Category: Travel

Road to Hana

Road to Hana was definitely one of the most memorable drives. Over 600 steep curves and 58 narrow one-lane bridges, 30+ miles of mind-blowingly beautiful scenery.

Luckily in our family only one person suffers from car-sickness – Wen. Luckily, because there is one cure: seat the car-sick person behind the wheel!

For the first few miles I was driving, but then it started to seem like we had to turn back. Wen has only ever driven our Tesla, and she wasn’t keen on trying a gas engine. She did wonderfully though, and for as long as she was driving, she felt great.

I was able to enjoy the views and snap some photos too. I’ll post some if I ever have enough time to extract them from the camera. 🙂

For the trip we used a nice app called GyPSy guide. During the way to Hana it detailed various must-see places to stop and on the way back it told the history of Hawaii from the early times when the first people arrived from Polynesia. Recommended!

This is a repost of my original Facebook post.

When the world is unplugged

I have a weird feeling. I am currently on a paradise island, sitting by the beach looking at the waves tirelessly massage the white sand. The sun is shining, things couldn’t get much better than this. Except, the internet is broken. I can’t get online.

The phone line is dead, and so is the DSL connection. Not only that – my wife took the kids to Four Seasons to have some lunch and do some shopping, and she took my iPhone. I’m in a remote villa, far away from even the nearest village, without any means of communication.

The world could end right now and I wouldn’t know. There is absolutely no way to get in touch with me and I cannot reach anyone. Mark Zuckerberg, with all his 600 million friends, wouldn’t be able to reach me no matter how hard he tried.

It shouldn’t be that weird though. I often travel and I am used to being disconnected during the flights. In fact, I often dream of going for a vacation somewhere with no internet at all. The biggest problem now is the fact that I didn’t expect the internet connection to die. Today was supposed to be business as usual and I was going to be connecting with a lot of people.

I can keep working to an extent. I can write some blogs, tune up a business plan, organize documents, etc. But sooner or later I need to be online. It’s actually quite scary to think how much I depend on the internet. I’ve organized my life such that I am almost completely location-independent. I can work anywhere in the world and I can move around freely as long as I keep my laptop with me. And as long as I get online.

Ironically, if you’re reading this post the internet is back and the world is connected again!

Update: No, the internet is still down at the villa, but in a show of Mauritian hospitality, I am typing this at a nearby villa where the friendly owners let me user their Wifi. Unfortunately the signal is not strong enough to carry to our side, but this works, too.

 

Mauritian time

I’m writing this watching the Indian Ocean waves gently touch the beach in front of our rented beach villa in Mauritius. It’s really amazing how moving from the short, dark and cold days of Switzerland to the tropical sunshine of Mauritius makes miracles to one’s feelings in just a few days. We obviously need sunlight.

Something that I have learned of Mauritians so far is that they seem to have no sense of time whatsoever. Perhaps it’s the paradise-like environment where they roam day in and day out, around the year. Or perhaps there’s something in the water here. The locals told me they drink the local tap water, but I should not.

If a taxi drive in Mauritius tells you the drive will take 20 minutes, it’ll probably take an hour. If he tells we’re almost there, just five more minutes, be prepared to wait for at least another 20. And if you agree to meet someone at 5PM, they will arrive at 6PM or later.

Yuer checking out Mauritian waters

In fact, being just about one hour late is so common here that I started to question if I really have the wrong time. It would be odd, since the iPhone gets the time from the mobile network, Mac gets the time from Apple servers and Google surely has some great place where they get the correct time from.

Still, I had to ask. Our maid told us she’d arrive 9AM, and sure enough it was just about 10AM when she showed up. I didn’t want to seem rude so I waited for another hour and then casually asked what time it is. She checked her watch – eleven! So, they do know the time but they just systematically arrive one hour late.

Sofitel L’Imperial Mauritius at night

I would call it a coincidence, but we’ve been here for almost a week now and not once has anyone been on time. Even the room service at the hotel we first stayed at came after 1.5 hours of wait. Half an hour was the estimate.

The upside of all this is that the locals don’t seem to mind waiting, either. When we go shopping, the taxi driver is happy to wait outside, even if it takes several hours. I am guessing since it’s not the tourist season, they have no customers to drive anyway. Generally, there is no extra charge for the wait time as it is always cheaper to take a round trip than a separate taxi both ways. Obviously this goes well with the relaxed island lifestyle.

The number one taxi in Mauritius!

The most special taxi driver has been a guy who drives with license plate number one. His grandfather had the first car on the island and got the license number 1, which in turn was transferred to his dad and then to him. When the time comes, he will transfer it to his son!

When in Rome, and so on. From now on please excuse me if I appear a little sloppy with timing, I’m just trying to get accustomed to living in paradise!

Edelweiss Airlines flight just landed in Mauritius