July 27, 2015

Everyday Life in Exotic Places

Evan has had a sore tooth since just south of Male in the Maldives, Charlie the cat began running low on kitty litter one week in to our stay on Chagos and my shoes all came unglued somewhere in Sri Lanka. We did try gluing my shoes back together. I even had one pair sewn together by a shoe mender in Trinco. But the reality of sailing around the world is even paradise has limitations: sometimes you need sail through a couple of countries before you find a good dentist.

The Seychelles are gorgeous. At least that’s what we hear. We’ve spent the best part of the past four weeks anchored in the same spot, trying to get the dodgy mobile networks to keep us connected to the internet long enough so that we could research dentists, find a pet store and come up with replacement shoes.

I’m not whinging. We ARE in the Seychelles. But one of the mundane aspects of arriving in a new country every month is that everyday needs don’t just stop. We still need haircuts, root canals have to be worked into cruising schedules and Maia keeps working her way through the school year—which means we sometimes need new textbooks.

The Seychelles turned out to be a good spot for doing most of this. While it doesn’t have the sort of stellar medical system that attracts medical tourism, it does have serviceable, reasonably priced dentists. So while Evan had his root canal redone, Maia and I both had cleanings and checkups. We also got haircuts—our fourth and fifth in countries where we don’t quite speak the language. And we found textbooks at the store that supplies the English high school.

Between the big errands we hunted down spare parts for the boat and tasty things for the galley. We also searched out cat litter and cat food. For the things we couldn’t buy here there was a courier service (which required three visits to the post office and three visits to the airport and six 30 minute bus rides to get back and forth).

the best avacados come from one guy in the market--but you need to get there early
After four weeks we can tell you which shop has the best price on cheese, which butcher trims his pork the nicest, where to find stainless boat parts and which bus to catch to get to the dive shop. We may not be able to tell you much about the best beach, best restaurant or best hotel but we can tell you where to get the best baguette and which shop has the cheeriest clerks. And we can tell you that even though some shops have a weird assortment of stuff the clerks are super helpful. Also I can tell you that the nice woman at the hair salon did a great job on my cut—she even told me I have pretty decent white-lady hair.

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