I went to the Maldives with the Girlfriend in February.
A cool holiday is not just a cool holiday, it's pretty much a necessity when you're living in a shitty industrial area in the Middle East. It's the only thing that can make my barren life worthwhile, so I decided to do my two-week February holiday up right.
|I used to have a poster very much like this on my wall in college; I love it when that happens.|
The Maldives is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to, with crystal clear water and spotless white beaches. (Except for its capital, of course, which is as grubby and dirty as any East Asian city.)
If you have even the most remote interest in diving, snorkeling or aquatic life you really should go there. I've dived and snorkeled extensively in Thailand and Egypt -- and we're talking back in the 90s before the massive influx of tourists and climate change -- and the Maldives pretty much blows them both away. The coral is still bright and colorful and the marine life was insane -- I saw octopi, dolphins, turtles, all kinds of trigger fish, and we saw sharks and stingrays pretty much daily.
|Black-tipped reef sharks on morning beach patrol.|
Most people who go to the Maldives stay in the resorts, which are usually located on their own private islands -- I suppose you can look for deals with travel agents, but they usually start about $400 a night. Thanks to my King's Ransom of oil money that I get, I gave the Girlfriend her dream and we stayed in one for a week.
Keep driving those big-ass SUVs, America, and I'll keep going on awesome holidays.
HACKING THE MALDIVES
Ah ha, but -- you can hack the Maldives a bit.
For a lower budget, you can go to the island of Maafushi, (a 2-hour ferry ride from the airport that costs about $5) where there are numerous hotels and guest houses that cost much less (although you'd still probably be lucky to get a nice one for less than $100 a night, since there's like a 30 percent tax on tourists.) We spent one week on a resort island, one week on Maafushi.
And the cafes at the hotels and around the island aren't too expensive, also -- you can get a meal for $ 6 - $10 easily enough. Maafushi, like the rest of the populated Maldives, is under Islamic rules, so there's no alcohol or topless sunbathing or anything, but there is one beach on the island where they are a bit more relaxed about women in bikinis, and there are all kinds of day-trips to other "private" islands that cost from $40 - $100 per person.
So if you have a woman you want to impress, you can get flights to Mali City from Dubai for less than $500 round trip, and you've got your dream beach holiday.
And of the Maldives, you can certainly say, "See it before it's gone." Because projections of rising sea levels and warming oceans mean a lot of the islands (and fish and coral) will probably disappear in our lifetimes.
I tried to break up with her last year, I really did; but she basically refused. And it's not like I had a lot of motivation; there are simply no other options for me here in the Desert Industrial Zone, and all the other girls I know are married. (You can read about my various disastrous attempts to hook up with other girls last year in my next memoir.)
She still doesn't want to live abroad, and I still don't want to go back to Vodkaberg and live. (That seems like a hideous step backwards in life, into the cold and the dark.)
But I recently turned 45 and she recently turned 30; we're both at an age when the dating prospects in our particular realms are less than palatable.
She said, "We'll talk about it when you live in the Emirates." Until then I guess we're long-standing vacation fuck buddies.
In short, we're still treading water ...
|A pretty girl is like a melody that lingers on. And on and on and on ...|