I like spending time with Dirk. Dirk is Afrikaans like me. We were sitting in the airport cafeteria and talking Afrikaans as if we were at home. I guess I like spending time with Dirk because it is like having part of home right here, in a much more cosmopolitan Seychelles. All kinds of languages are being spoken here; the expected French, German, Spanish but also Russian, Check, Ukrainian, Chinese, Arabian, Turkish (and Afrikaans!) In the last two years or so, Seychelles has really become a cosmopolitan society. I like it of course. Like so many others I too find pleasure in watching people and lately the socioeconomic environment of Seychelles has been a smouldering cauldron of change – it has brought on an influx of tourists from many different places which was a feast for the eyes and imagination. Probably the best change has been the opening of the market – it has gone from a closed system to one that is open to market forces, even the local currency has been floated and now boasts international value.
Dirk and I can talk about these things, in Afrikaans. After so many years that I have spent out here on these islands, being able to chat in Afrikaans has added new flavour to my time here; for most the liberty to communicate in your home language is lost and completely unappreciative.This morning we woke to the wind whistling around the roof of the flat. Nothing unusual but we could feel there was just a bit more urgency in the gusts. Yet, “Ek voel ons gaan vandag vlieg!” Dirk’s words were full of enthusiasm while my thoughts were more reserved.
The drive into Victoria and on to the airport was just enough for Dirk’s enthusiasm to loosen my doubts and with an extra bounce in our step we swung open the doors of the Met office. When Francois and Sa-id, the two forecasters, saw us they stared laughing. I took one look at the Anomemeter and groaned loudly which made the forecasters laugh even more. “Wat is dit?” Dirk asked and I pointed to the faint but clear blue recording line – it wasn’t just over 30knots but reached far beyond. 42knots. For the most part the recording paper was coloured in on the wrong side of 30. “Francois” I said. “It is time you guys turn off that wind switch. Enough is enough!” We all laughed.
For a while we joked around a bit about the nature of weather forecasts around Seychelles. Usually in tropical areas the steady trade winds make for easy forecasts – sunny weather and south east winds for tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after and the next, and the next etc. Somehow it was not working here. Today it was supposed to be less windy with chances of more rain while we got exactly the opposite. “I know what we can do!” I said while everyone waited for the words of wisdom to follow. “We can go and drink coffee!”
Wish you were here!:)