Not many people know of Seychelles or where it's located. Nor do people know of the culture, customs, or demography. I get a lot of "Where are you from?" when I'm in Montreal. I am a Montrealer, born in Seychelles. I am a Seychellois who grew up in Montreal. Eight out of ten times, people respond with a puzzled look.
So I think it's about time I write a 'proper' informational post about this archipelago of 115 islands spread across the Indian ocean.
According to Google, Mahé is a little less than half the size of Montreal and it is the largest of the islands. What it lacks in area it makes up for in height. Imagine taking a load of laundry out from the dryer and dropping it onto your bed. That's what Mahé looks like. There are lumps everywhere and there is very little flat ground.
But even with the lack of area, there are a hundred and one things to do. In a week, I've gone jumping into waterfalls, swimming in the ocean, done yoga every damn day, went to a local bazaar, explored the capital, got a job at a cafe, quit the job at the cafe, and discovered a bunch of fun facts.
Fact: Turtles drink water through their noses.
Fact: Bats suck all the juice out of fruit and expel up to 80% of the fibre.
Fact: The national emblem of the country is a Coco de Mer, a fruit that grows in a protected park called Vallé de May - the tree is endemic to Praslin and other small islands in Seychelles.
Fact: The Coco de Mer is the female fruit of the Lodoicea tree. The male fruit can grow up to 1 meter long.
Fact: One of the oldest and largest living tortoise, Esmeralda, lives on Bird Island.
Fact: There's such a thing known as bird's eggs (dizef swazo) which is a delicacy but if you ask what bird, no one really knows.
Fact: There are these big tropical plants with large leaves that look like women's privates if you split them at the stem.
All this is apparently common knowledge except for that last one which is a pervy fact passed down from my uncle, to my cousin, to me.
I met a man from Belgium who moved here 28 years ago and hasn't ever left with the exception of his business trips. He saw the beauty here and still does.
So do I.