Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nudity is not permitted here

This is the terrace of our Water Villa. The ocean view shows our dive boat (centre)  Dream Catcher 2 messing about off the reef.  It is probably waiting for divers. (Click to embigiate). This is Steph Waller's word and it is so brilliant I have stolen it. 
We go aboard on 25 April and will have our own ANZAC Day Ceremony on our own - or  with any other Aussies we find on board. 
During our last week in Vienna we had a different car. This is because Hermann – one of Cate’s colleagues, needed a bigger car to take his wife, daughter and daughter's friend to Italy.
This is fine except that we had to take Hermann’s car which is an Audi Quattro something, something and about ten times as powerful as Billy - and scary to drive. It is also wider than Billy and almost impossible to get into our parking space. It is like getting a Banana into its skin – but without touching the sides.
I had no wish to return the Audi to Hermann in the same condition in which I returned our first car to the rental company when we got to Vienna. This was also a very wide car, was a manual, was difficult to drive and had no proximity warning system – if you don’t count the sound of grinding metal on the sides of the parking bays. I have attached a photo to remind you of those days and how difficult our parking spot is. The Queen Mary is the one on the right. 
The man who collected the rental car was the first man I really, really disappointed in Vienna. There have been many since. We had a total damage waiver but you could see from his face that the amount we had paid was not going to cover the replacement of the steaming smoldering, wreck that was being presented to him by the very relieved customer who was now the owner of a gleaming new - and much smaller - Mercedes Benz.
Anyway – I drove the Audi as little as possible – parked it with immense care and returned it to Cate’s work garage as soon as I could. Unfortunately – the day after I had smashed my toe on the table – so hobbled back home on my blue puffy toe – thanking my lucky stars that I and the Audi had survived the encounter intact.
I started to tell you that story for a reason – but I have forgotten what that was.
We had dinner last night in the Italian restaurant in the resort. It was expensive. It was awful. But the staff are wonderful and attentive and pleasant. Fortunately there are other restaurants. They will also be awful – but different awful. We should have known better from our previous experience but the one thing you can say about us is that we never learn. Any resort with 'Paradise' in the name is going to be awful whether or not it is rated 5 star. It is like any country that is called a 'Democratic Republic of something' is going to be ruled by a crazy and demonic dictator. 
I had the most amazing Caesar salad I have ever had – or will ever have. I have secreted a sample in a glass jar and will have it forensically examined when we get back to Vienna, I am keen to learn WTF was actually in it. They had certainly run out of Caesars. The grilled fish and fries were edible although for some reason the fish appeared to have been flattened with a mallet. Perhaps they had imported a Schnitzel Chef from Vienna and he was learning the ropes with fish.  
When you get off the plane in Male your baggage is X-rayed. They are looking for alcohol –  and for pork - both prohibited imports.  This is a Muslim country. You cannot bring alcohol or pork products into the country. But on this island you can drink alcohol openly and there is bacon at breakfast.
Nudity is not allowed in the Maldives and we were given a note about this so Cate and I have been showering in our wetsuits. I am not sure everyone else is adhering to this particular regulation. We walked past the night club last night and there was sinning there on a grand - even biblical scale.
Why the compromise? If you have religious beliefs why impose them at the airport but allow infidels to sin and to blaspheme a mere 14 kilometers away - in god’s plain sight. Has this been designated a 'sin zone?'
I suppose we are all going straight to hell so it does not matter but what about all the poor sods who have to work here? Are they not contaminated by our presence? 

On TV you can read the Koran or listen to it 24 hours every day. I don’t need to do this. I know – or can remember what it says (I read it once) – or at least what it purports to say – because all of the many thousands of religions since the beginning or time have been derived from the same myths and legends and have had the same outcomes in mind.
They don’t have Fox so probably most Maldivians – I am guessing 100% -  probably think President Obama was born in the USA.


  1. Lol!! Found you on Blogs of Note, so this is my first read. I looked at the pictures and said to myself, "That's not Vienna." I've never been to Austria, but I do have a bit of education behind me. Enough to know that one probably wouldn't want to be naked there at the moment. Not to mention you would need super powers to see a reef from there. I've never been to the Maldives either, but have spent some time in the Middle East. I'm pleased to hear some of the glaring hypocrasy still exists! Hope the diving is spectacular.


