Friday, October 10, 2008

Mauritius – October 8

Today we stopped at Mauritius to quickly fuel up on our way to India. I first noticed us approaching the island at the end of my econ class. I looked out the windows on the far side of the room and saw huge, steep mountains coming closer and closer. I think I was the first person to notice it so I played a fun game of watching as each person in the 40 student class realized what was right outside the window.
It was beautiful. Like as beautiful as Lencois, except not a six hour bus ride away from the port. The island seemed to erupt out of nowhere (ironically of course, it had). But it was amazing to see such untouched nature right next to a port. Anyways…I opened up my computer and immediately made plans to run away. (The major hindrance being that if I used my Amex – inevitable – I’d be traceable to the small little island at which point I’d be quite easy to find.)
Our class got out a little early and I immediately flew up to the seventh deck to go outside and just stare for a little longer before my next class. While I was leaning over the railing, taking in the beautiful island and imagining climbing the peaks when I moved there, Professor Ehlers came up behind me.

I first met Prof Ehlers when she gave a guest lecture in my Global Studies class and I disagreed with a main point of hers so I had lunch with her to discuss it. Since then, we’ve continued a lunch tradition to debrief from every port. She teaches a class on the anthropology of tourism and has a knack for making students feel guilty for everything they do in port because of how tourism breaks down communities. Great.
Okay so Prof Ehlers just stood there looking at it and said, “It’s beautiful isn’t it, Eli?”
“Yeah. I want to live here.”
“Yeah. You see all those big long buildings?”
“Uh huh.”
“Those are all sweatshops. Kind of ruins your idea of paradise, doesn’t it.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

but then, if your kids misbehaved, the threat, "Eat your peas, or i WILL send you to the sweatshops!" would have so much more resonance....