Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Still In Seychelles - Someone Is Driving Me Crazy


(This is actually a few posts merged together into one. Ah, the joy of limited internet access!)

My mum is driving me nuts! She was flipping out when I was posting on MySpace last night. She said I was going to be sooooo embarrassed when people read what I wrote and she kept yelling at me not to post it. I asked her if she knows what MySpace is and she said no. I asked her if she has read what I am posting and she said no. I think thats all I need to say, right?


Yesterday, my great grandmother showed me a skirt that she made for me and was trying to get me to take off my pants in front of everyone. I'm glad that I was able to escape into the bathroom to try it on. It was so small that I could barely get it past my knees, so it would have been extra embarrassing to try to put in on with everyone watching. My mum says I should have just done it because my great grandmother is so old that she has seen everything before and changing in front of her is no big deal. Okay, I'll go along with that. But what about all the other people who were there, teenage boys and uncles included?! That's easy for her to say - no one was trying to take her pants off! Lol, I wonder if my great grandmother would have laughed at my thong?

Doesn't this woman look so friendly and sweet?

My crazy mum does things completely different from me. I asked her where we were going this morning and, of course, she ignored me like she always does. So where did we go after the agricultural show? We drove and we drove and we drove, until over 4 hours had passed and I was completely car sick, and then we went home. Yep, my mum thought it would be fun to just drive around. Isn't there anything better to do than drive around?! I was crammed in the backseat of the car, where there are no vents, (I was sweating the entire drive!) and the seat belts do not work. Driving here seems very dangerous to me. My mum is not used to driving on the left so her reaction time is slower than usual, (and she's not that great of a driver to begin with!) Every once in a while we have to remind her that she''s on the wrong side of the road! During our pointless drive, there were 3 times that I had to get out. Two were because we were on a one lane road over a very steep cliff and needed to find a way to pass another car. We ended up turning around, (very scary on the one lane road!) There's no point getting out to help my mum drive. I motion for her to keep going back or forward and she stops and ignores my directions.


This morning we went for a walk on the beach. I was nervous because it was still dark and there were no other people out. My mum said not to worry because the only time she ever heard of something bad happening when she lived here was when a woman had her throat slashed by a guy with a machete on the beach and they laid her on the counter at the hotel and all of her insides were coming out through her neck. Yeah, mum, great job putting my fears to rest! When we got back from our walk, we took a short nap, (just 5 more hours!) Isn't jet lag fun?

 Seychelles cars are ADORABLE!

We went to the 30th independence day parade last night. There were lots of interesting floats. Each had a big number in front of it and represented a year in Seychelles history, so we thought that the parade was over when it got to 30, (which makes sense!) When we got home, we found out that the floats went up to 59! I'm glad we didn't stay for all of them though because just the first 30 took a loooong time and it was cold and raining. At the parade, we tried deep-fried banana, which tasted like banana bread. We also drank SeyPearl, which is soda that is made here.


Today we are going to do some shopping in town and tomorrow and Wednesday we will be in Praslin and La Digue, which are islands near here. I am not sure if we will be flying there or taking a boat. We have been told that everyone who takes a boat there gets very seasick because it sometimes seems like the boat is going to flip over, so hopefully we'll fly! Its going to cost a few hundred dollars to go and all we're doing there is going to the beach, so it sounds like a waste of money to me. Maybe it will be fun though. We'll see.

*Post-trip update: We ended up taking a boat. I learned first-hand why those little paper baggies stashed at the back of each seat are important!


My relatives from Australia and my brother are going to arrive here on Thursday. When they are here, we are all going to stay in little beach houses on the other side of the beach. I don't know if I'll prefer having them here or not. Every time there has been somewhere I've wanted to go, like the Natural History Museum, my mum says well go when everyone else arrives, so I guess its good that they'll be here soon.

I'm not sure this guy wanted his photo taken. Being a tourist is fun!

The bugs keep biting me! I have a huge bug bite on the back of my leg and it ITCHES! I even have bug bites on my feet. My grandpa sees the bite marks and makes me put cream on them, but he forgets if I already put cream on, so he insists that I put cream on over and over and over again!

 Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!!! Why must my leg be so tasty?!

My great grandma is praying right now. Every morning, she sits at the table with cards that have pictures of people, (saints?) She prays without interruption for over 2 hours! I'm not sure what else to say about that. I just thought it was interesting.


Uh oh. My mum just came in and it sounds like our plans may be changing. Instead of going to the other islands tomorrow, we may go when everyone arrives from Australia. It would be me, my mum, my brother, and my cousin Elise, because she is leaving before the rest of her family and won't be here when they go in a few weeks. My mum says it will be nice to give my Australian family a break from my brother. That seems like a good idea.

  

I am back from town! We ordered snacks from a little shop. My mum got 6 Pates and 6 Pamoussas, which I told her was a ridiculous amount and I was right we only ate 1 of each. They had 2 other things there that I have never tried and they were only 1 rupee each, which is about $0.20, but she said we had enough food. Aaaaugh! We went to the SupaSaver and waited in line for over an hour. It is always busy there. We spent about 250 rupees but I got a few interesting things to take home. There are only hand baskets at the SupaSaver, (it's so crowded that shopping carts would be impossible to fit,) so we weren't able to buy everything that we needed. It's a good thing though because we had to carry all of our groceries back to the car in the hot sun, which was parked about 1.5 miles away. Prices are not as absurd as my mum was expecting. Bread was about $2 and it was just baked in the bakery. A large bottle of soda was about $3. We got some little packages of chocolate cookies for about $0.30 each. We stopped at another grocery store on our way home. They had almost everything that the SupaSaver had at almost the same prices but there was no crowd and we could park directly outside. Whatever shred of appeal the SupaSaver still had went right out the window! Shouldn't someone have told us about this place?

 I'm glad I've never seen a spider like this at home!

I want to buy some curry paste but my mum freaks out when I try because she says it will get all over everything. It comes in a pouch just like those tuna pouches. I don't think it will explode on the plane, esp. if I pack it with my carry on. It would be wrapped in another bag just in case, but she doesn't care. Gosh darn it! I want some curry paste!


Well, I had better end this because I want to go to the internet café and send it before I go to the beach.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Seychelles

Yay, I finally have internet access! Well, actually, I am writing this without internet access, but I am optimistic that I will be able to find an internet café tomorrow, (Saturday,) where I can send this.

We are staying with my great grandmother, grandmere, who is 94 years old. She is nice but its hard to talk to her because she has trouble hearing, (hmm, I guess that's what its like talking to me sometimes) Even though she is old, she still dyes her hair brown all the time so people won't know she has gray hair. My mum and I took her to the casino earlier. I was trying to help her walk inside, but she is kinda wacky so she was dragging me into things. She kept trying to walk through doorways with me right next to her and I kept getting squished! Lol, a guy at the casino was laughing at me. She is a typical little old lady - she kept feeding her social security money into the slot machines! I think she said that she spent 150 rupees, which is about $30, so I guess that isn't too bad. My mum and I are cheap, so we only played for a few minutes, (which I guess also gives away that we were not very lucky!)


Eep! A tiny baby gecko just ran across my foot. Earlier, I went into my room and a gecko was trying to get into my bag of gummy bears. When I turned on the light, I heard its little claws running over my suitcase.
We went to the agricultural show earlier today. It was fun. It was just like the state fair, (without the rides and the ridiculous prices!) I took lots of photos to show when I get home. They had the cutest animals on display, including guinea pigs and baby bunnies. There were booths with people trying to teach things, but unlike the similar booths at the fair, no one was handing out annoying pamphlets. We bought some chicken curry for lunch. We also got some soda, which caused a tiny argument between my mum and I. There were 2 kinds of soda to choose from: lemon and orange. My mum and grandpa chose orange and I ordered lemon and she got mad. She says that I need to try new things. I have tried orange soda before! Yeesh!



