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Archive for the ‘Expat Living’ Category

Hat NOT optional

A couple of caveats lead into this post, the first being that, yes, I have lived outside the good old US of A for going on twenty years now. The second, perhaps even more obvious to frequent readers, is the fact that my take on most Republicans is that they’re morons, evil or self-centered assholes, or, often, all three. The point in putting provisos in paragraph one? Fair warning.

I’ve managed to ignore most of the issue that’s now referred to by the unlikely title of “birtherism”, but in my time off from writing about annoyances this one has grown beyond the boundaries of ignorance … ignorability … whatever … into that dimension we used to call “The Twilight Zone”, but now has gone really scary.

An article in Slate that reports 45% of Republicans saying President Obama was not born in the US had me giggling … at first … with the thought that about that wide a margin in the GOP hasn’t quite got the scoop on Hawaii actually being a state. Although that’s probably true, it gets worse:

Among Republicans, 45 percent believe he was born abroad, while only 33 percent say he was born in the United States. More than a dozen state legislatures have discussed or are discussing “birther bills” that usually seek to force presidential candidates to prove their birthplace, although at least five states have been reluctant to actually turn the bills into law. Oklahoma could soon become the first with a vote expected next week.

What a fucking waste of time and money! And that’s not even bringing up the idiot factor.

As mentioned, I’ve not followed the the buildup to this pile of smelly residue, so followed this link to, TA DAAAA!, “Where it all began”, and am forced to admit it makes even less sense now.

That theory first emerged in the spring of 2008, as Clinton supporters circulated an anonymous email questioning Obama’s citizenship.

“Barack Obama’s mother was living in Kenya with his Arab-African father late in her pregnancy. She was not allowed to travel by plane then, so Barack Obama was born there and his mother then took him to Hawaii to register his birth,” asserted one chain email that surfaced on the urban legend site Snopes.com in April 2008.

Another early version of the theory, reported by the Chicago Tribune in June 2008, depended on a specious legal theory that was, for a time, the heart of the argument: that Obama was born in Hawaii but had a Kenyan father, and his mother was only 18 years old. Therefore, under existing immigration law, he was not eligible for automatic citizenship upon birth — a claim that depended on an understandable, but incorrect, reading of immigration law. Other theories suggested that Obama lost his U.S. citizenship when he moved to Indonesia or visited Pakistan in violation of a supposed State Department ban as a young man. (There was no such ban.)

A birth certificate was produced — produced as in “handed over by the State of Hawaii”, not “run off with the help of Photo Shop” — but apparently proved about as much to “birthers” as any old piece of paper might, not surprising when many dedicated to the concept of Obama being foreign-born most likely have fake diplomas from Whatsamatta U hanging on their walls.

FactCheck.org, the non-partisan website, was allowed to examine the physical copy of the birth certificate in August 2008, and concluded it was real, that it had a raised seal, a signature and met all the State Department criteria for proof of citizenship. Combined with the state’s recognition that the record was real—and contemporary newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth, submitted by the hospitals —they concluded that he was a natural born citizen.

Hawaii has repeatedly confirmed the document’s authenticity.

“I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai’i State Department of Health verifying Barrack (sic) Hussein Obama was born in Hawai’i and is a natural-born American citizen,” one exasperated state official said in 2008 and again in 2009 in a statement.

“Of course, it’s distantly possible that Obama’s grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case their grandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president someday,” FactCheck concluded. But, “those who choose to go down that path should first equip themselves with a high-quality tinfoil hat.”

As 2012 looms … as an election year or the end of the world, you make the call … those tinfoil hats should be mandatory.

Of course, not all Republicans have fallen under the lobotomy blade …

Some Republicans take the position out of a basic respect for facts, but they also worry about its consequences for their party.

“It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company,” one of the first conservatives to turn against the birthers, talk show host Michael Medved, said in 2009. “I’m not a conspiracist, but this could be a very big conspiracy to make conservatives disgrace themselves.”

Hm.

What if …

Donald Trump has been hired by the Dems to stoke the fire under the bonkers birthers … cuz just maybe he’s needing a few extra bucks for those hair plugs he’s needing … so finds it worth it to make a complete ass of himself on the alter of complete assdome in hopes of either fooling all of the people all of the time or just enough idiots for long enough to be president or make the GOP a laughing stock.

There’s a theory …

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Treading water while burdened by worry prompts a shutdown. A bit of verse and some photos on offer, though:

Hue Cares?

