Letters of Life

The Myth That Is Mauritius

Like a carbochon embedded in a tiara of islands in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has long been something of a myth to me.

Some 40 years ago, my mother’s youngest sister married a Chinese Mauritian doctor she’d met while in nursing school in London. They settled down in Mauritius. At a time when people travelled at most regionally, they visited Singapore often when I was growing up, and the word “Mauritius” was as much a part of my childhood vocabulary as it remained an exotically remote  island as perhaps Guam or Fiji are to most people.

Through the years, it maintained its mythic status by remaining a relatively expensive destination.

Tomorrow will be my first time travelling with my mum to this fabled island of azure waters, powder white sand, wildlife, and  hidden waterfalls.

Coincidentally, a musician friend who travels the world on global missions will be there this very same weekend.

The coincidence is so remarkable as to make it quite an unlikely one, for this trip was unplanned at my end, and the travelling minister is a globetrotter who plans his world itinerary well in advance.

Yesterday, he might have been in Kuwait flying today into Kuala Lumpur. Three days later, it’s Kyrgyzstan. It could well be North Korea several days later.

So when I discovered he was going to be in this little island-nation in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean on the same weekend as I, I didn’t take the news lightly.

And I am way psyched, more than I should, at the idea that maybe, if everything works out, I could find myself swimming with the dolphins.

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