On Thursday I have no teaching at the University, so I stay home and work on Auburn projects, or run errands. Today was a combination of both. I was paid by the University for their share of my house rent, so I had to run down to the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) to cash the check. I have discovered that anything of an 'official' nature (post office, bank, etc.) requires at least three pieces of paper and lots and lots of stamping with ink stamps. Mauritians really like to stamp official paperwork with ink stamps. However, I got my money!
Pictured above is Jims' driveway, which is almost done. Those two guys have been coming somewhat regularly for over a month (the irregularity is why it has been a month), and they are hand cutting the piled stone you see into the driveway. They are amazing stonemasons, and have done all the work with hand tools and one cutting saw.
Today was also trash day, which was good, as our bin was piled slap full and was getting rather tangy. Trash is simply piled into each houses square receptical - they are built into the wall. The trash guys come by and rake it out, pile it into the baskets and then throw it in the truck. I have seen no recycling of any type on the island. Unfortunately, Mauritius has a tendency to get a bit rubbishy. While the tourist areas are pristine the regular roads and routes we travel have a pretty constant edge of glass, papers and debris by the walkways. There always seems be a trash can near, but the litter does accumulate. It is an interesting fact, because individual homeowners and business owners are demons for cleaning with water - every morning the stoops and porches are scrubbed and rinsed. It's just that the public byways don't seem to get picked up all that often.
This is a view of St. Jean road, the main thoroughfare for Quatre Bornes. The blue bus is at one of my regular stops, with the DVD store behind it. There are virtually no movie theatres in Mauritius anymore - there is one on Port Louis and another in Curepipe but that is it. The reason is that pirated movies are everywhere, and no one bothers to pay the ticket price to see a movie. DVDs can be bought for 3 for 100 Ru ($3.00 US). Pirated DVDs are everywhere - street corners, small stores - everyone browses and uses them. Just for fun I asked the guy if he had the 'A Team' movie (which is not yet out in the US, or on I-Tunes) and he said he only had it in French right now. You can see why copyright people are furious - completely flagrant law breaking.
Mauritus is a great place for vegans to shoe shop. The shoes are all made of plastic - all in China or South Africa. The concept of arch support has not been introduced here. The market has hundreds of styles, and they are all what the women wear. Many have fake jewels, glitter or are made of shiny plastic. They are all sandals or flip-flops, and cost anywhere from 120 Ru ($4.00) to around 10 bucks (300 Ru) US. I'm wearing one of my favorite pairs in the above photo. I though they would surely give me a blister, so when I wore them to work last week I took my trusted Chacos, just to have a back-up. The $4.00 all plastic sandal was completely comfortable and I wore them all day!