Mauritius day 1: Flight to Mauritius

Today I am flying off on my second solo trip!

I’m excited and a little nervous. My previous solo trip was to Krabi which is not too far away from Singapore and still within Southeast Asia. Although that was my first trip to Krabi, I’ve been to Thailand so it’s not as if it was a totally unfamiliar country. However this time, I’ll be going to Mauritius which felt very far away from Singapore. The flight was a daunting 9 – 10 hours long. Not only that, Mauritius was an unfamiliar place. So this should be quite an adventure. That is, if I can muster up the motivation to move my lazy butt out of the resort. It is entirely possible that I may just decide to stay at the resort for the whole trip as my main purpose was to rest and recharge.

I reached the airport early and was rather surprised to find that the counter was already open. Even better, there was no queue and I could check in immediately. With the necessities done, it was time to get some food into my stomach because the flight was at 11:55 am.

I decided to have a fast food breakfast. It was a nice indulgence because by the time I usually wake up, it’s already lunch. Changi Airport Terminal 1 had Texas Chicken so I had the Texas Platter (which is something like McDonald’s Big Breakfast). There is a chicken patty, scrambled eggs, hash brown, and honey and butter biscuit.

After finishing the food, I decided that I still preferred McDonald’s breakfast although some of the items were pretty decent. I liked the biscuit and hash brown, but I preferred McDonald’s slightly crispier, saltier and greasier hash brown. The scrambled eggs might actually be slightly better than McDonald’s. The worst item was the chicken patty which was rather tasteless and looked like some type of mock meat.

For this trip, I brought along a laptop, tablet, ebook reader and mobile phone. It was a lot of gadgets. I could probably could do without the tablet but I got hooked recently on Fallout Shelter and decided that I could not bear to leave my vault unsupervised for a week. So in the tablet goes as well. I guess nobody else was as mad as me to bring along so many gadgets. The uncle at the boarding gate was highly amused when he saw the number of gadgets I sent through the x-ray machine. “Quite a handful,” he laughed.

The plane was very empty when it departed from Singapore. I was very surprised that I was the only passenger in my row. Perhaps I could raise the armrests so that I could lie down and sleep.

Soon after the plane took off, the air steward passed out a cup of orange juice to each of us. My first drink on the plane.

Then 45 minutes later, the plane landed in Kuala Lumpur to pick up more passengers and a large crowd came onboard. My row was now fully filled. Sigh, there goes my hope of having a good sleep.

After the plane took off again, we were given a small bag of pretzels and a drink. The pretzels were actually quite tasty and I finished all of it. Even though I could, I didn’t ask for any alcoholic drinks. I preferred to drink juices while on the plane as it was less dehydrating.

The movie selection on Air Mauritius was pretty good. I picked Kingsman: The Secret Service for my first movie as Sayang said that it was an action movie which I would like. It was fun to watch and the young protege wasn’t as irritating as other movies featuring young proteges. The movie also had two British actors I liked (even though one of them died later on). I also appreciated that even though a lot of people died in the movie, it wasn’t bloody. In fact most people died off screen and even when they do die onscreen, there was no blood on their bodies or surroundings. Quite a refreshing change.

Lunch was a choice of fish with noodles or chicken curry with rice. I picked the curry. It was pretty tasty and just a little spicy. The cous cous salad was not bad either and the mango cheesecake was okay. All in all, not bad for an airplane meal.

