Cafés in Malé

Whenever I visit a new place, I would always look for a food chain familiar to me. I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food. I’m actually very picky so I’d rather look for food that my tummy knows, rather than experimenting on a new cuisine and later on regretting the money and food wasted.

In Malé, I felt weird to not see any international food chain. Though, I think, this is a good thing. That the locals will have a chance to open up their cafes / restaurants without the fear that business will be diluted by big chains, just like what’s happening in our town back home.

Since I am not very adventurous, once I’ve liked a restaurant, I will always come back to that restaurant and probably eat the same thing. I don’t usually go to Malé because my island is quite far South but whenever I get a chance, I’ll always have a meal at Seahouse, that’s before I discovered Shellbeans. So now, I have two to visit whenever I go to Malé.

seahouse

The first cafe that I discovered is the Seahouse. It’s not very attractive from the outside, you wouldn’t even notice it. It is on the 2nd floor and the signage isn’t really attractive.

I was hesitant at first, I thought they might be serving only local dishes but I was so surprised when I saw Bistek Tagalog and Pancit Bihon on their menu. I was like, SERIOUSLY??? And I was so happy, though the Pancit Bihon wasn’t as authentic and tasty as I was expecting but still, after months of not being able to eat any Filipino dish, I cannot complain!

But more than the Filipino food, I like the vibe of this restaurant. I like the verandah and I like the music that they play. It’s just like a great combination of everything. This is the kind of place where I could stay for hours and hours, just sitting, eating or drinking juice or coffee while looking at the nice view, listening to the waves and the music. And even though the place is always full and noisy, I still feel so relaxed, weird but, I can’t explain.

This place is the inspiration of my post City Lights

seahouse1
View from the veranda of Seahouse

The second cafe that I discovered, well my boss mentioned about it, is the Shellbeans. My boss said that their pancakes are to die for. And he was right.

shellbeans
View from Shellbeans

 

shellbeans-pancake
I think I don’t need to say anything more

 

shellbeans-pancake-and-latte

And while eating my pancakes, I saw plates of eggs benedict and other mouth-drooling dishes being served on other tables and I was like – I need to be back for those.

Postcards from Maldives

I’ve read somewhere, that photography is not about taking photos of what everyone can see daily. It is about looking for angles that everyone fails to see, unless you point it out to them – by taking photos (these aren’t the exact words but, something along these lines).

I have mentioned several times here already that I live in a small island and you can walk around it for 15mins. Sometimes I ask myself what other angle of the island have I not taken photo of. The trees and the flowers and the beach have been there for the last 6months and though I am not a photographer, sometimes my hands itch to click the camera.

However, a few days ago, I have kept my camera close to me and tried to catch moments that are out of the ordinary (or as I thought so) and here are some of the photos.

seaplane-landing
Seaplane landing while the sun is setting
couple
A couple taking photos of the sunset while on the boat
seaplane-on-air
Seaplane on air
sky
Look at the sun rays and the clouds, so majestic
windsrufing
I saw one of our colleagues wind surfing 
sunset
Can’t think of a caption
windsurfing-3
Again, just look at the clouds
windsurfing-2
I am really jealous. I want to learn how to wind surf ha ha

Expat Life in the Maldives

It’s been 6 months since I moved here in the Maldives. Time really flies and the next thing I’ll know is that my 2 year-contract has reached its end.

I have written a few things about my snorkeling adventures here as well as my work life issues but I have not written anything about how life is here in the Maldives, for the expats like me I mean.

Since I am an expat living in the Maldives, I’ll take the liberty to tell you about the country, how is it to live here and a lot more. Of course, I won’t be able to elaborate everything in just one post. There will be more to follow.

Male
This is Male, the capital of Maldives

Maldives is a very beautiful place to live in and if I’d be given a chance [and money] to buy a small island here where I could build a small house, I’ll do that. Even though the Maldives is slowly sinking and might be wiped out in 20 years’ time or so, I’d still want to live [peacefully] here  – if given a chance.

Just for your info, Maldives is the lowest country on Earth. The islands are not more than 1.8 meters above sea level.  No hills, no mountains. And also, just for your info, in case you are still clueless as to where Maldives is, this country is located in the Indian Ocean, near Sri Lanka and India.

The Maldives is made up of more than 1000 islands [not so surprising to me though as I came from a country made up of more than 7000 islands, LOL], with around 200 inhabited islands and some 100 islands developed into hotels and resorts.

Most of the time, there’s only one resort per island as the islands are pretty small. Like in this island where I live and work (or work and live), I can walk around the whole island in about 15 minutes. That’s if I walk at a slow pace.

Can you imagine working and living in an island as small as this? Would you be able to survive here?

 

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This is the island where I work and live. I took this photo while on board a seaplane.

People like me, who loves to swim, walk by the beach, sit down and read books or listen to the waves might survive here. But youngsters, shopaholics and party animals – this is not the place for you.

A lot of people have asked me the same question of shock especially upon learning that I lived in Dubai for 10 years prior to moving here, how can you survive this lifestyle?

