My flight was supposed to leave at 10 PM on a Sunday. So I was pretty much free for the day. Wanted to go and see some libraries and museums, but as luck would have it, the damn country shuts down on Sunday. The concierge at the hotel suggested I go check out the Sunday market. Ok, so the Sunday market was eminently forgettable, its just a corrugated shed with 3 rows of very tightly packed tiny shops selling basic stuff. Not impressed and there were too many people so couldn't take good photographs anyway. But the trip was good and these photographs are for the trip to the market, the town itself and the trip back.
I had a choice of either taking the local bus or picking up a taxi from the hotel. The bus would have cost 25 rupees while the taxi cost 1500 rupees. Guess what I took like an idiot? sighs. Anyway. The taxi driver that I got was pretty good, very helpful in giving me directions. But what scared the heck out of me was what he had got stuck on his dashboard. Why does he feel the need to have 3 Hindu gods and goddesses looking over his speedometer, his tachymeter and temperature gauge? Very worrying.
Jugnauth Road on the left.
I asked the taxi driver to stop at the local temple. And it was one of the cosmopolitan temples which are so common in Diaspora locations. Unlike India where there is sufficient demand that one can have dedicated temples to just one deity, you will need to have a Deity Mall, so to say, to appeal to a small population which worships a whole bunch of different gods.
There were about 20 odd small temples arranged around one large temple, all under one roof. And you would normally go in front of the temple, pay your respects and pray and then move off. Many go around and worship all the deities religiously. I have seen that here in London as well, perhaps one day I will do a photo essay on that. After me paying my respects and hoping that the gods would have listened to my entreaty about looking after the kids, I pushed off.
This was another curious piece. A whole bunch of different walls seem to have been painted by the Ministry of Tourism. I can understand them wanting to keep the place looking clean but why on earth would you want to stencil the damn ministry name there? To avoid bill posters?
Mr. P&K Sookhee (presumably a Hindi word, it means somebody who is happy) isnt very happy I guess. The posters on the window said that he was having a closing down sale. Not good. Poor chap and I am not sure that he got the irony or would have appreciated me telling him this.
And can KFC be anywhere behind?
I was looking for bookstores which would sell me some books on Mauritius history, culture and stuff like that. So this very kind policeman said that I should nip into the mall. And it was a real life mall, at least 200 big shops, 4 levels. The entrance fronted by Ram Tulsidas :). As i mentioned in my previous essay, the Tulsidas clan in Mauritius seems to be heavy in the fashion industry.
Ah!, now this is more like it. Baboojee Healthy Food, serving chicken burgers, chips, with curry sauce, chicken tikka burgers, special vegetarian meals and the lot. Heh, my kind of vendor, i love his definition of healthy food :). And the lady had lovely hair as well :)
And education is important. This seems to be an affiliated body to the University of Mauritius, educating the good citizens of Mauritius in advanced Computing. Good.
Mootoo (can be read as a Hindu word for Fatso). Well, if you keep on snacking, you will get seriously Mootoo, just look at me.
Another rather interesting combo. A French language sign for a Gujarati restaurant, which seems to specialise in Chinese, Mauritarian and Italian cooking. You cant get any more globalised than that, can you?
Cheshire Homes which is good but that’s not what caught my eye. What did catch my eye was the road sign. Overhead Irrigation? Those are electricity wires. Just what are these islanders growing that requires electricity to feed them from overhead? heh.
Remember what I said about the fascinating colour choices of the islanders? See this one, bright orange and bright pink. Makes one go, what on earth? How do people manage to live in those places? Permanent sunglasses, I bet :)
Anyway, that’s the end of my photoessays on my trip to Mauritius. Hope you enjoyed it. The full high resolution slide show is here.