  2. Congratulations on your "Blogs of Note" mention. Don't forget us little people.

    The only foreign country I've ever driven in was Scotland and that was a mild disaster since it was the exact opposite of what I was used to.

    The Maldives sound lovely, even with the nudity clause.

  3. Being a Blog Of Note spells the beginning of the end. Soon, your comments will number in the hundreds and keeping up will become so overwhelming that you'll be tempted to close up shop. I've seen it happen before. Hopefully, your head won't be turned by the praise and adulation. Well, okay. Just a little...


  4. Hi. Just to comment on the issue mentioned - I wanted to make a distinction between Muslims and Islam itself.

    Islam is the religion, Muslims are the followers. Just because it is a Muslim country, in that the majority of the population were born Muslim, doesn't necessarily make the country an Islamic one.

    Sort of like how the majority of Americans may be Christian, but that doesn't make America a country ruled by Christianity's ancient church laws.

    Hypocrisy is a human problem, it's not the religion's fault. Sort of like if a politician is corrupt, that doesn't make Democracy is corrupted law.

    Lastly, I do ask that you do not generalise all religions like that, i.e. "derived from myths" etc.

    If you know very well about the ins and outs of a particular religion and would like to call it a false one, go ahead.

    But if you barely know anything about another religion, don't paint it with the same brush - because it's not fair to do so, and it simply shows an intellectual laziness on the person doing so.

    Oh, and congratulations on getting the Blogs of Note mention. :)

  5. Teeheehee.
    Bet you're glad you were on Blogs of Note now!

    Hope you toe is still attached
    and your lungs haven't shrivelled up.
    Check out this lady's foot - she hurt on one of the first weeks of a long Asian holiday.
    She even climbed the Great Wall on it.

  6. Sorry to hear the food is not up to standard, or even mediocre. Jim and I find it hard to get really good food because we enjoy preparing and cooking for ourselves and friends so much. Meals out are generally disappointing because we know we could have bought better quality ingredients for less money and produced a better result. Still, it's good not to have to clean up!

    Enjoy the sunshine and diving. Hope the ribs and toe recover soon.

    Your chocolated-out friends in Lilyfield :-)

  7. Ha! I found you on Blog's of Note also, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts. Keep them coming.

    And, in case you were interested, I happen to know of a very high bidder for that salad recipe (I'll give you a hint it's me)

  8. Janice's Kitchen: Actually Vienna is lovely at the moment and the cats and I were basking in the sun last week. The cats were naked. I was not.

    Jessica: Cate and I have lots of fun even with our clothes on - ann especially with wetsuits on.

    SK Waller: I had hoped it would end after day 1. Does it go on longer than that? Please no!

    Wan: I take your point about Islam and Muslims. Thank you the correction. All religion is bullshit. There is no invisible man who lives in the sky. It is a superstition clung to by people who cannot face the reality of their own frail existence.

    freefalling: NO! Not Happy!

    Annie: The food is the same everywhere we have been in these types of remote resorts where they have to import all the ingredients from far away. Last night's meal was excellent. We will survive.

    Old St. John: Believe me you should taste it first.

  9. notforeverybody: you are too kind.

  10. Who would dare burst into someone's living room and ask them not to talk about whatever they're talking about? A blog is like a person's living room and the blogger has the right--and responsibility--to say anything he likes. If you don't like it, don't look.

  11. "I started to tell you that story for a reason – but I have forgotten what that was" funny. You two can't really be showering in wetsuits, what a strange place.

    And I completely agree about all religions coming from the same source. I think that source is Ancient Egypt. I learnt that from Zeitgeist.

    anyhow cool blog, you write things as they are with good wit. I can't write for sh.....

  12. Love your sense of humor and photos!

  13. SK Waller: Some people! Must be a a New Yorker.

    Armand Cordero: No that was just a joke and the more the write the better you will get.

    totosgoothings: you are much too kind.