jamie, a Singapore analyst (I presume), lived together with Bee Leng and she really have this very cold look. Sometimes really don’t know what she is thinking of. Anyway, the story I owed you is that in a couple of days’ time, it is Jamie’s birthday. Therefore, people wish to celebrate her birthday today at her place. The van gang decided to visit her at about 9pm. At first I wanted to go but the diner with David and Helen lasted too long and hence I have decided against me. Sharon just called me to tell me that the birthday party ended a lot earlier than they thought and no one was able to SMS me in advance as they did not bring along their mobile phone. Trivial.
And we have Jack whom I have met in Bangkok office. He could be a new consultant and is working in the application architecture team. Jack will be rolling of end July and he is so happy about it. Good for him. People always tease Jack and Bee Leng as they are always together. Well, I do see an age gap between them (with the girl who is the older one) but I guess it does not quite matter in this new world. Yung Jin is from the Singapore office, a consultant who I have worked with back in OCBC. The guy who has invited us to his wedding party that if we were to attain, we would have had the chance to see the Singapore PM. He just got married, a case like me, like Chin Yee. Yung Jin and Jack stayed together just next to Jamie and Bee Leng. It occurs to me that they spent a lot of time cooking together at night.
Mei Lin is someone I have worked with in the OCBC days doing the organization piece. In this project, she, as the manager, heads the CRM team having Jamie, Ron, Jon and Sharon working under her. Another Malaysian from the KL office. By the way, Kelvin is the one who heads the CT (credit transformation) team having Gary, Cin Dee and Yung Jin as his team members.
Well, that are all the people I know of. Though we have some others short term personnel but let’s not confuse ourselves now. I am sure there will be more stories coming from the characters that I have described. Hopefully, you will be able to relate to later on.
The Baby Face album is a lot better than the TLC album. However, both are good albums.
Baby, I miss you a lot and really want to go home. As I have difficulties in maintaining my eyes opened, I better finish up fast before I collapse with my two wonder pillows. Let us pray that I will be with you very soon. Can’t put up with this place no more and seriously speaking, if you are to come and visit, I am sure you will feel bored when I go to work.