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Beau Vallon Beach, Seychelles

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Last Night’s Plane

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King of Palms

The Strawman’s Hut, Seychelles

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Tyko Blake Eskil Raboff

Fifty years old. That’s what my younger brother Tyko would have been today, on the 21st of July.

It’s been a while since he quietly slipped away, alone and without hope in a dreary hotel room in Paris. And honestly, these days, I don’t think of Tyko that much. It feels good that I can admit that without feeling guilt. But even though he’s not nearly as present as during those first years after his death, the memory of him isn’t buried so deep or has become too compartmentalized that I can’t still easily recollect how devastated I felt when I received the call from the gendarme in Paris.

Since his and my birthdays are just one day apart, I’ll of course always be reminded of Tyko’s tragic passing. And though today marks one of the year’s sadder days (the other being the date of his death), I still try to spend some of it reminiscing about our old times and remembering the sound of his contagious laugh, boundless, often off-the-charts sick sense of humor and perhaps above all, my brother’s unique ability to be brutally honest about how he felt. Which I intend to do more of going forward…

Rest in peace, Toddles.

cocktails at Trader Vic's

Tiki Puka Puka at Trader Vic’s Seychelles

I haven’t been to a Trader Vic’s in probably 45 years. The last time was somewhere in West Hollywood in Los Angeles (on Robertson or San Vincente Blvd?) and it was likely with my mother and one or more of her friends.

I remember being a little freaked out/excited about the Polynesian sculptures, totem poles, warrior masks, ornately carved shields, wooden spears and the restaurant’s huge fire pit.

Tonight we enjoyed a sumptuous three course dinner at Trader Vic’s here in the Seychelles. Like I remembered from my previous visit, almost half a century ago, both the interior and exterior of this Trader Vic’s was richly decorated with the similarly, somewhat sinister looking busts and heads stemming from Maori, Hawaiian and Tahitian mythology as well as a whole lot of other less serious props and trimmings.

Before our meal, we enjoyed two classic Trader Vic cocktails at one of the most well-stocked bars I’ve been served at in a long, long time: Mai Tai and Tiki Puka Puka. The friendly bartender above was literally and physically behind our tasty beverages.

sikh man seychelles

Senior Sikh Seychelles

Generally speaking, street portraiture is a 50-50 challenge. At least if you like me, prefer letting folks know a few seconds beforehand that they’re about to be digitally eternalized.

No matter where in the world I might be, half the time, my subjects agree wholeheartedly to letting me capture a candid shot of them. The other 50% either turn their heads, raise their hands to cover their faces or get a little pissed off by my audacious behaviour. A combo of all these reactions happens once in a while.

The gentlemen above, an elderly Sikh who was sitting on a park bench in Beau Vallon Beach here in the Seychelles – and whom I presume is a resident but might as well be a tourist, was more than forthcoming and even thankful that I wanted to photograph him. He looked so incredibly content while gazing into the Indian Ocean. Reminiscing memories of yesteryear? Coming to terms with the cycle of life? Feeling at peace with his existence? Or, was he perhaps yearning for the majestic temples of Punjab, hoping to once again stand on sacred ground and unite with friends and family?
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In the shade