Not ice, nor powder
no robin’s egg,
no nothing royal
neither slate nor steel,
electric or baby
Cyan’t and indon’tgo …
just BLUE

Thankfully, there are kids!

Cj in her birthday crown

Birthday Strawberries

Beautiful Girls! Cj and Amber ...

Sam waters Alex

Photos by JP and Christine Larose. Thanks!

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What a lovely dawn! And bloody good thing, as I’m on Day 2 of no Internet connection. Once again, beauty and BlackBerry save the day, but frustration levels are high.

Yes, I am aware my ISP is called Kokonet and that does convey an image of a company run by Gilligan, so I guess I must now assume he and the rest killed off the Professor.

One truly crazy-making aspect of life on this rock is the un-charming tendency for peeps to answer questions with what they think one wants to hear.

Yesterday, for example, I was told every hour that my connection would be restored, “in about an hour”. Not that that was ever a real possibility, but it must have been assumed the answer would please me.

It didn’t.

Professionalism often here means nothing more than one is paid for what he does, no matter how poorly they do … or don’t do … it, and when their pay is partially supplied by bills I pay for a lack of service … well, pleased I am not.

Do I phone with the request: Lie to me more, please.

Uh … nope.

If I had less work pending, I’d say fuck it and head for a beach, but I do have stacks of things needing doing, and doing online, so I’m heading to town where I will threaten testical removal in hopes that inspires some action, then finding friends with another ISP that may or may not be working in hopes of getting something accomplished.

Sheesh. If only I was Mrs. Thurston Howell the Third! I’d just pour martinis and not bother with work …

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Shit asteroids ...It’s Chinese New Year and today kicks off the Year of the Rabbit.

Because I am a rabbit … a metal rabbit to be exact … today is supposed to begin a year of good luck for me and all the rest of us rabbits, and I am more than ready to be a happy bunny. More than ready, so shall we all give a hallelujah in hopes for a turn of the dial toward easier?

I’d really like to do some bitching today, but can’t. Nope. Can’t. Sure, I have no water, but I do now have an electrical supply again, so that’s something. And the water saga has kept David busy, if not actually repairing the problems … well … at least the ever-more-convoluted set of circumstances screwing up the plumbing and that fact that pretty much everything he touches ends up breaking off in his usually-so-capable hands have his brain running in very active circles, and that must be better than being bored. Heh? Maybe?

No, really … check it out …

A couple of days ago a branch fell off a tree and disconnected pipes from my water tank. Okay? Dave fixed those pipes, but suddenly there was no water coming into the upstairs of the house, or into the solar water heater on the roof. Interestingly, hot water WAS coming out of the cold water taps in the downstairs shower. Hm.

Yesterday he managed to completely bypass the only possible area that might have proven to be the problem, yet … guess what … nothing changed. Well, almost nothing. He did decide to repair the leaking toilet downstairs since there’s no pressure today because someone ran over my neighbor’s meter at the top of the road and that cut off all water to everyone and in doing so broke the bloody toilet thingy. Since the toilet tank is oddly shaped, the only sort of replacement part available in Seychelles doesn’t fit, so he needed to modify that … so it’s fixed … but it leaks.

Ah … before I go any further, I should do a bit of describing of yesterday and our efforts to secure the bits needed to get to the point we’ve reached today …

After calling in support in the shape of an Irish builder named Patrick, it was established that what was needed was a length of 1″ pipe with appropriate fittings. Okay. Off we went to town in search of same.

First stop, Bestway Plumbing Supplies where we were told 1″ pipe was not available, but they did have some of the fittings that would sort of work when we found 1″ pipe at any of the three other places we could look.

There was no 1″ pipe. Loads of 3/4″, but 1″ napa (Kreole for “we ain’t got none.)

We decided to get 25 meters of 3/4″ pipe, but now needed new fittings, so more looking around was required to find those. And we did, eventually, find most, and David spent the rest of the day on the roof hooking all the stuff up to the solar tank, etc..

(By the by … Patrick was completely wrong about the 1” thing.)

As mentioned, this accomplished fuck all. Theory had it that it might be a pressure issue, so he connected the house directly from the mains, rather than the tank, but then someone ran over the meter and disconnected all the water except for that in the tank.

The next phase of whateverthefuck is going on involved no water coming into the house AT ALL. No idea why …

BUT … since there is no water, seemed to David a good time to fix the leaking toilet.
Which broke.
And there are no replacement parts to be had.
So, he fiddled it and got it to fit and to work.
Then, we got a bit of water.
And it leaks.
And now there’s no water again.

