Archive for December, 2011

Mandatory away from home food mention #2

I went to Pizza Hut. I think I might make it my mission to go to a one in every country I visit. Because I’m sad undoubtedly, and because I really like deep pan, but more than that, they’re like a cultural microcosm. In Indonesia, they served avocado milkshakes, in Mauritius, Tikka Masala pizzas, in Altrincham, hmmmm let’s see, other than pizza, garlic bread and lasagne, tres exotic.

Once the world of diplomacy has tired of me (quite soon I imagine), I might see if I can get me some funding.

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What a wheeze

Last week, playing pirates with the navy, this week, making small talk with judges. So far, UK diplomatic effort remains intact. But for how long?

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Parlez Vous Anglais?

I tried French but no-one understood me.

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Budget busting

Means that I stayed with the boss at the big boss’s house – he has a cannon in the garden.

Note to self: continue to be on best behaviour for fear of being fired – quite literally.

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P p p pick up a pirate (suspected that is)

Completely forgot to mention the major happening of my week before I left for Mauritius, so apologies as this is completely out of kilter (and date… but please judiciously ignore), but it went something like this*.

Boss: ahoy there, it seems we have ourselves a little pirate situation

Me: aye, aye captain sir, what will that be sir?

Boss: 7 suspected pirates captured by our good ole navy boys, set sail with dogs we must, to sniff out their stash and reportz as we find.

So the boss, the police, the dogs and me, we set sail on a wee boat to meet the big navy boat and finding our way thwarted (a rope ladder up the side of a ship that this lassie were nay for climbing), the boss he were brave n used the ladder, and the dogs and police and me, we were hoisted on – in a big rubber dinghy, like. The dogs they searched the vessels and I’s did the photographing and organising the media folk before hours and hours later, from down the gangway (note: not plank) came some suspected pirates and shiver me timbers, I tell’s you not one of them looked like Johnny Depp.

* what the hell kind of vernacular this is I have no idea, it was meant to be pirate but it ended up just ***t

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Mandatory away from home food mention

Most notable about Port Louis, apart from staying at the hotel where Princess Anne stayed (because it’s the only half decent one,

spin that wheel

not because my employers treat me like a princess, though they should clearly) was the opportunity to eat out, which regular readers will know is a bit of an obsession of mine, mainly because I do it very rarely in Seychelles – quality, variety and value for money being allergies well known to the local restauranteur.

VFM was lacking at the waterfront Namaste restaurant, but they had paneer to die for so I was happy. Better yet, was the Chinese above it, Grand Ocean, which me and the boss went to the next day and feasted on chilli squid and prawns and spring rolls and fried rice and…it was heaven. The only thing that would have topped the evening would have been sitting at a table with a lazy susan (yes, I’m that easily pleased), but that would have been sad as there was only two of us and well, I’m not sure the boss would have found it funny if every time he reached for more food, I gave old Susy a spin, though it would have amused me no end.

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Weekend waterfront

Port Louis, the Mauritian capital, is  a strange place. To be fair, I’ve never really had the time to properly explore, and am usually based on the waterfront, a tourist enclave that I’m sure is not at all representative of the real city, which seems like a hodge podge of development. Among the ugly office buildings are occasional flashes of what it must have once been like, a park full of Banyan trees, a palm tree fronted colonial building, narrow streets with local shops not much more than cupboards, all obscured by bad planning and choking traffic. I had two nights to spend there, though I was not alone. I was with the boss.

Best behaviour then. Oh, I’m sooo good at that.

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Air Seychelles ‘repositioning’

The world’s got smaller. After many rumours and protestations to the contrary, Air Seychelles  announced that it will be ‘repositioning’ i.e cutting its routes to Europe. No longer will we be able to fly ‘direct’* to London from January nor Paris from March, if we fancy a proper pint in a proper pub or some parlez vous – ing Francais in Paris (much needed by me I would say). This is annoying for us but even more annoying for the staff who work for Air Seychelles, a signifcant employer in the country. The President has announced that other airlines will help with their redeployment i.e. Qatar Airways, Emirates & Etihad (and the common theme is…) so we’ll see.  It’s an expensive business running your own airline for sure, so I hope it works out for everyone.

Meanwhile, I best get saving the airmiles.

* if by direct you mean stopping on the tarmac of some airport for an hour

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Work life balance

With next to no notice, a Social Seychelles pub quiz was hastily arranged as work decided that I needed to go to Mauritius and Air Seychelles decided all its flights were full. This meant staying from Saturday to Saturday. Don’t get me wrong, getting to travel with work is great but at what cost to my social life eh? Wreaking havoc on our hard partying lifestyle – the other one left to dance round the living room on his own…shame.

With A also on the move, and she’s the pub mistress extraordinaire after all, there was little room for manoeuvre, and with less than a week to go, a pub quiz was called. I was a bit worried there’d be bugger all people about, but work put in a good show as did other Social Sey pub regulars, and it was another great evening, full of interesting facts; did you know that the Pakistan telecomms agency has banned more than a 1000 words from texts for being offensive, really bad words like mangos, lavender and pud? Leading me to conclude that having swearwords is far b***** y easier and so much more satisfying.

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