it has been three days since i've traded island for big city again and let me tell you, what a total headrush living in the maldives has been(!!!). i'm writing this now with full intention to fill in as many blanks as possible before i succumb to sleep that threatens to cloak me any minute now (thanks to this annoying, extensive humidity!). the short version of my entire experience is simply this: the maldives has been, all at once, the most beautiful and the most difficult country i've ever had to survive in.

long version? here we go.

let's talk about basic administrative things. banking, money sending, all them funtime tings. the bank i was signed up with was untrustworthy with wire transferring funds to my home country account. allegedly. i was forewarned very early on by a fellow colleague (who also happened to be my roommate) and subsequently, never dared challenge the validity of this. so what had to happen instead was following payday every month, i'd hop on one of the boat shuttles off the island and to the airport to get on a transfer into the capital to make withdrawals in cash to send home (via moneyxpress). moneygram (which is the service most of the staff utilise), i came to find out after a painstaking 30 odd minutes standing in queue at the bank, did not have services to send money to malaysia. f my wonderful l.

not to fret, moneyxpress is fairly convenient. i say fairly because the additional charges are what usually fucks me up— serves me right for not being a total failure at math(!). but at the end of the day, the teller will be able to express the breakdowns for you if you request them on your slip.

on to shopping. now i realise that i've touched on this briefly in the past but here's one other thing you'll almost never be able to find in the maldives: tampons.

or should i be more specific and say: quality tampons. for some reason, it's all pads, all day, everywhere, every time so if you happen to have come across this blog entry because you've googled What To Expect Before Moving To The Maldives, i would advise you to bring along your stock and supply of quality tampons. you're welcome.

also, if you're like me and one of your bigger concerns is where you can hope to get a decent (read: safe/hygienic) wax monthly, i would highly recommend salon femina. prices are pretty standard but it was the place that had the most positive reviews when i'd done my research so, just passing on the torch of knowledge here.

abrupt end because i'm passing out thanks to this humidity(!)