But some guys did show up and sort out the mess with the electrical situation so we can turn on the light in the bathroom for mopping up the mess in there.

Okay … now I need to explain a bit about David …

He’s a big, brave man who spends a lot of time jumping from cliffs and flying around on updrafts and also enjoys diving, motorcycles and all sorts of guy things involving guts and brains and adrenalin.

We’re calling his time here a holiday …

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The new pole ... nice, heh?

It’s been a while since I wrote on island life, and with today providing such a classic example of a Monday on the rock it seems an opportunity to make up for the lack of slice-(wrists)-of-life posts.

As my dear friend, Gay, insists, it’s never easy, but it is worth it, and I’m happy enough to agree with her on this, the last day of January, 2011.

The morning began at 6, as it usually does. The routine goes something like this: drag my ass out of bed, make tea, glean the house for all the bits and pieces that are to go to school with the kids, brush teeth, check mail, shower, then do the drive to town, after which I’ll work for a few hours while sporadically enjoying this fab view from the veranda where my computer sits between me and said view.

The routine took a few hits today though since 1) the cooking gas had run out, so making tea was interrupted, 2) the Internet connection was up and down more than a politician’s zipper, and 3) there was no water, so so much for the shower.

Thankfully … very thankfully … I have David here for a few weeks, a man who goes by many titles … Lovely Dave, Handsome Hunk, He’s Helpful (That one from Cj), Cuddle Champ … and Mr. Fixit. He began collecting hero points before 6:15 when he found a gas bottle that actually had gas in it and connected it up in plenty of time for my tea and his coffee.

A stop at the water tank showed damage from a large part of a large tree falling down and pulling pipes out. Dave managed to stop the outflow and round up a part that needed replacing, so after dropping the kids at school we found a plumbing shop that had some version of said part. Unfortunately, it turns out that’s not the only issue, but I’m sure he’ll have it all sorted once he’s back from repairing a completely separate plumbing issue at Gay’s house. (Bonus hero points for that.)

In the meantime, a PUC water crew showed up after only ONE call, diagnosed the problem with the tank and rigged up a temp connection that has the water flowing to the house again so showers can happen.

And then …

a PUC electric crew of about 25 guys pulled into the garden avec a brand spankin’ new power pole they installed in all of about 15 minutes … and I hadn’t even had to call them as they were sent at the behest of yet another PUC electric crew who’d done an emergency repair last week that set me up with power to the house in a temp fashion, then dropped by yesterday to see if I’d manage to get the bloody lines repaired. I hadn’t, so they took matters into their own hands and are apparently sorting it out to be sorted out, starting with a new pole.

Now, I know I do a whole lotta bitchin’ on this blog about the trials of island life and about men, but I am very happy to give credit where it’s due. It is sometimes the case that work seems to happen with glacier slowness, people don’t show up when promised and one can find oneself power/water/phone/Internet challenged for days or weeks on end. The breakdown crews, however, can be wonderful, go above and beyond and I happily tip my hat in their worthy direction.

As for men, I have made no secret of the fact that I really do adore the gender in general. Okay … they can confuse, very often frustrate and sometimes break my heart, but all-in-all I’m in favor of them.

In actuality, I’m a big fan. Not only are they mighty handy, some are truly blessings … especially those that cook.

(Thanks, David. You’ve earned some beach time today.)

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Not exactly an iPhone ...

On a rainy Friday in Seychelles I get a call from Mexico informing me that the Chinese calendar will be bringing me a year of good luck starting on the 3rd of February, prompting me to share that possible reprieve with friends in the US, England, Germany, Italy and South Africa.

Yep. Within about 30 minutes eight countries were buzzing about my radar, and that was without going anywhere near facebook.

It never ceases to amaze me how this world of ours has gone so tiny, yet stays so bloody big. Yeah, sure I can conference call … for free … with a half dozen people in as many countries when effectively connected, and that’s wonderful, but getting up-close and personal with anyone off this rock? That’s not so simple, is it?

It wasn’t long ago the Internet and its wonders were beyond the scope, but within a few short years it’s more common in my world that peeps have it than don’t. Not only can we now communicate globally easily and far more cheaply than in the days it took a pricy phone call to reach out and touch someone, we now have Internet ON our phones. Just take a moment to imagine how shocked we would have been had we been told ten years ago this would be at our fingertips? And with a touch screen, yet!

Yes, we’ve seen HUGE changes, but at the same time so much stays the same.