After lunch, a 53 yo Chinese passenger sitting across the aisle asked me if I could help fill in his embarkation card. He did not know any English so he had difficulty filling in the information. So I helped him and his friend to fill in their cards. From his accent, I could tell that he was from China and he too later confirmed it. I think he was delighted to find someone who spoke Mandarin and he started chatting with me. He said that he and his friends were on the way to Mauritius to work on board a ship. Due to his job, he had been to many countries and this was his second time going to Mauritius. When he found out that I was from Singapore, he told me that he was been to Singapore a few times as well. He praised Singapore for being a beautiful and safe country but he also said that Singapore was very small and hot. Later, he told me that Mauritius had many deers and advised me to buy 鹿茸 (deer antler) as it was cheaply available. I thanked him although it was unlikely that I would buy any. I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

For my second movie, I watched a lighthearted Bollywood movie called Happy New Year. It starred Bell’s favorite actor Shah Rukh Khan (SRK). The movie was quite entertaining although sometimes it felt that it was trying too hard to sell the heartwarming idea that a group of losers were given a second chance to proof themselves to everyone. While the characters were not super successful in life, they also did not felt as downtrodden as the film tried to make them be. They definitely did not feel like losers so I felt a bit irritated whenever the movie tried to portray them as the underdogs. Also for the first time, I realized that SRK was quite short as almost every male actor in the movie was taller than him.

Four hours later, the air stewardess gave out the last snack which was a mushroom roll. There were chopped mushrooms and what tasted like cabbage and radish wrapped in the roll.

I finished it even though I didn’t quite like the taste. It tasted too vegetarian for my liking, and I felt sick until the plane landed at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Mauritius. I was glad to get off the plane as I was aching all over. No matter how I position myself in the seat, it was just not comfortable. It felt good to be able to stand up and walk.

I had booked a stay at Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers because I am too lazy to do much research about Mauritius. Unlike some people, I don’t like planning the itinerary for trips. Every time I tried to read up on Mauritius, I would find myself distracted with something else after a few minutes. If I had to plan the itinerary before I can go, I would never be able to make it to Mauritius. In the end, I decided to go with Club Med because a lot of things like meals would be settled and I don’t need to bother with that.

I had booked an airport transfer from Club Med but I wasn’t able to find the driver who was supposed to pick me up. I decided to wait for a while. Perhaps he was late as it was what happened to me in Krabi. As I was contemplating whether to give Club Med a call, a bearded man wearing a flat cap came up to me and asked if I wanted a taxi. When I told him that I had booked an airport transfer from Club Med, the man helpfully advised me to check with counter 16 or 17 to see if they knew anything. However when I reached the counters, I realized that they were for other hotels. As I turned back, I was surprised to see that the bearded man walking towards me. He had came to make sure that I was alright which was very nice of him. When he found out that counters 16 and 17 were unable to help, he asked a nearby airport staff who then directed me to the Club Med counter. Club Med was at counter 1.

I thanked the bearded man gratefully and hurried to counter 1. The man at the Club Med counter greeted me cheerfully and gave me a bottle of water. He then told a colleague to carry my luggage to the car (which was a white Ford). The drive to Club Med took over an hour. At first I enjoyed the ride and asked the driver some questions about Mauritius. Then in the second half of the car journey, I started to feel a bit car sick so I was glad when we finally arrived at the resort.

A cheerful young man called Jonathon greeted me. I was given a welcome drink which was something sweet with a tinge of lime, just what I needed to get over the carsick feeling. Jonathon settled the logistics at registration and came back with my room key and a brochure outlining the list of activities and available timings. He also tied a green ribbon around my wrist which he said was to identify me as a guest at Club Med.

My room looks good. The room was pretty spacious. Although I did wonder why they gave me a towel swan covered with flower petals. This kind of welcome felt more suitable for honeymooning couples. I’m not sure what to do with the swan so I left it where it was. There’s more than enough room for two of us on the bed.

I noticed that there were no comb or toothbrush in the bathroom (unlike other hotels I’ve stayed in) so it was a good thing I brought my own. There was a bar of soap, body wash and shampoo. There was no bathtub but that’s alright; I preferred a shower anyway. I liked that shower area was covered in uneven stone tiles.

It was too dark to go for a walk and I had no appetite for dinner. Mauritius is 4 hours behind Singapore so even though it was dinnertime in Mauritius, it was already 11 pm in Singapore. It could be that my stomach was still on Singapore time, or it could be that I was too tired after all the travelling. So I skipped dinner and turned in early.

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