Friday, June 06, 2014

Rockin' the Maldives

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.

THE GIRLFRIEND

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. 







I'm leaving here at the end of July, and I'm going to spend the fall in South America and then get a job in the Emirates next year. I told her if she doesn't want to live in the Emirates, we absolutely have to break up.

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 ...




7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Disappointing.

If you're teaching in the middle east and you don't have a wife and kid from eastern Europe. latin America or south east asia then what the hell are you doing?

Commit to this girl or get back to drinking yourself yourself to death. Shit!

englishteacherx said...

I just told you, we can't agree about where to live.

What I am doing here is saving the money that I never saved in my 20s and 30s. And what are you doing?

Anonymous said...

As if there were only two choices in life: marry or drink yourself to death.

englishteacherx said...

You could drink yourself to death quite easily in the Middle East on prison wine or moonshine. Plenty of guys doing it, married or not.

Mike said...

Would she live at a somewhat warmer latitude in Russia? Or does it have to be frozen-ass Vodkaburg? I hear that Russia just acquired some premier ocean-view real estate in the south.

englishteacherx said...

Hee hee. We'll it's probably Emirates or bust. She even doesn't want to live in Moscow.

Anonymous said...

What about all the foreign contract worker honeys? They are available, or is it too dangerous to try?