Oh dear, it’s already Tuesday morning here. I’ve officially missed the mark to put up a post for my Maldivian Monday series. But you know what they say, better late then never.
P.S: Technically it is still Monday in some parts of the world. Guess that still counts. LOL!
5:38am. I woke up from slumber and began rubbing away the sleep off my eyes. My bladder was screaming for some release. My eyes began to adjust to the dark surroundings. Even in my dazedness I knew I wasn’t home – the ceiling fan was spinning off an elegant thatched roof which was distinctively Maldivian. Wait, I’m in Maldives! I can hear my heart skipped a beat at that thought. Kinda like when Dorothy realised that she wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Only this was the Maldives. YAY!
I looked over to my left and saw the Panda snoozing soundly in the other corner of this Sweet SleeperTM king-sized bed. The distance between us was indeed luxurious, but unlike Rihanna, I didn’t feel like we were ten thousand miles apart. Right, this wasn’t California. I would have reached out my arms for a cuddle but the wall of my bladder was threatening to breach any time soon. I REALLY have to go.
The cold marble floor beneath my bare feet sent chills up my spine – literally, and tried to momentarily extort my little moment of relieve away. I concentrated harder. A little tinkle and drip later, the floodgates opened. I remember thinking to myself how spacious the bathroom was and how much bigger it was compared to my very own living room. Funny what runs through ones head when one’s relieving oneself.
As I walked back out into our vast Ocean Villa, I noticed a faded light leaking through the cracks of the blackout blinds. Gee, what time is it anyway? I gingerly pulled the curtains back with my fingers and took a peek outside. After all, it’s not like I’ve actually seen the place given how we have only touched down late last night.
The moment of truth has arrived. Dawn has broken. I smiled and said a thankful prayer for the grand view that was presented in front of me.
Lo and behold as twilight painted the zenith sky in warm hues of pink, amber and slowly turning it golden. The sun was just slightly below the horizon – somewhere between 18-degrees and 12-degrees. I quickly draw the curtains open and let the weak sunlight flood into our beach house. I stepped outside onto our private deck, and beyond the plunge pool and the ocean , far away on the horizon, I could see tiny boats starting their day – whirring their tiny motors towards the sun light.
And joy of joys, just as the sun began to ascend from the horizon to take its first breath of the day; the Panda emerged out from our comfortable villa and gently hugged me from the back.
“Good morning, sunshine.”
I’m not sure if it was being in the Maldives at that very moment or it was my inability to wake up before 9am each morning before and subsequently missing out on this daily phenomenon… but the sun has never looked as beautiful as it did that morning. And neither has my life.
Indeed, a new day has begun.
The resort may be called the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, but no one should ever discount its breakfast spread when the sun shines cheerfully in the morning.
Feast, the resort’s aptly named all-day buffet restaurant, offers each guest an opportunity to jump start their day with a satisfying meal. Whether they like their eggs poached, scrambled or sunny-side up like me, they can count on the breakfast crew to pull off a lovely spread of continental favourites as well as regional delicacies. Each morning, executive chef Sven Capon and his team serves up a variety of cuisines based on special daily themes.
“All this was possible thanks to my team, a mixture of local Maldivians, Sri Lankans, Indians and a few others from around the region. I wanted to create a culturally diverse menu and asked the team what they would serve in their homes. They shared recipes and actively helped with the preparation to make these exotic daily spreads! ” said Chef Cepon, beckoning to the cooks behind him, as if giving them verbal pats on their back.
On our very first morning, the menu was Sri Lankan. Once we were seated by the lovely Princess Diane and her pearly whites, a Filipino who has been working on the island for over 3-years now, we went over to grab ourselves a cube of Milk Rice with sides of Tuna Curry, Potato Curry, Onion Sambel and some Sri Lankan Roti. Honestly, once plated up, it looked suspiciously like a plate of Malaysian Nasi Lemak! Who would have guessed that after traveling miles into the middle of the Indian Ocean, and here we are having savouring on a dish that is so familiar. The world is indeed small these days.
The block of rice – fragrant by a combination of coconut and fresh milk, was was both fluffy and soft; while the Tuna curry was a milder version of the Southern Indian inspired fish curries we are used to back home. Here, the taste of the fish curry seems to be much simpler with heat coming from pepper rather than chili. How refreshing!
Apart from that, Chef Cepon also celebrates the global community of his other colleagues like with dishes from their home. So don’t be surprise if you find an Austrian Apple Strudle sitting right next to some Aussie Vegemite, Chinese Chow Mien, or just some Maldivian Mas Huni and Roshi.
***Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa Furanafushi Island, North Male Atoll Male 20-15, Republic of Maldives Phone: (960) 664 2010 Fax: (960) 664 1979 Note: Our visit to the Maldives is courtesy of smiley people of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. For more stories from the Maldives Monday series: #3: Chef’s Recipe: Yuzu Ceviche by Chef Mauro Gomez of W Retreat & Spa Maldives #2: W-W-WOW, W Retreat & Spa: Whatever/Whenever #1: W App for iPhone: A New Kind of Escapism