"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived. After all Number One, we're only mortal..." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Day 8: Goodbye Male'
Sigh...the day I had dreaded to see during my stay in the Maldives...'going home' day...it's always a bitter-sweet experience to leave my friends to go back to reality...but before leaving in such dismay, I was determined not to let the day be spoiled by my sentimental self...and just so happenned, Aindhy and Michael had made arrangements to take me to Viligili, an island just west of Male', about 7 minutes by dhoni for snorkelling...
We headed to the jetty and bought our dhoni tickets (cost us 3 Rufiyaa per person per trip, which is damn cheap @ Rufiyaa to RM 0.35). While waiting for our dhoni, Ali, our guide, joined us. So, the 4 of us headed out to the island... Ali took us to a marine aquarium at Viligili to look-see...basically, Ali handles marine fishes for the export market (just an idea of how lucrative it is, a butterfly fish would cost USD150...minimum.... excluding shipping and handling).
Aindhy trying to look good underwater
Michael and his antics
I see you!
Ali in action
After a good 40 minutes snorkelling, Ali (picture, middle) led us to the 'Beach Front Cafe' for a typical Maldivian afternoon tea session, complete with murtabak (with fish), French toast and of course....tea. After stuffing ourselves, we made our way back to Male' about 5-ish. My flight was at 10.20pm, but I hadn't started to pack, so, as much as it was appealling to walk back from the jetty to Aindhy's house to enjoy the sights and sounds of Male' for the last time, we took a cab back home.
The Maldivian and the Maldivian initiated (Aindhy and me)
So, after saying goodbye to Aindhy's mum, Mdm Husna and their 'family friend' of many years, Pema, we headed to the airport at Hulule. Before we left, Mdm Husna packed me some roshi, gulak and some really hot chilli for my consumption home...it was really sweet of her...
My heart had started to sink even way before our trip to Hulule. I had gotten a little 'teary eyed' as we made our way. By some measure of consolation, Aindhy and Michael sending me off eased the process of departing my home for a week. Thanks to Michael, I could enjoy a late check-in and saved a few more moments to be with my buddies...after all, they made it worth it...would have wanted to say goodbye to Ambe and Fizan too, but I knew they were coming to KL the week after and we were bound to meet up...
After a quick cuppa and our goodbyes and 'guy hugs', I looked back at the Maldivian duo for the last time as I dragged myself to the check-in hall.