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Simple things take longer in Mauritius

Friday, September 9, 2022


Karen Thornalley

my blog

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Simply answered, it is wonderful, however, there are sometimes moments when you question why! Here's an example, of what I mean.

I work from home after creating a working office in my basement. Yesterday at 3 pm local time we were informed (just through social media) that today the whole of the Black River area (population circa 4000) was to have no electricity between the hours of 9am - 4pm!

Now, this on its own may sound very third-world and not conducive to a standard of living you would normally expect but here in Mauritius it does happen and we are set up for this with many properties having installed a generator to cover these periods.

image: mauritius cost of living


First things first, check the diesel!

Ok, so now I need diesel and have the simple task of picking some up from the local garage. I made the decision to go to the Shell garage which is closer to my home even though I had promised myself I would never go there again following the fact that I had just been fed up with going down there for petrol only to find the place closed when it shouldn't be. But as I had time constraints due to work I thought I would go back.

The gates were open and I pulled onto the forecourt only to be greeted by three petrol attendees gesturing with their hands that there wasn't any fuel left! With this I drove off promising myself again that this would definitely be the last time I went there.

Off I went to the next petrol station, Engin, where after a short drive I arrive, wind down my window, and hand the plastic can to the attendant asking for it to be filled with diesel, to which I am greeted with the reply, "Cash?".

This question is asked by all petrol stations now on the island since the government imposed a 1% tax on petrol stations taking bank card payments and in response, the petrol stations have turned to cash only!

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image: mauritius finance

Guess what, no cash!!

I drive off to the nearest ATM at London Supermarket complaining to myself for forgetting about the cash requirement. As I'm driving, I think to myself which will be quicker (again, being concerned about my work time constraints), the ATM at London or the one at MCB Bank a little further down the road.

As I pass London I can see someone at its ATM which means it is in use so I quickly pull in and park the car, walk to the ATM to find that it is not fully functioning and only taking "Juice" withdrawals, which I have not set up on my account!!!

Back to the car and off to MCB and to cut this very long story short, I succeed in extracting money for the ATM and go back to the petrol station to fill up my can with diesel, return home and top up the generator ready for today's power outage.

This journey in a modern world would take around 10 minutes maximum whereas in Mauritius you have to be prepared that it may take over an hour.

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image: Mauritius Island

Learn to live with it!

This is just a sample of some of the day-to-day frustrations that can be experienced here on Mauritius island especially if you originate from a modernised country.

It does not mean that it makes living here less appealing just that, like every way of life, it is not perfect and will very be so, however, if you can set aside these types of occurrences as part of the normal way of life you get over it and yourself then just head to the beach again.

For more on Mauriitus lifestyle, why not go to our page on this topic

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