Week 12 (Starting March 20th)
A little note for this week numbering, that might seem foreign to most of you. In Denmark, everything is counted in weeks, instead of giving actually dates. So for example, the kids might be on holidays during week 26 and 27 – and everybody will know what you are talking about.
There is a good, but little, tiny, section in the daily newspaper l’Express, called Who Cares? It is usually just one picture and a few lines about mostly environmental problems on the island. The small things, here and there, nobody really cares about and nothing much is done about on the council side of things. I think it is individuals who sends pictures and/or complaints to the paper who then helps to get things moving.
The floating wreck at Anse-la-Raie is the problem in todays edition. This wreck has been there for a few months and nobody seems in too much of a rush to get it out.
So I have learned something today (in French one would say: I will go cleverer to bed tonight!). A ‘Anse’ is a small and shallow bay. You will see the word used quite frequently around the island, actually also in Rodrigues, La Réunion, Seychelles… Anse-la-Raie is located about 12-15 min from Grand Baie. It is a bit a forgotten place, I have driven there quite often, it always seems rather quiet. The place is well known to local kite surfers though.
Fabulous news in l’Express today! Getting rid of bigger things like fridges or an old mattress has always been a bit of a problem on the island. You have to get a special truck to come and pick up your larger items, as these are the only ones allowed to get to the garbage dumps. And then you couldn’t even be sure it went where it was supposed to. You could also call the garbage people and ask them kindly when they would a space for your old stuff – and the answer is nearly always: not today! Well now in Flacq and all the 23 villages around there will be a truck picking up the big trash everyday through the week. So since Saturday they had already been to 5 villages.
In the Défi there is an article about the World Happiness Report is out. This year number 1 goes to Norway. Mauritius is number 64th worldwide, and number 2 in Africa (behind Algeria!). This probably means that of all the corruption in the African countries, Mauritius is after all not that bad… or maybe it’s really bad and that’s how it got to number 2. Ha! anyways I wonder what the Mauritians think about their African classification, but on a worldwide scale it’s probably about fair.
To go along with my posts about slavery in Cape Town, an article today in L’Express about Mauritius’ role in the slave market. The article is written by Vijaya Teelock, a local historian, and she reflects on the need for Mauritius to accept and acknowledge the island’s history when it comes to slavery in the Indian Ocean. She calls for an Intercontinental Slavery Museum in Port Louis. You can read it here.
Today I finally managed to get to a newsagent and get a copy of the new baby in Mauritian papers, “Bonzour! Votre Zournal toulezour!”, “Hello! Your paper everyday”. Obviously that slogan sounds much better in creole… It’s a paper for those who want lots of local news and stories, and a minimum of international news, fast. Lots of small articles, easy to read, mostly in French, a few in English in the ‘English Corner’ (smart). There are lots of stuff I could write about here, but I have narrowed it down to 2. There is a 2 page article about supermarkets and the older shops, how they disappear, how people prefer the supermarket, for the same reasons as everywhere – nothing new there. Except the shop in the picture, is a shop I have wanted to take a picture of for ages. We drive past it everyday going to school and I always thought it had something. “Laboutik Ros” (the shop in stone) is over 70 years old. It was the first one of the village Bois-Chéri Road. The current owner is 75 and has been there for 35 years. Cute!
In the ‘English Corner’ they have a section called ‘today’s topic‘ and though this has nothing to with Mauritius directly – I am still going to write about it. New Information about Sugar: well, the old part is that sugar is worse for you than fat. No surprise there. However a team of scientist in the UK has found a link between sugar and Alzheimer. That’s worse news. In an easy way the article explains why nobody should drink litres of Cola everyday. Jamie Oliver is one chef that has been vocal about how bad sugar is, and I applaud him for it. I truly dislike all these companies who only think about their bottom line, and couldn’t care less about the health of their customers. Here is the link to the article in The Telegraph.
Maybe it’s just the mood of Friday afternoon, and after a couple of papers I don’t really find anything I like. Well there are enough things to write about, but it’s all doom and gloom. Corruption. Drugs. Legalisation of drugs. Q mother who left her 2 week old on the floor of a mosque. oh and more corruption. So the least depressing has to be the (quite usual) call for gandia legalisation – gandia is the local name for cannabis. We do have a small community of Rastafari on the island. I never knew much about their movement apart their obvious taste for pot and believe me I felt very silly when I discovered that it is actually a religion. Am I really the only one who didn’t know that? tell me no!! Please. Just 2 quick lines about the actual belief system, because really this needs much more thought than the link from legalizing marijuana: Basically they believe that Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia is a reincarnation of Jesus Christ and their saviour. They refer to him as ‘Jah’. Rastas in Mauritius want the Creole (Mauritians from African decent) to recognise their African identity which is undermined by Babylon, the white supremacist…
That’s it peops! Have a lovely week-end!