Ease of communication has leapt and bounded, but transport? Not so much.

It was 40-some years ago James T. Kirk and Co. were stepping up for getting around of the dissolve/stick-together-somewhere-else sort, but the only real change in how we’re able to move about that’s happened over all those decades is the size of the planes that cram us in, then subject us to endless hours of torture.

Oh! You can now make calls from your own phone on some airliners and connect to the Internet, but that seems just rubbing it in if you ask me.

I’ve been waiting for that Beamy-uppy thingy ever since I moved halfway around the world from my roots and shoots, but in vain.

So, what is it with all the sticking-to-the-planes deal? I admit my lack of science-y expertise may be tricking me into thinking it should be an easier row to hoe, but since I was equally clueless on the WorldWideWeb, I’m in no mood to allow any excuses.

Look at it this way …

The first telephone … the precursor to our modern communication wonders … was patented in 1876. The first car … the beginning of travel that didn’t require draught animals … came along about 200 years EARLIER, and the first gasoline engine cranked over almost in sync with the phone.

An automobile powered by his own four-stroke cycle gasoline engine was built in Mannheim, Germany by Karl Benz in 1885, and granted a patent in January of the following year under the auspices of his major company, Benz & Cie., which was founded in 1883. It was an integral design, without the adaptation of other existing components, and included several new technological elements to create a new concept. He began to sell his production vehicles in 1888.
A photograph of the original Benz Patent-Motorwagen, first built in 1885 and awarded the patent for the concept

In 1879, Benz was granted a patent for his first engine, which had been designed in 1878. Many of his other inventions made the use of the internal combustion engine feasible for powering a vehicle.

I know there’s a huge difference between the internal combustion engine and the Star Trek transporter, but so is there between the gadget you see Alex G. Bell mouthing into in the photo above and instantaneous video calls around the planet.

“I signed aboard this ship to practice medicine, not to have my atoms scattered back and forth across space by this gadget.” ~ Dr. McCoy

Yeah, yeah … it’s a bit of a scary concept, but if Bones could get over it, anyone can.

So … get on the stick, folks. I hate flying, always get a fuckin’ cold when I’ve had to freeze my ass off for 12+ hours and ingest the breath of 250 other people who are as just as uncomfortable as I am, and I don’t like the food.

But …

If 2011 actually IS my year … me being a metal rabbit and this being the year of the rabbit and all … I’m not wasting any of the luck that may come my way on R&D for rapid-er transit.

Nope.

I’ll be keeping all that for health, wealth and wisdom for me and mine, thankyouverymuch. And if that puts my ass on planes, so be it.

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One search engine parameter that comes up often as I peruse stats for this blog is some version of Moving to Seychelles. Readers from way back know I don’t go out of my way to answer all the questions on the ins and outs of a relocation, seeing as how that brought a load of ungrateful grief at one time, but I’m cool with the occasional query on island life.

Of course, now that I’m selling my place I’m happier to share my wisdom with peeps who could be interested in investing in my fabulous piece of paradise, and those folks would be wise to hear me out.

This being a whole country, not just an island resort place, there are many options when it comes to how and where one would choose to plop a load of dosh, then settle in for long or not-so-long periods of time depending on whether it’s a primary or holiday home. There are apartments available, small houses in local neighborhoods, bits of undeveloped land here and there, hotel-linked homes and … well … my place, and each option offers something different.

The dense living of developed areas is what it is, and although there’s a difference between units designed for expats and houses in local neighborhoods both come with their share of sharing … space, noise, traffic.

The closest comparison for my property would be the hotel-linked homes, both offering views, a degree of privacy and an existing structure. For those who like the idea of putting their home in a hotel’s rental pool for anyone to use for the time they’ll not be in residence, it makes sense to go that way. It’s also nice if you like the idea of neighbors near enough to eavesdrop.

The hotel will take care of many details for owners, a privilege that costs a fair bit, provide some security, also at a price, and make sure someone is always keeping an eye out … even if you’d rather they not. There is also the added advantage, if one deems it so, of having a home you can check in to and out of with a charming receptionist handing over the keys, wishing you a good day and paying attention to whomever you might invite over.

The advantages to buying my place include real privacy and control, the option of doing whatever the hell you feel like doing with the huge garden and the house … build another house or three, put in pools with water slides, even a dungeon if you like … and NOT having to deal with a receptionist.

And if THAT’S not enough for you, check out these photos, shot from the public road, of real-life hotel-linked living provided by Raffles Hotels on Praslin and some of Anse Soleil via me, … and keep in mind my place is far less expensive … and 200 meters from the public road!