 
I hate to admit it, (hate, hate, HATE,) but I am actually having a good time so far. My mum has been nice most of the time. She is having such a great time being back where she used to live that she hasn't been in a bad mood. The only really crummy part of the trip so far was waiting in the Paris airport for our flight here. We were there over 10 hours and were not allowed to check our luggage until just before the flight, so we had to drag it around everywhere. It was FREEZING and there was nowhere we could go near the airport so we just stayed there. There were so many people there and it was filthy and hectic, with soldiers walking around holding gigantic guns. I didn't expect the Paris airport to be so run-down. We were soooo tired, (our plane landed in Paris at 1am Albuquerque time.) We waited to have a seat, (there are almost no chairs in the airport!) No one in Paris knows how to drive, at least near the airport. We were watching through the window and people kept parking where they weren't supposed to and blocked all of the other cars in. Cars kept zipping out of the parking lot without looking and almost getting hit by busses!


  The flights were good. We flew from ABQ to Dallas and only had 1 hour before our next flight. I was a little bit worried that we would miss our flight because its such a huge airport. However, we had so much time that we were able to eat at the airport and were still waiting around to board. We ate at Popeyes Chicken because we'd both heard good things about it. The food was okay but it was too expensive and there were not enough tables in the airport. Our flight from Dallas to Paris took about 10 hours. They showed tv shows and 2 movies, (The Incredibles and King Kong, which was okay, I guess.) Our flight from Paris to the Seychelles took another 10 hours but it was really nice. We flew with Air Seychelles and it seemed like 1st class, (although, I have never flown 1st class, so maybe a more experienced traveller would disagree with me.) They gave us slippers and sleeping masks and hot towels. They handed out menus before dinner, which included personal bottles of wine, mashed potatoes, poached egg, vegetables, mini peach pie, cheese, bread, and either salmon ravioli or some kind of fancy chicken. It was tasty but it was more food than anyone could finish! Everything was on real dishes and in real glasses, with cloth napkins and metal silverware. Breakfast was good too. I got coffee and hot chocolate, (so I could mix them together, of course!) There was yogurt and warm croissants and jam and applesauce, (other things too, but all this writing about food is making me hungry! It's after 7pm - where is my dinner?! Ah, the joys of being a guest in someone else's home.)


We finally arrived here yesterday, (Thursday.) My grandpa, Papa, picked us up at the airport, along with my mom's aunt and uncle. People kept coming by all day to see us. The house was full of people speaking English and French and Creole and German all at once. I was so tired though. Since I've never really had jet lag, I always thought people probably made a bigger deal about it than necessary. I remember going in our room to unpack and the next thing I knew my mum was waking me up for lunch. Which reminds me, the food here is delicious. Yes, there is a lot of fish, but there is also a lot of CURRY, (mmmm, yummy!) I tried some fish today and it wasn't too bad. It didnt taste fishy, (does that make sense?) We had pizza for dinner but ended up freezing most of it because we ordered too much. My mum's aunt told my grandpa that they ordered pizza but my grandpa thought she said to order the pizza, so we ended up with twice as much as we needed. And, of course, it was all the exact same kind, covered in revolting, slimy, fungusy mushrooms. The pizza here is odd. It didn't come sliced and its very thin and it tastes like they brushed it in olive oil after it was cooked. The plan was that everyone would have pizza leftovers for breakfast, so when my mum and I woke up we ate granola bars in our room. It's a good thing we're both weird and packed lots of snacks.


We went for a drive today. I got out was because there were 3 tiny kittens on the side of the road. We pulled over to move them away from the road at them and they ran under the car. I spent forever trying to catch those darn kittens! They were so cute though, so I moved them all where they would hopefully be safe from cars. I wanted to drive them to the humane society, (we were driving around pointlessly anyway!) but my mum and grandpa said no.


