New Year’s Eve and a Dealer on the Maldives

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Finally I can show the lower half of this gorgeous dress on the blog (I wanted to share this post first). This was my outfit for New Year’s Eve on the Maldives and has been my go-to outfit for any fancier occasion during my trip. But first I want to tell you the story about my New Year’s Eve experience on the Maldives because it’s a story worth telling, if only for the entertainment value. Next to being a stunning country with the most beautiful colors of water (upon arrival the first thought is: Does this really exist?!), kind people and the best dive sites in the world, the Maldives is also a Muslim state. This means that they do not serve alcohol, not a drop, nor are you allowed to bring it across the border, at least not onto the local islands. The country is divided between resort islands and local islands, which also has different laws in place. The resorts basically buy an entire island and run their hotel like any retreat in the world. A local island is different in the sense that it abides by local muslim laws, which means no bikinis on the beach and no alcohol. A bit different from what you expect when you’re first planning a trip to the Maldives, right? The reason why you should visit only local islands anyway? It’s the only way to experience the local culture and also … budget. Resorts are not just pricey, they are very very expensive. But more on that in a different post.

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We decided to spend New Year’s eve on the local island Maafushi, also known as the Maldives’ backpacker island. As I mentioned there was nothing alcoholic to be found in any of the bars (not sure whether I can emphasize this point often enough). No cocktails, no wine and certainly no beer. Not that alcohol is a necessity for a successful New Year’s Eve party but it sure does make it a lot more fun. I hear you thinking, why didn’t you jump on a boat to one of the resort islands? Well, the distance between different islands of the Maldives is much more than you might expect and a speedboat ride in between those islands will easily set you back around 200 dollars. You get where I’m going right? We were stuck on Maafushi for New Year’s Eve. But there was a big party on the island for tourists and locals, everybody would be there. We were excited and had given up on the concept of alcohol since everybody we asked gave us a very uncomfortable laugh.

That was until we were having dinner the night before and we heard a whisper ‘alcohol? alcohol?’. If you’ve been to South East Asia, this scenario probably sounds familiar but with a greener kind of substance. Dealing alcohol like this might seem quite funny, and it sure is, but there is no messing about with the drinking laws in the Maldives. You can be sure to end up in the local jail (and every island has one) if you’re caught. Cautious but curious we started talking to our new friend about reaching the dealer (obviously dealers do not show their face to their clients). We arranged a price and agreed that we would meet him the next night to get our secret stash.

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New Year’s Eve came, we got all dressed up and went to the agreed upon meeting place. Nobody was there so we chilled with a juice and played some games to get into the mood. An hour later there was still no dealer to be found, so we decided to give up and check out the party. Right then and there our man showed up, clearly a bit drunk, to inform us that his contact had consumed the supply (we’re talking about a bottle of vodka) himself and that he was no longer able to help us out. Translation: he was too drunk and there was no alcohol left. All we could do at this point was laugh and get our -sober- dancing shoes on. Even without alcohol we had a great time, especially because the locals were having the time of their lives and proved they could beat us all in a dance-off! While traveling you win some and you lose some, right? If something unexpected like this happens to you, make sure to embrace for the good story that they will turn out to be. And hey, least in this way we had a hangover-free 1st of January and we were able to spend it in the water amongst the most beautiful fish (tip: being hungover while scubadiving is not something you ever want to do ;)!

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Dress // Selected Femme (find similar here)
Shoes // Havaianas Slim
Bandeau Top
Skirt // Bik Bok (find similar here)
Anklet // Found in India (find similar here)
Bracelets // A collection of religious bracelets from India (the white ones actually state that you’ve just gotten married)
Necklaces // Gifted by a friend and Elephant from Thailand
Make Up // You can find it here

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New Year’s Eve and a Dealer on the Maldives