And if that’s not enough for you, here’s a link to more.

Yep. This is marketing, so feel free to share this post around widely!

Raffles Seychelles ... from the road

The Raffles environment

Where Raffles meets the road

My house

The environment at my place

The view from the bed ...

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Is connectivity making people smarter?

I’m not talking about those with the inclination to investigate every innovation, develop platforms for interaction or keep track of what humanity is up to, although I do wonder what Julian Assange might have done with his smarts if the Internet didn’t exist and how many other brilliant minds might have gone to seed in the days before sitting around in your bedroom in smelly sweats for days on end allowed one to reach into the guts of power of all sorts.

No, I’m thinking about the reasonably bright lot for whom ease of access to information, one-click research and breakfasting on RSS feeds just might be growing brain cells or teaching the ones already there to shake hands more often.

Historically, availability of info has been proven to do just that, and along with the process of getting smarter shit happens, as this WSJ article illustrates:

As Gutenberg’s press spread through Europe, the Bible was translated into local languages, enabling direct encounters with the text; this was accompanied by a flood of contemporary literature, most of it mediocre. Vulgar versions of the Bible and distracting secular writings fueled religious unrest and civic confusion, leading to claims that the printing press, if not controlled, would lead to chaos and the dismemberment of European intellectual life.

These claims were, of course, correct. Print fueled the Protestant Reformation, which did indeed destroy the Church’s pan-European hold on intellectual life. What the 16th-century foes of print didn’t imagine—couldn’t imagine—was what followed: We built new norms around newly abundant and contemporary literature. Novels, newspapers, scientific journals, the separation of fiction and non-fiction, all of these innovations were created during the collapse of the scribal system, and all had the effect of increasing, rather than decreasing, the intellectual range and output of society.

I started blogging back in 2003 on a professional site that eventually saw my posts getting over 100,000 hits a month. It was new to a lot of people then, all this Internet interaction, but the site was topic-specific … adoption … and many came to it looking for information tailored to their issues, questions and needs. Approaching what was to many a new way of gaining knowledge with an agenda encouraged participation, and a jump into one pool of info prompted leaps into others.

In pursuit of fodder, I joined a bunch of groups … Yahoo first, then Google offered forums for exchange, and the give-and-take was often lively after people overcame their original shyness.

Most new members announced themselves as such, apologizing in advance for any blunders as they tiptoed into discussions, but soon gained confidence not only with the technology, but also in their ability to convey meaning through writing their thoughts.

Unlike in the time when written material was often a one-side lecture and responses took days or weeks to lob the discussion ball back over the net, hot debates started happening in real time with only seconds passing between one point and the next.

People not only began to type faster, they learned to frame thoughts in ways that could be typed fast and understood. Without the benefit of vocal tone, eye contact and body language, words needed to be well chosen and presented if one had any hope of having meaning comprehended by the target audience.

Online groups led to social networking, and chatting and typing got even faster. People grew beyond the fear of putting thoughts in writing … an ‘engraving in stone’ idea that had some concerned for a while about the written word … and began to converse comfortably with their fingers.

The global scope gets people from widely-flung countries and cultures talking, an opportunity that serves to extend the range of thought at the same time it encourages us to consider people geographically distant to feel like neighbors chatting over the back fence. With online translators … as crap as they are … we can even communicate across language divides.

Sure, a lot of what goes back-and-forth is inconsequential bollocks … flirty bullshit, schmooze, schmaltz and preaching to the choir … but it is back-and-forth, active, so has more likelihood of developing into something of interest than sitting in front of the TV. For those who think inconsequential bollocks is what it’s all about ….

The decade the pessimists want to return us to is the 1980s, the last period before society had any significant digital freedoms. Despite frequent genuflection to European novels, we actually spent a lot more time watching “Diff’rent Strokes” than reading Proust, prior to the Internet’s spread. The Net, in fact, restores reading and writing as central activities in our culture.

On a personal level all this connectivity has made life on a tiny island vastly more interesting, and, yes, it has made me smarter. Friends from all over the world share ideas and information freely and easily, so my perspective is wider. I can read news from just about anywhere, from the Red Bluff Daily to Al Jazeera, and although I often feel the overload I can click from link to link to link and examine any issue. When I have a question about anything I can find an answer … or 1,000.

Sure, I can also watch Bullwinkle pull a rabbit out of a hat … oops, wrong hat … and read all the stupid shit that floats, but even that keeps my brain working.

