On my way back home, a man catches me up. He saw me at HIH and wants to get together. We arrange that for tomorrow.
The man from last night turns up at my hotel. We get a taxi to the Royal Garden restaurant (a two-minute walk) and he hands the driver a $100 bill, which is not the thing to do. I give the driver a 100 rufiyaa, which is still too big a note for the 15 rufiyaa fare. I just stuff the change into my purse but my date insists I count it which I refuse to do. I have long sensed that Maldivians are very honest.
My new friend is Deo Charles Lemali; he is from Lesotho but lives in Paris. Our ‘relationship’ is all of eight minutes old when he suddenly declares, “Jane, I have seen you, you have impressed; I want you to be my lover.”
He is leaving for India on Sunday and will give me a mobile to keep in touch. Then he outlines the travel programme he has worked out for us.