The claim of a former Heineken beer commercial used to be "We reach the parts of the body other beers do not". Well, my view of the Maldives reaches parts tourist brochures and websites do not. I could have turned a blind eye and left my camera lens on, but I did not.
Unfortunately, human are want to defile the nature wherever they stumble across it. At least the large hotel chains in the Maldives, either by choice or by edict, do their best to maintain the natural beauty and clean up their guests' messes. (It is a fact of life that humans, who pay for a hotel room, feel that they have the right to waste resources.) Concern for nature cannot be found on outlying islands and the behaviour of all natives and/or visitors is not above reproach. Fortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule.
Habits and practices at hotel pools around the world is interesting to observe. At most, some Germans rise very early, go to the pool, and lay towels and a book or bottle of sun cream on the lounges they want to hog...and then go to breakfast or back to bed or shopping. People who rise late or eat breakfast arrive at the pool to find the best spots “occupied”, but with no people in sight. I have been know to move the book/bottle and plop myself down on the “reserved” loungers, only to claim innocence when the incensed Germans finally arrive to use the pool. Of course, I lie and say that I found them unoccupied and without accoutrements.
At some hotels, one tips the pool boy and he will do the towel/book or magazine ploy and guard against people like me. This was the case at the Palace Hotel in Dubai. When we arrived for our morning swim, the pool boys were blocking lounges with towels and books/magazines or bottles. These would be released to tipping guests.
After the pool boy wandered off to the other end of the large pool, I watched two American ladies arrive. I watched one pick up a bottle of suncream left by the pool boy, not knowing that this was a dummy, and heard her comment to the other about the great service of the hotel to provide suncream for guests, not realizing that she was the dummy. She sat herself down, only to be rousted by the pool boy, who rushed back to save his handiwork and explain the rules. They moved to a less-favorable location, which I would not have done.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.