I just took a little break from writing this to eat dinner. It was some kind of soup with ginger and beef and it was tasty! Anyway, we went into town today because my grandpa needed to see the dentist. The crown came off his front tooth when he was eating a piece of fish. (just in time for all the family photos we'd planned to take, of course!) There are lots of shops here. Seychelles is definitely more modern than my mum was expecting. There are a lot of cars. We looked around at the Super Saver, which is like a little Wal-Mart. Some prices were reasonable, but some were outrageous. They were selling 8oz boxes of pre-cooked Oscar Meyer chicken for over $30! $30!!! They had Baskin Robbins ice cream for about $20. I want to buy some things before I leave, like curry spices that are too expensive or hard to find in New Mexico. My mum and I stopped at a restaurant called Pirate Arms to get some coffee and water. We waited forever to be served. I've heard that when servers aren't working for tips, they don't care about giving good service. In the menu, I saw that I could get a scoop of ice cream for just $1.50, so I told my mum to order that but to specify one scoop of ice cream. As usual, she didn't completely listen to me and only ordered ice cream. Well, I wanted her to be specific because ice cream was also in the menu for about $10! Sure enough, they brought us a big bowl with several scoops of ice cream instead of just one scoop. It was good though. For lunch, we met up with my second-cousin, Natalie, and 2 of her relatives. I hadn't met her before but she is awesome! She's about 30 years old and she's soo nice and soooo pretty! She recently won 2nd place in the Miss Seychelles contest! She is living in Texas so maybe she'll come visit some time. She is so rich that she just donated almost $1 million to the Seychelles hospital. I think I'm going to dye my hair blonde so I can look more like her. She was telling us that she doesn't have her cell phone anymore because she accidentally left it on a rock at the beach yesterday and the tide came in before she remembered. She's one of those people who can talk for hours about nothing and have everyone listen to every word she says.


There isn't much to do here at the moment. Hmm, what other random things can I tell you? Not that what you're reading is just my way of killing time! Goodness, no! We learned that the 1st person on record to ever be eaten by a shark in the Seychelles was a guy with the last name Lefevre, which is my family's last name. Sigh, why doesn't that surprise me! There are big, beautiful snails here that look like seashells and there are shiny lizards that run along the steps. Everyone thinks I'm odd for liking the snails, but they really are lovely! It is hot and humid here, but not enough to be uncomfortable. The windows in the house are designed so that they are always open because of the heat. There are geckos that climb the walls inside the house, (and they are very cute! They make kissy noises!!!) A stray cat sits outside meowing all the time but it will not let us pet it. Dogs wander along the beach and sometimes jump in the ocean to try to catch fish and swim, (my dog would be carried off into the sea very quickly!) I was annoyed because I got a bug bite on my face. However, when I woke up this morning, I had a bug bite on my butt, so now the one on my face doesn't seem that bad. Lol. Busses here are called ta-tas, which would have been good to know when we arrived. We were driving home and my mom yelled out, "Wow, those are huge ta-tas!" Needless to say, I thought she was talking about something else and was mortified that she would yell that out! Right now its 9pm here on Friday, which is 11am in ABQ on Friday.


I forgot to write about the fight my mum and I had right before leaving for our trip. I have a big carry on bag with a laptop case inside of it. After packing, I realized that I only needed the laptop bag, so I left the carry on bag at home. My mum freaked out and yelled until I took it, even though it was completely empty. So, I ended up dragging around a giant carry on case with a broken handle that weighs about 8 pounds empty for absolutely no reason. How upset was she with the way I packed? Just ask my neighbors - she was screaming and cursing and threw all my luggage onto the front lawn!


Now it's 2pm on Saturday and it doesn't look like I will be going online today, so I may as well add to this. We are going to go into town later because there is a carnival for the 30th anniversary of Seychelles independence. For lunch today, we had breadfruit, which tastes a little like squash. My crazy family kept trying to make me put margarine on it to make it healthier. I think they are confused about what is healthy! I also learned that bananas + fish + coconut milk = soup, (eeeeew!) It's called "kat banan". It didn't taste that bad at first, but after I realized it was full of tiny bones and fish scales and banana lumps, I lost my appetite.


We went for a walk on the beach this morning before going swimming and were followed by a cute little dog. I'll have to take a picture of her the next time I see her. We named her Katica, (Kah-Teak-Ah). Katica waited on the beach for us while we were swimming and she followed us all the way up and down the beach for several miles. She brings other dogs to see us, including a dog that looks like my dog Britney, and 2 other cute dogs.


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