‘Mora Mora’ – two words that perfectly sum up the Malagasy lifestyle here on Nosy Be. Directly translating to ‘slow slow’, is always on the lips of a local, etched into their everyday life in such a subtly pervasive way that it is practically impossible not to adapt. It is even more difficult to not fall in love with it. ‘Take it easy’ ‘steady on’ are less literal translations of these words and is the best way to describe the mindset of the locals on this extraordinary island dotted in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
The first noticeable difference for me in Hellville compared to back home is that being late is not really a concept here. Not once in my two moths here have I seen someone in a rush to get somewhere or to meet somebody. Yet, regardless of this, people never seem to be late. You can always count on a friend to turn up on time if they have made a promise to you, no one will ever let you down.
Malagasy people are known to be experts in fixing things. There is nothing that is broken that cannot be fixed. Why buy something brand new when you can reuse something for free? Nothing is wasted, nothing is taken for granted, everything is used to its full potential.
Every corner in Hellville holds a different stall to tempt your sense. Sarongs, full of colours, hang in the hundreds along the pavement, fresh fruit line the street, street food stalls boast deep fried katakata and vegetables, pistrache bon bon all for 100 AR. Nothing at home compares to eating amid the hustle and bustle of the locals in the street, sharing a table with a group of strangers, eating together as you would a family.
It is easy to sometimes forget or even to take for granted the fact that my home is a tropical island tucked away above Madagascar. Slipping into the relaxed lifestyle and embracing the chilled out vibe that radiates across the whole island was a gradual process but now thanks to this, I will never forget Mora Mora.