13 August 2008

A long break, a new life...

Crocodile Park in Mauritius with Stella and her parents

Instead of running up a tall tower like that shown in the video in my previous entry, I did something else - I ran away to Mauritius.

I had been feeling so out-of-sorts and knew I needed a proper break. Ever since I started work, I had not taken a break for myself. So it didn't take me long to book the cheapest return airfare to Mauritius I could find.

I spent about 10 days there resting and going to more beaches than I had ever visited in my life. That was a must, according to Stella. Looking at the crystal clear waters, and feeling the fine floury sand between my toes, I understood why. Stella, for the uninitiated, is my long-time toilet-mate from university who put forth an open invitation for free accomodation in Mauritius anytime I was disposed to fly over.

Mauritius is a beautiful place with plenty of sugarcane plantations to sweeten honeymoons. Mountain ranges are in sight virtually everywhere, no matter where you stand in Mauritius, thanks to low rise buildings. The first part of my trip experienced temperamental weather of strong winds and transient rain, but Stella and I prayed and prayed. Her friends and family showered warmth and hospitality that gave me all I needed to withstand the cold until the sun finally sauntered out from behind the clouds.

I was incredibly blessed to have Stella host me during my entire stay in Mauritius. Her family brought me to the Crocodile park that not only had giant tortoises I could sit on, but also served (surprise surprise) crocodile steak as pictured above. It had the tender chewiness of medium rare beef, but looked almost entirely like perfectly grilled pork steak. It tasted however, milder than I expected - a cross between chicken and fish. It was a thrill simply to taste crocodile steak.

There was so much Stella brought me to see and do in Mauritius that covering it all in one entry would do the trip little justice. Instead, I will share with everyone in later entries, specific (food) items I really enjoyed that left a deep impression in me.

Shortly after returning to Singapore, I spent the past week in Bangkok nursing a flu while trying to make sure I brought home some new clothes for my tired wardrobe. It was tough trying to stay chirpy and lively while my system threatened to breakdown with each hack or sniffle, but my beloved friend nursed me to health with many rounds of warm water, cough medication and Strepsils.

Am I refreshed and raring to go back to work tomorrow (actually, today since it is now 1.35am)? Not really. That I am typing this at 1.35am in the morning also means I'm probably going to feel lethargic at work while battling the thousands of emails in my inbox.

One good thing that came out of this break however, is that I have found energy to bake/cook again! I spent a good part of the last 24 hours in the kitchen playing with custards and batters. I am also very inspired to cook one of my favourite dishes from Mauritius. The problem is simply finding the key ingredient whose name I do not even know.

This long break was also meant to symbolically mark the closure of one big chapter in my life, and the start of a new one with a brand new, clean slate.

Sharing my latest favourite quote:
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present." - Wugui master from Kungfu Panda


Kenny said...

Hello there,

Nice that you've enjoyed your stay here in Mauritius :) Hope that you are more refreshed now to start work again :P

ivan said...

Well done. Good to see you're back.

Catch up soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kenny, thank you very much. I am indeed more refreshed to work!

Ivan, thank you for your email as well. Yes we'll catch up soon =)

Sam said...

wooooh, i still remember the food of mauritius from my last visit.

Seems you know a lot about mauritius.

all the best