Sunday, August 1, 2010

Louis, Louis

Today's assignment was to get the vibe of Port Louis, the capital. More of a rumble than a vibration, as it turned out: narrow streets choked with traffic fighting for space with pedestrians plus street  vendors with stalls, bicycle-back displays or just a square of tarpaulin on the ground. Lots of shouting, loud music, horns tooting and engines revving as people haggled over shoes, onions, DVDs or jeans. It was overwhelmingly chaotic after the peace of the south.

But on the harbour side of the main drag there was a very classy area  with bridges over the (clean) water, landscaping, nice shops, cafes and bars, and live music for all the young people to preen and pose by. Never seen so many spiky heads in all my life; and the girls were equally gorgeous. To spot another tourist amongst all that toned brown skin was to understand how frumpy we must look ourselves. Sigh.

And I saw two dodos! Just skeletons, alas, but in an interesting display. Seems they weren't all eaten by the Dutch, but probably wiped out by the rats and pigs they introduced. Sounds like a familiar story.

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