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Vladimir ahmad

Shaken but not stirred…

Making life in Mauritius the right mix is what makes Vladimir happy! The Jordanian’s first impression of Mauritius was that he could see all the stars! He arrived in May 2004 to work for HSBC and enjoys living in Floréal with his family.

Floréal may not be the sunniest spot on the island but, when asked what he would miss most when he left, Vladimir says that, although it may sound strange, it would be Saturday mornings in Floréal with his family, on a sunny day of course, because it is simply so relaxing! Greeted with a warm smile and a friendly handshake, first impressions were pleasing.

Originally from Jordan, Vladimir is used to the heat and this could help explain why two of his favourite places are Mon Choisy and Tamarin, which he finds stunning. Unfortunately, working at HSBC doesn’t leave him much leisure time as he says himself! His dream, if he had more spare time and more pavements, would be to walk all around the island! For him, Mauritius is ‘an unbelievably beautiful island and there is so much to see, there is something different to see in each place’. He reckons he could manage this walk in about a week, so although he wishes he had more time for sports, he must be pretty fit already!

It didn’t take long for Vladimir to adapt to Mauritius, apart from the driving. But it’s not what you think! This expatriate finds Mauritian traffic polite and less aggressive compared to what he has seen elsewhere! The thing he had to get used to was the left-hand drive but, once that was done, driving just became ‘easy peasy’!

Apart from that, life here is so laid back that rather than Vladimir having to adapt to Mauritius, it was Mauritius that had to take to his upbeat way of functioning! The fast pace lifestyle is something he misses from time to time, as well as the late night buzz of the city and a Starbucks coffee… sometimes.

Although Vladimir appreciates Indian films, he is more into Hollywood than Bollywood and sometimes misses those good US movies too. According to him, each country has its own appeal and Mauritius has this postcard effect. ‘When you look out and see the blue sea dotted with boats, it is the kind of image you only see in postcards, but here, it’s real!’ The beauty is overwhelming. Oh, and there’s another thing that he wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere: Mauritian ‘chilli’! Vladimir says with a smile that he has become just like a Mauritian and can’t eat anything without chilli! His favourite Mauritian food is even our famous ‘gato pima’!

His head tilted slightly to the left, a stress-free grin on his face, he recounts how everyday in Hong Kong there were fireworks and how everyday he seems to see rainbows here… ‘and that is even better than fireworks! It’s like being in a cartoon,’ he says with a laugh. For this busy manager, one of Mauritius’ best assets is the good nature of its people. All we need now to make Mauritius Vladimir’s perfect destination is a little more progress, that is, just as long as we don’t lose the quality of life he is so fond of. Perhaps a Starbucks round the corner from his office would do the trick!