Wednesday, September 04, 2013


I was speaking to a friend the other day about "ideal" holidays, she said she was a beach fan and that her idea of a perfect holiday would be the Maldives, in fact if given the choice (and unlimited funds) she would go there every year. Not being a beach person (fair skinned and short attention span) I was interested in why the Maldives were so great, her response was an unequivocal "it's paradise".

Whenever I hear that word my spider senses start to twitch, in the case of the Maldives I couldn't help but recall a BBC program about the Indian Ocean that visited the Maldives, sure, the brochure views of azure sea and palm fringed white sand were present and correct but there was also an apocalyptic scene of the "rubbish island" which is a stinking, fly infested pile of dead coral covered in all of the garbage that the tourist industry generates, it was quite eye opening, barge after barge simply piling up all manner of detritus and pollutants seemingly without any other disposal solution. I also happened on this story today about an unfortunate 15 year old Maldivian girl who having been raped by her step father was sentenced to 100 lashes for "fornication", as you can probably guess the Maldives have an "Islamic" government. Only after an international pressure campaign that called for holiday boycotts and got two million signatures was the sentence overturned.

I guess "paradise" is a relative term; in the immortal words of Don Henley and Glen Frey "you call some-place paradise, kiss it goodbye"..

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