13 novembre 2011

Feet, bikes, cats and cars.

           This morning, the temperature was 29°C in the shade, 47°C in the sun. At 8.25 a.m. At the moment, even the cat is flat out on the cool floor tiles. This is the cool season. It doesn't actually bother me when I'm busy doing nothing, but does get in my way when I'm actually trying to get something accomplished. Hot temperatures start very early in the day here. The sun pours through the windows from roughly 5 in the morning if you leave the shutters open, and as our flat is... [Lire la suite]
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22 octobre 2011

Sans Queue Ni Tête

  A rather eventful morning today, because as it’s been fairly calm for the last 24 hours, I wanted to see if the supermarkets had reopened. Unprepared as always, I saw a great long queue in front of the local Sodifram and decided to join the fray. Again, the supermarket was so full that customers were waiting outside, only allowed inside twenty or so at a time. 9.30 a.m. : Arrived at supermarket and joined a queue of a hundred or so people. Some white, some black. Some waiting patiently in line, some pushing in from the... [Lire la suite]
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20 octobre 2011

Opting out

 Mad at CRS riot police. This morning, while setting off for school, a colleague rang to say that he'd heard that there weren't any lessons today. Once there, some said that lessons should continue as normal - public service - whereas others said that it was too risky. So far, a 9-year-old boy has lost an eye, courtesy of a gendarme armed with flash-balls, and a 39-year-old man died yesterday while fighting against the police. There was a riot yesterday, which blocked all Mamoudzou (capital) and nearby towns. I was told it was... [Lire la suite]
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30 septembre 2011

The Dark Side of Mayotte

            Most of the time, Mayotte is postcard-pretty and the people are lovely. But it isn't "home" yet. It’s not that I don’t like coconut trees and papaya fruit, having the lagoon just next door and going to school on a scooter. I do. But some things take a bit of getting used to.                         It’s pretty here, but it’s so poor and dirty. Most people live... [Lire la suite]
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28 septembre 2011

Never ask a question if you don't want to know the answer.

              Emily and the Car Saga                           20th August. Search for car and scooter on used car newspapers and specialist garages. 23rd August. Find white 3-door air-conditioned 206 HDI through newspaper. Visit car two blocks away, test-drive car, the odd funny noise and bump on the bodywork but otherwise OK. Selling price... [Lire la suite]
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26 septembre 2011

Birds and Beasts

             The first animals we saw upon getting out of the plane were zebus. Cow-like four-legged creatures with a bump on the back of their neck where they store water and fat for later. They stared at us, we stared at them and wondered where on earth we had ended up. There are plenty of those around. We regularly see them in the middle of towns, crossing roads on their own to get to the grassy roundabouts. They’ve often got a rope round their neck, but the end of said... [Lire la suite]
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25 septembre 2011

Dress codes

At the airport          The traditional dress here is called a salouva, and they have a turban on their head, known as a kishali, often just worn as a scarf over the head. It’s all very colourful, though probably not terribly practical. Salouvas are made from three lengths of material sewn together, basically a long tube of material which is about 1m50 in diameter. Girls and women here wrap themselves in this material, knotting it in front. The salouvas don’t seem to stay up that well, as... [Lire la suite]
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25 septembre 2011

Cooking

What happened when we went to the market !Tomatoes, coconuts, green bananas, peppers, yellow bananas, papayas, cassavas.                 After having trailed as many times as humanly possible round the two local supermarkets – one of which is a large one with pretty much everything at triple the average French price, the other is a discount chain store spread all over Mayotte – and having bought various fruit and vegetables at little street markets that... [Lire la suite]
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