There is no going back … I hope, although today’s news on the ramping up of what is rapidly evolving into a war has me worried that we’re sure to see serious attacks designed to rein in freedom of information.

Those of us with Internet access … even me with my fucking unreliable Kokonet connection … have grown accustomed the routine of getting a bit smarter, or at least better informed, every day, and as more people connect the world gets smaller and smarter, both through reference sources and personal contacts previously impossible.

For example, I have a facebook friend in Niger, so can not only Wiki the country for info, I can write to my pal with questions on day-to-day living, his take on politics and events and a weather report.

When news happens … the recent tragedy in Cambodia comes to mind … it’s not difficult to get a first-hand account from someone there.

The option we have now of removing or ignoring filters placed by those with an agenda we may not see makes it possible to get closer to the bottom of any issue of interest, and as we get better at learning how to use our ‘connections’ to plumb depths we expand the concept of our place in the world.

Of course, there is a downside …

It’s a lot harder to find an excuse to be stupid.

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Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. ~Bertold Brecht

An interview with me sparked by my contribution to the new book Female Nomad and Friends … “ is soon to be published.

Bestselling author Rita Golden Gelman launches Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World (A Three Rivers Press Original), June 1, 2010, in Seattle. Forty-one authors tell their stories of adventuring around the world; all but two of them are women.

With “adventuring around the world” as a focus, the interviewer voiced an interest in my world and the changes I’ve seen since first venturing as far as Seychelles back in 1993, prompting a casting back of my mind to early days here and a brief wander through the almost-two-decades leading to the ‘modern’ island life I live now.

I’ve seen many changes to my personal circumstances, but life boiling down, as it does, to the nuts and bolts of plodding one day to the next, it’s nuts and bolts we’re looking at this morning.

I’ll start with the nuts, admitting that my mother sends me walnuts from California, but you can now often find almonds in the shops, and hardware-ish establishments seem well stocked in screws, bolts and tacks, although most are Chinese-made and break easily. The place in town that sells underwear and children’s shoes still has car tires parked at the front door, and any search for specific items involves a hunt through retailers whose shelves seem to have been arranged by Sybil.

All those years back, a phone call to my mom in the US involved a trip to town. Cable & Wireless, the only telecommunication company at the time, offered international calling booths, and for a mere $12.00 a minute would send my voice halfway around the world. Now, almost everyone over 15 has a stylish cell phone permanently plastered to their texting fingers and queues of folks with 10 rupees in their pocket to recharge prepaids at half the top-up cost stretch around town. I not only have three phones, but also an internet connection … some of the time … that offers up a daily alternative to the one daily newspaper, Seychelles Nation, a publication that has no news on Sunday.

Having spent time in many countries by 1993, I was astounded to find this island the only place I was not able to buy a Coke. SeyPearl was the sole provider of soft drinks, and Seybrew was the only brand of beer. Although Pepsi is still hard to come by and I’ve yet to see a Dr. Pepper, Coca Cola has taught this part of the world to sing and some restaurants even offer Corona, lime and all.

Before cable TV was made available, and immediately became de rigueur, SBC was the only television station. With limited programming and an interesting social sense, every evening at 8:30 it would go off-air for an hour to allow people to eat dinner. 11pm saw the end of the broadcast day and came with an admonition to viewers to ‘go to bed’. Now, however, it’s 24/7 and people here fully grasp the reference when I refer to life in Seychelles being rather like “Lost” meets “Desperate Housewives”.

The number of cars on the road has increased exponentially, as traffic and number plates prove; my first car here sported S4016, meaning it was one of 4,016 vehicles registered in the country. New ones on the road now are close to hitting 30,000, and although we did get 5 kilometers of dual carriage way … two lanes of traffic in each direction for American readers … between here and Victoria, most roads keep their narrow windiness, hairpin turns and steep grades.

The world has contracted greatly and sucked Seychelles into the homogenized ball along with it. Seychelles living is not nearly the unique experience it once was … both for the good and for the not-so-good …

BUT …

The country is stunningly beautiful, the sea is as close to pristine as water that globally connects to all water can be, we locals consider beaches crowded when we have to share with more than 20 people, and we still have not one single fast food franchise.

There could come a day when my view includes oil rigs, shopping malls rise up and become teen hangouts and a McDonald’s drive-thru beckons, but that is not today. Check back in 2026 …

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Thinking that a change just might be in order, I’m considering selling up. With that in mind, I set up a website.

Here’s the link:

Seychelles Property

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