Ok yeah, I have left a wonderful community in Addu and the kids moved me very much when they said goodbye (I didn’t succumb to tears, don’t worry lads, but come on, who makes signs like that!?). That’s great and all that, but all sentimentality was forgoten when I got to the Inn in Hulumale and I saw my SHOWER. YES. I have hot water and a shower head thing that is actually above my head, never had one of those bad boys before. The power is adjustable and most important of all I can shower above body temperature. Give a Goon a cold shower and wash him begrudgingly once a day at most (it’s a sad but very real truth); give a Goon a hot shower and he does more than enough washing for a whole family. People who know me know I fudging love showers so I’ve had three already in about 15 hours….
Hulhumale and Male in general is a huge contrast to Addu. First thing you will notice is that all the roads are tarmac and this is typical of the centralized policy of the Maldives. Male is where shizz goes down but you do pay for the shizz. For example from my local contacts I’ve heard it is very normal restaurant practice for there to be a local menu and then a tourist, 1000% inflated menu. But I am lucky to actually be doing something here (rowing, u donut, what else) so I am meeting locals who either let me eat at their house or take me to the non-extortionate eateries. Another thing was that when I landed I wasn’t sure that I had actually caught the right flight: everyone bar myself was oriental and I had to do a double take to make sure that the Dhivehi I saw in front of me wasn’t actually Mandarin. The market for Chinese tourists to the Maldives is booming, and it is no wonder fried rice is the only thing you can get in all restaurants.
But yes, the real reason I am here is for rowing. On his departure from the Maldives, Caesar of Riches (English coach) proclaimed that this boathouse in Hulhumale was “the World’s First YouTube Boatclub” and I agree with that prognosis. The people operating it are very keen professionals who are passionate about the sport, although they have never truly experienced it. They have three doubles and a rudimental shed which houses them and has preserved them very well for the two years the boats have been here. However they have only been rowing for the last month and they have learnt technique from Google and YouTube videos, much like if you remember, how my laptop was fixed. Results have been mixed but what is certain is that there is more than enough enthusiasm and motivation here to make the project a success in Hulhumale.
Another thing I have been pondering has been the website for the association. I have found people to make the website and all we need now is a domain. rowingassociationmaldives.com for some reason is not available so I had this alternative suggestion to keep it as close as possible:
rowingassmaldives.com- People will get the right idea, won’t they?
Other matters include a visit to the floating library later, which will surely be interesting!