2020: February in Review

This is part of my year in review. Writing one post will make it too long, so I’m breaking each month into a separate post. This is the latest instalment.

February was Mauritius month too. Well, two weeks of the month to be precise but who’s counting when it involves a tropical island. Unlike January, the client arranged an apartment for us to stay in. I was not in the mood for hotel food for two weeks and having a space to call my own was important – a home away from home. Whenever I travel I look for these pieds-a-terre. I can only stand a hotel for three or four days at a time.

Well, this didn’t work out so well! The client’s procurement people worked with a new realtor and didn’t quality check the apartment. We lasted one night in the place and I sent a lengthy email and photos to our client and in no uncertain terms told them – in a nice way – that I wasn’t going to stay there a day longer.

It was dirty, the linen dodgy, the shower curtains mouldy, the one shower had no water pressure, the other shower had no shower – it had a tap but no pipe or showerhead. Of course, there was no hot water. And to cap it all the kettle, which hadn’t been emptied or cleaned in what looked like months, had a gloopy mass of bacteria floating in it.

After the email, our client said that we could look for our own place and charge it to them. So, I turned to the tried and trusted Airbnb. I found a modern apartment in Curepipe an area relatively close to the office. We rushed back to the dodgy apartment to hand over the keys to the realtor –he wanted to know why we weren’t happy there and I promptly showed him – grab our luggage and drive to the new place. All this with my co-worker who’d injured her back on her return trip from Amsterdam. We lugged 2 heavy suitcases each up and down stairs in the pouring rain but we made it. Our new accommodations weren’t in the fanciest part of town, but it was modern and beautiful, and our neighbours friendly.

On the weekend went sightseeing and this made up for the apartment fiasco.

From Troux aux Cerfs, the dormant volcano to the Tamarind Falls (or 7 cascades), we spent the morning exploring. The Falls are in a hard to reach place but I managed to find a spot where I could take a pic of most of the falls.

On the way back to Curepipe we got rerouted multiple times by the traffic police who were attempting to manage the traffic caught up around the Thaipoosam Cavadee processions in each locale.

In the afternoon I joined a friend at her Tamil temple to witness the end of the procession as her sister participated in it. It was colourful, chaotic and full of joyful celebrants. There were flowers all over.

Thaipoosam Cavadee temple Mauritius
Thaipoosam Cavadee Mauritius

And then the time came to return to South Africa. Roll on March …

If you haven’t yet read 2020: January in Review, click on the link.


Weekend coffee share: the btw Christmas and New Year edition

Weekend Coffee Share icon

Well hello there, and come on in. Let’s grab some coffee or whatever else you prefer. It’s hot here in South Africa, so I’ll probably have an iced coffee.

If we were having coffee, we’d reflect on Christmas. I did all my gift shopping online and everything arrived well before time. Of course, because I leave everything until the last minute, I wrapped the presents in a rush. But because the wrapping paper gets ripped open (a tradition in our family) how well wrapped it is, does not matter. Chè thankfully came to help (no, not with ripping it open, wrapping the presents).

The family came together at my folk’s house on Christmas Eve for the traditional Portuguese bacalhau dish. We’re 9 people and we’ve been taking care – Chè and I hadn’t been out for 2 weeks before Christmas. Presents opening was at midnight and then we had some midnight snacks. We stayed over, all the kids and grandkids under one roof again.

Christmas Day is my turn to cook stuffed turkey which I thoroughly enjoy doing. The process starts 3-days before to get the turkey ready for roasting. I also made Bolo Rei – it’s an 8-hour marathon … or odyssey, depending on how you want to look at it. I still have some leftover – do you want a slice?

Yummy fun electrical circuit board birthday cake
Yummy fun electrical circuit board birthday cake
©2020 Regina Martins

Boxing Day is Chè’s birthday and whoever wants and is able to join us for a turkey left-over lunch at my sister’s place. Because it is so close to Christmas and bakeries aren’t open there is not usually a cake. I’m not a baker (the Bolo Rei is the only one I make in a 365 day period) so making a cake is not top of my mind. But this year I was organised! I ordered a cake from The Pastry Chef Bakery – a fun cake so suited to Ché – an electronic circuit board. Doesn’t it look so cute, and a total hoot 🙂

Well, it’s Monday today (is it Monday?) and I’m on vacation. I’m going to spend the rest of the day reading and relaxing, having more coffee, and … oh shoot … the Bolo Rei is finished!

Until next week.