The fishy smell of politics is in the air. For the first time, the sounds of the street were not dominated by political broadcasts or Eurovision propaganda. I got up bright and earlyish (I can’t seem to get up before 9am) to snoop around the polling stations. It was all very civil, as democracy should be, but whispers of dodgy goings-on marred the day, but no one expected any different. I got chatting to a very nice bloke at the polling station, who happened to be the TV presenter for the national news channel, I skirted around politics to ask if he could come and do a piece on the rowing… I’m just all for getting the word out ya know. He will hopefully come if that competition takes place in December.
The days politicking was summed up by a folorn Habeeb at dinner, who despite his assuredness that MDP would landslide the flip out of round two, said that there would most probably be a round two for round two which will happen soon. Keep it on ice, in other words.
It was business as usual for the rowing, with the reliable people turning up on time and the reliably-late people living up to their title. Today the à la carte exercise was single strokes. Fun. I can start to see how the group will take shape as now a bit of stability and rhythm is helping to the ability of the regulars, especially with the boys. I need a few more girls before I can start to make any sort of judgments.
After rowing, I thought I would pop to the gym before dinner. Pop I did and I might have have regretted my decision if not for some cracking situational awareness on my part, not to boast. As I cycled over to the gym I looked to see if anyone was visible through the windows, as the Sri Lankan shipbuilders said they were there everyday from 6pm. No Sri Lankan shipbuilders. Hmmm, perhaps they’re building ships I thought. I pulled my bike out just outside to see a large group of people inside the rest of the building looking very serious. So before going into the gym room and blasting out the electro for my workout, I engaged brain. So today is a Saturday and I know the gym should be open. But today is also the day of the elections. This is a public place, owned by the government. Ah. I asked someone if there was electioneering happening dedans. Of course there was, and no ordinary electioneering, it was the Electoral Commission. Banana skin avoided. I thanked brain.
Tomorrow I will begin what will hopefully become a regular fixture during my stay. I’m going to Habeeb’s house in the morning to observe Zally making my lunch. Not in a voyeuristic capacity, but because I want to learn. I’m coming to terms with the fact that one day fish might not seem to taste so nice when I’m back home, so hopefully I’ll be able to preserve a little bit of that Maldivian spirit through really poor attempts at my own fish curries. Worst comes to worst, I can claim that what I made is exactly like what I had here, I’ll just say that it’s the freshness of the fish that’s done it. For instance today I had some Red Snapper, caught yesterday by Habeeb, and it was probably one of the juiciest fish I’ve ever had. Now you wouldn’t see Kerry Katona swinging a red snapper around at Iceland, would you?