Archive for the 'Expat Life (A Former Condition)' Category

Flu Shots!

It is likely a very effective program to control the spread of coronavirus: Have the flu? Get Shot!

When India (Almost) Invaded Mauritius

I found this the other day. It is of interest since I spent 9 months in Mauritius. For a little island in the middle of nowhere, and with a population just over 1MM, the political intrigue there is amazing. I guess it is somewhat like the old saw about academia: The fight/arguments are so brutal because the stakes are so small.

The aborted 1983 mission illustrates that India’s ambitions and interests extend beyond the subcontinent.

Source: When India (Almost) Invaded Mauritius

20 Most Beautiful Hotels in the World

20 Most Beautiful Hotels in the World.

I’ve actually been to this one in Mauritius:

dinarobin hotel, mauritius

It’s not like I took some wonderful vacation there. I was working on the island at the time and met some people there for drinks. It’s kind of funny to me that every list of “best” hotels or resorts has one that is on Mauritius. To me the entire coast line of Mauritius pretty much looks like that photo. All the coastal/beach front hotels are wonderful.

The point of the island in this photo is just a few hundred yards down the road from the photo above.

Heh… One of those lists with cool places around the world. And, hey! I’ve been to one of them

10 Unique Ocean Landscapes

#5 on the list is the underwater waterfall off the Southwest corner of Mauritius:

underwater-waterfall-trench-le-morne-mauritius-1

That corner beach had windy conditions every day. It is a world renown kite surfing area. I spent several Saturdays on that beach. The area is known as Le Morne.

The other sites shown on the paged linked to above are very cool too. The #1 spot is on Eleuthera in the Bahamas. I’ve not been to that island, but you can find a very similar situation on Elbow Cay in the Abacos.

Facebook Weirdness

What are the odds that I would have two Facebook friends like the same picture? For most of our Facebook friends the odds are probably quite high, but what about the situation where one friend lives in Africa and the other lives in Minneapolis?

Check it out:

I am amused.

Them Dallas Women Standing Up

Beat the others lying down…

I left a bunch of music behind for some of my friends on the island.

I forgot to leave behind Northeast Texas Women, by Willis Alan Ramsey for my friend that likes mixed race women.

Well, God bless the Trinity River and then that man who is unaware
Of the Northeast Texas women with the cotton-candy hair.

He knows who he is and the song was written with him in mind. All he needs to do is press this button: Give it some time, the island is a long way from my server. I think you’ll enjoy the song.

When you come to Texas, you’ll see that the song is true.

My Flight Back to The Island

Was scheduled to leave in just about an hour and one half.

I’ve rescheduled for later in June.

I may have to go back there to collect money.

I will go back to collect the money.

Guest Lecturer Accommodations

I promised a while back to write about the guest lecturer accommodations. I previously wrote about G, one of our guest lecturers, and that her accommodations were quite special.

G arrived on the island as one of our guest lecturers. She was there for a month. The first week she was there I hardly spoke to her. I was the Dean and I am nothing but the consummate professional. I would be unseemly for a married man to be too friendly with a single woman half his age. Then I went on the terrible, from a personal and business standpoint, trip to Africa.

The trip to Africa was what really changed my whole attitude toward my job, my boss, and formed my opinion about the unlikely long term success of the school.

When I got back from Africa we started talking. Mostly over coffee in the morning. It was during these conversations that I learned that she had not done much other than work while on the island. She also told me about how unsatisfactory her first accommodations were. Typical of the school the accommodations were cheap. This meant that they were dirty.

Cleanliness was a continuing problem with our guest lecturers, they were not given enough time to adjust to the standards of the island. I, once I adjusted, never really found things dirty. Most of the problem was related to construction methods. Everything was constructed with concrete. Every surface was porous. This made everything look dirty, when in fact it was all quite acceptable. The island was quite dusty too. For example, if the they were burning off the sugar cane fields in my neighborhood I would return from work and find everything my apartment coated in dust if I’d left the windows open. I quickly learned not to leave the windows open.

G, after complaining about her first apartment, was moved to the Managing Director’s (MD) home since he was out of town. She shared his place, a three bedroom, two bath house with another employee of the school. Let’s call this employee Jagdish. Jagdish was both our network/computer specialist for the school and the MD’s houseboy. He’s about 25 years old. He’s from India. Typical of devout Hindu males from the Indian sub-continent, he’s had little experience around women. (There is a whole book to be written on this topic. I haven’t looked but there are probably hundreds of books already written on this topic already.) G told me that while watching television in the evenings, Jagdish would ask her all sorts of questions that would be more proper coming from a boy rather than a young man. Jagdish asked G why she didn’t have hair on her legs since he had hair on his. “Don’t women have hair on their legs?” There were other questions of a similar nature. It made for a strange environment for G. She worked all day with our lousy students and then had to go home to a house that had Jagdish in it. She went from one effed up environment to another. Continue reading ‘Guest Lecturer Accommodations’

Adjusting to Life in Dallas

Now that I’ve been back home for a little over two weeks, I am finally getting settled back in to life here in Dallas.

I’ve gone by and visited with the good people at Directional U. It was nice to see them again.

I’ve also gone out with the old hockey team after a recent game. It was almost as if I hadn’t been gone for nine months. They still give me undeserved shit. But I don’t think I’d have it any other way.

I am still adjusting to driving on the right. I continue to look over my left shoulder when backing up. I then notice that something is not correct about the view and then turn and look over my right shoulder. I’ve only driven on the left side of the road a few times, and only when there wasn’t any other traffic present.

It has been odd to have been, just last month, living one life and then just unplugging myself from that and coming home. We are all adjusting to my being back in Dallas. Just last night the Deuce was complaining about something I did. He started his complaint with, “Mom doesn’t do it this way.” I of course reminded him that I’m not Mom. He then said, “But you’ve been gone for nine months!”

I just told him to “get used to it Bud, I’m home.”

I continue to exchange e-mails with my island friends. I miss several of them a great deal. We were having fun together. I was really living a privileged life on the island. I went out for dinner often. I went out for drinks often (probably too much). I could go fishing without having to check the sports schedule of the Deuce. It was really quite nice.

But being back home is nicer. I am enjoying seeing my Dallas friends again. I missed them more than I realized.

I’m back in the kitchen business. I’m going to make a serious run at it this time. I think the opportunity is a really good one.

I’ve still not told many of my island friends about the blog. I’ve told a few, so word will slowly leak out. I guess I’ll continue to keep the name of the school and the island out of the blog as I don’t want it to be easily found by the students (existing and potential). But I will still write about my experiences there. Some on the island won’t like what I have to say. Oh well.

And there is one other thing: Hockey. The Stanley Cup Finals are on. Game five tonight. I’ll be watching. God I missed watching hockey. I can only take so much football. I still don’t understand cricket. But I bet there are precious few islanders that would understand baseball.

The Itinerary

I leave the island at 20:50 tonight. I get to London 12 hours later at 5:50am local time. I then have to transfer from Gatwick to Heathrow. I will have to haul my bags too. I will recheck my bags. I then will leave London for Dallas at 12:15 local (London) time. I arrive in Dallas tomorrow afternoon at 16:50 Dallas time.

It will be 1:50am Thursday morning on the island. Yes, that is a 29 hour trip. It is a bitch.