Come to Mauritius !

My dear Billy, Mauritius is a paradise to live in – if you are a tourist who detests going back home.


There are a few tips that we could tender to prospective visitors from other parts of the world, visitors who are blissfully ignorant of the fact that there is a financial crisis going on in Mauritius and a few other parts of the great big world. The first thing that they should know, my dear Billy, is that Mauritius is a country discovered and rediscovered several times by the Phoenicians, Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, etc, in order  to annoy the French and the British. These two nations got so annoyed in fact that they went into an arrangement à l’Israelienne, a win-win formula borrowed in advance from our local political leaders, and shared the colonization of the Indian Ocean paradise from 1715 to   1968, when Mauritius decided it was time to take its own things in its own hands.

But French and British traditions take a very long time to die and are still pervading Mauritian life to this day, my dear Billy, and one o f the reasons Mauritius is such a steady and gracious place, is the soothing influence of British football and French phoneyness, or Francophony. Moreover, Mauritius today has a population of 1.5 million animals, out which 1.2 million think they are human.

Several years ago one of the rare thinkers that this country has ever invented, Malcolm de Chazal, said that Mauritians were adept at cultivating sugar cane and prejudices. These two industries have been faring quite honourably side by side, my dear Billy, but today it would seem that with the reduced price of sugar on our guaranteed European market, prejudices have superseded the sweet condiment. By and by, we have also developed other industries too, and all of them are equally prospering: gossip, rumour, backbiting, drug, crime, incompetence, selfishness… And of course, a few secondary industries of lesser importance like textile and tourism have also emerged. So have I.T and others.

What follows concerns the more adventurous ones. In Mauritius you’ll find all kinds of gambling devices for your entertainment and probable ruin: casinos, horse betting, football pools, and wedding chapels. So, when you’re in Mauritius, my advice is: always keep your money and other valuables in safe place, such as Switzerland. This will also keep away both the licensed robbers and the novices. Another thing: if in Rome, you are apt to do like Romans, never take the risk of doing like Mauritians here, because a Mauritian’s mind works best when it is almost too late, and in trouble, most Mauritians tend to think with their legs rather than with their brains, which is quite a rare commodity anyway.

We Mauritians wear an acute sense of patriotism, and some of our patented patriots are too shrewd to be sincere. Tourists are advised to be wise enough not to trust them too near, especially at the Port Louis market and other shopping centers. Also in a number of restaurants.

Come to Mauritius, even if a couple of days is all you can afford; in any case, two days are more than enough for a  complete tour of the island which  is slightly larger than a 6 a side football pitch. Come to Mauritius, I say, and you will be highly impressed. The thing that will impress you the most here is by far the way parents obey their children. They servilely do all their children’s biddings for fear of retribution, satisfying their least fads and fancies. Also because it’s the children who are going to choose the old people’s home they will be sent to in their later days.

I told you earlier that our industries of gossip, rumour, backbiting etc., were running prosperously. You will find that in this respect the female of the Mauritian   species is faster than the He-mail, although the others are fast catching up too.

It is said the proper means for increasing the love we bear to our native country is to leave it from time to time and go to another country. This is an experience worth trying. I have myself found that what I have gained by visiting other countries is learning to be better satisfied with my own dear little Mauritius. Let no one - prophet, pimp or politician - come and tell me that I didn’t try to attract tourists to our reefs, my dear Billy.


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