From a busy, crowded, cosmopolitan life to a very quiet, relaxed and isolated life is a huge change.

It was a bit of a shock for me initially. I can’t go out and eat in fast food chains, I can’t even buy the brand of coffee that I want or the brand of shampoo or soap that I want. There’s a small shop here in our island, and it’s like what you see is what you get. I feel happy whenever I see chocolates and chips, regardless of the brand. Whenever the stock of Milo or coke is over, we have to wait till the stock comes before we can buy and drink some again. Completely shocking, right? But so far I have adjusted and I learned to be happy and contented with what I see, though whenever I get a chance to go out of the island, I hoard important personal stuff and ensure that my supply will last for at least 3 months.

Well, I hope I didn’t bore you to death with this post. And if you will be given a chance to live here, do you think you’d be able to survive this lifestyle?

I Wanna Have Abs Like Dionne Monsanto so I Went Snorkeling

I saw the recent post of Dionne on instagram and I was like, WOW ABS! I heard she is a swimmer, so I came up with an idea.

Who says desserts can't be healthy? Thank you, @dietbuddyph! 😘 #healthy #lowcalorie

A post shared by Dionne (@dionne) on

 

I went snorkeling for 2 days in a row thinking, if I would snorkel everyday, my abs can come a little bit closer to that of Dionne.

So yesterday was the start of I-wanna-have-abs-like-Dionne work out.

D, my snorkeling partner and I, decided to swim till the platform. The platform is a floating deck in the middle of the water, about 100 meters away from the shore, on top of approximately 6 meters deep water, where we can take some rest before heading back to the water again.

So from the shore to the platform and vice versa will be about 200 meters. Not bad for a workout, right?

Yesterday’s swim was really ok even though the weather was a bit bad as it was cloudy. But today, the sun was smiling to us, giving my already tanned skin an even nicer tan.

Though yesterday, D complained that she got wounded on her palm. She said that two huge fish were swimming along with her and hit her palm, though I didn’t really believe her as her wound looked more like a paper cut to me.

Image result for unicorn fish
the fish looks like this as per D, and when we say huge, we really mean huge                                                      image:http://saltwater.tropicalfishandaquariums.com/tangs/UnicornfishPhoto.asp

Today, as we were already halfway to the platform, I felt a sting somewhere below my right knee but I didn’t pay attention to it. We continued and as we reached the platform, we climbed up to take some rest. Then I saw the wound. And the blood. I tried not to panic.

Blood + Ocean = Shark

But still, I tried not to panic for we were 100 meters away from the shore. And if I panic, D will panic 100 times more.

I tried to figure out how I got this wound and couldn’t come up with a conclusion. I know for sure I didn’t get this from the corals and until now, this is still a mystery to me.

After taking a few minutes of rest on the platform, we headed back to the water.

I felt a sting below my right knee as we headed back to the salt water.  I haven’t watched The Shallows and I guess I won’t watch it anytime while I’m here in the Maldives. Don’t get me wrong. Till date, no cases of shark attacks have been reported here in the Maldives as the common specie here is the Black Tip Reef Shark, a harmless type. It’s just me and not the Maldives.

Blood + Ocean = Shark

And honestly when we headed back to the water, I was shit scared.

D took the lead. I was swimming at a much slower pace because I was already tired. D was like an Energizer battery charged twice.

I was following D when I saw something on the ocean bed. A huge stingray. A huge f@^#*ng stingray.

Image result for sting ray
the stingray that I saw was just like this, lying on the ocean floor, as if waiting for its prey                                                                                 image:https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/fishes/southern-stingray

I was panicking and I was breathing very fast, my goggles started to fog.  I told myself, the stingray won’t think I’m a food right? But I was still freaking out. Then I saw D swimming like a car running on NLEX at 4 in the morning – 150kmph (as I assumed). D was about 10  f@^#*ng meters away from me, leaving me with this huge  f@^#*ng sting ray and not to forget the wound below my knee.

After swimming for my life and I was really hoping that the huge  f@^#*ng sting ray didn’t follow me, I was again shit scared when I swam across a school of tiny fish, don’t ask me what type of fish this is, I don’t have a clue.

They were peacefully swimming as a group when I suddenly swam across them creating chaos. These tiny creatures swam all over me (maybe thinking I’m hunting them?) and they actually hurt my skin. But what scared me the most is that it was feeding time already. Whenever I am at the beach in the afternoons, I would see these tiny creatures flying at the surface of the water (they almost looked like a smaller version of flying fish to me) as they were being chased by the huge ones.

With that in mind while I was swimming in the middle of these tiny ones, I almost had a heart attack.

And when D and I reached the shore, I was like, f@^#!

I like seeing these sea creatures from afar, not while I’m swimming especially when I don’t have a pro swimmer/diver with me.

Today’s experience was really freaking scary but I think, with a bit more exposure to these sea creatures, my fear will subside later on.

I will still snorkel, maybe after my mini trauma is gone. I still wanna have abs like Dionne though.