It is not only the mandatory use of mask when going out to guest areas that makes me feel strange but everything about the new normal. Adapting to change takes time. Just the same, the world will take its time.
Our resorts started operating again when Maldives opened its borders for tourists on the 15th of July. We are running at very low occupancy but that’s better than nothing. At least, life is moving on. Albeit slowly.
I thought that after this pandemic, people will be more mindful. I thought that people’s perspective will change after being locked in their houses for months. But that was too naive of me to think. Or stupid. Because people never change. That’s proven by a few guests here, taking advantage of whatever they can. These people have more than enough money to stay in five star resorts but they kept trying to cheat. Thinking they are smart and we are too dumb not to know. Though maybe, that’s probably why they are rich. And maybe that’s why, I’m not.
We don’t have a lot of staff on the island therefore, people get pulled out from time to time to help other departments. I’ve been asked to be a snorkeling guide several times and I had to be a wedding photographer once too because, there’s really no one else to do it.
I took photos for the wedding of an Italian couple, with the company of their two young daughters. They were having the time of their lives, a dream wedding in a secluded island while most part of the world is crumbling down. Or almost. I can’t fault the family for affording a dream holiday at this time. I also can’t fault the world for not affording a holiday for the humans.
I saw something strange during my swim yesterday. I saw a blue fish on top of a round coral, steady on its position, changing its color from luminescent blue to black then to blue again. I stopped to look at it because I never noticed such before. I was wondering if the color change was brought about by giving birth. Mating. Or just having a constipation. If fish experience constipation too. I could not figure out so I continued swimming.
We are almost coming to the end of August and this month has been very sunny. The summer month in the middle of the monsoon season. A month that has always been very busy for us in the old, normal times. But now enclosed in a bubble of silence, with light murmur of the palm trees and the water hens. Visited by small white birds that hunt food in the early afternoon and the occasional floating of ghost nets and plastics left by super humans.
I found out today that the fish I saw yesterday is called Unicorn Fish. It actually changes it’s color from black to blue and not how I thought it was. Apparently the color change happens when it’s trying to find a partner, trying to camouflage or when in the cleaning station. And where I saw it yesterday, is a cleaning station. It wasn’t giving birth nor having a constipation. It was just getting cleaned.
My photos aren’t as sharp as those coming from cameras with expensive lenses. But I tried to get good angles. I hope I captured moments. Those little candid ones that will remind them of their destination wedding on a hot, sunny and blinding afternoon of August 2020. Everyone was perfumed by the sun. Clothes dripped with sweat. Air filled with drum beats. Pink bougainvillea petals scattered on white sand. Our feet sandy. Rice grains tossed to end the ceremony. A tradition symbolizing rain, a sign of prosperity, fertility and luck.
It was raining rice grains. On a sticky afternoon. And life, is moving on. Slowly.