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Mauritius, What you need to know

Sunday, August 28, 2022


Karen Thornalley

my blog

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mauritius now


There is no such thing as a tradesmen here I Mauritius. If you are coming from a first world country you will be use to the facet that every plumber, bricklayer, plasterer, electrician, gas fitter has taken many years of exams to be able to work in a private home.

Here in Mauritius this doesn’t exist! Most will have been trained by the untrained and unqualified. So as a rule of thumb, you will probably have to go through the frustration and financial waist of going through a number of so called ‘trades people’ to a good one. So, when you do, do let them go and most importantly, don’t tell anyone about them!

image: mauritius jobs


Two tier charging system

In shops and stores outside of the large supermarkets it is common that you will fin not price labels on anything, even something as simple buying roti on the street or an ice cream from one of the mobile vans you will n to see prices displayed anywhere. That's because there are two prices for pretty much everything here, one for locals and one for foreigners (which includes me of course).

However this two tiered charging system is more transparent when it comes to things such as visiting attractions. For instance, if you go to most of the attractions sites they will have two prices listed, one for residents and one for non-residents, where the difference in price can be unto 100% more expensive!

I prefer the later, as at least here you can see how much you are being overcharged and make an informed decision whether or not to accept the increase in cost. The former, you haven't got a clue what the difference in charging is, if its a percentage or just something that's been made up on the spot!

cost of living in mauritius compared to us

image: mauritius cost of living

If you see it, like it, can afford it, then buy it!

As the title about indicates you don't have time to go away and think about things here on the island when you've found something you like as invariably it will be gone the next time you who back. This is down to two main reasons, if its of good quality and at a reasonable price it will sell out very quickly as stock is limited on the island due to mostly everything being imported by sea which brings its on issues discussed below.

A couple of years ago my old MacBook Pro decided to give up on me and as a laptop is basically my office I needed a replacement fast. Apple store don't exist on the Island as like many of the larger global brands, this is due to "reason number two" that being the Island and its population is just to small (if you are expecting to see the likes of Ikea here, forget it!). Instead, they have authorised resellers, so a range around the reseller stores and found one that have them in stock (or so I was told). Upon arrival I could see the update MacBook Pro on display and to the time to try it out.

Having limited time and options I said, "great, I'll take one". This was then turned with the announcement that they had none in stock so I asked if they could find out which one of those their stores had one to save me time. They looked on their stock system and discovered the display laptop I was trying out was the last one on the island with the outlook of having new stock in months not days! This theme has continue for with Apple accessories such as charges, cables and connectors where stock is limited or none existent!

A compounding issue that attributes to the lack of stock of day to day items is shipping. Not that ships don't come in but that there isn't many tug boats to bring large ships into Port Louis port. My understanding is that there are only three tugs on the island reduced from four after one tragically being sunk whilst pulling in the reef stricken Japanese iron-ore vessel the Wakashio in September 2020.

living expenses in mauritius

image: shopping in mauritius

No official language

You will hear many languages spoken here in Mauritius, predominantly English, French & Mauritius Creole but also; Hindi, Tamil, Urdu and Mandarin.

Whilst you will hear French and English distributed through the education and professional sector on pretty much equal proportions as the legal system here mirrors the UK's, so English is prevalent thought out it. However, if we look at Mauritius media, the chosen language is French which is used on Radio, TV and in Newspaper and Magazines.

Virtually everyone employed in the tourism industry and throughout the government generally speaks both French and English.

To learn more about Mauritius Creole, the island native language, we are doing a regular language section on our guest writer Blog space so you can go to:

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