Thursday, March 6, 2008

So, you're in Mauritius alone?

It’s as though there’s a worry filter at the entrance of any Mauritian resort, where the friendly island people take my luggage. I pass through and my worries get left behind.

The palm trees, sandy beaches, lazy tourists and enthusiastic birds all contribute to the peaceful atmosphere.

There is only one tiny source of irritation. I receive two welcome drinks, two hot towels and two questions, both the same: ‘Are you alone?’.

Now, I am here alone by choice. This is my time to write, to rest, to dream – and I got a great deal on a flight and hotel to Mauritius. Why pass on it just because everyone else is working? Besides, I am way past the phase where Blue Lagoon type seas and inspiring sunsets make me long for lovers I haven’t met.

I really do like to be alone and just because I haven’t settled into a second rate marriage or found love doesn’t mean that I cannot enjoy the pleasure of a resort getaway in Mauritius.

Later: ‘A table for one? For one? One?’

Perhaps I cannot really blame the locals for assuming everyone is on a romantic holiday here. It’s the perfect setting after all. But what I do not accept is that they automatically assume that because I am here alone, I am looking for romance.

“Can I invite you for a drink tonight?”

“It will be my pleasure to take you out and show you around.”

“I would really like to be your friend.’ (wink, wink)

So I escape to the Pamplemousse garden. Alone! The giant water lilies are a sight that I will never forget. Just to sit here under the palm trees fills my soul with new life. It starts raining. I close my eyes and lift my face to the skies. Fat, warm drops of tropical rain fall on my face.

This, this is what makes me happy: To feel the rain on my skin, the sea sand under my feet and the breeze playing through my hair. This is enough.

Perhaps next time I won’t stay at a resort alone, but rather opt for a guesthouse. But wherever I choose to stay, I will be back. To spend a few days without worries, practice my French and fill up my senses.

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