Left India today after a very interesting one month stay & arrived in Male via Indian Airlines business class. A bit of misadventure since arrival. Firstly, Customs detected my Indian sculpture of Nataraja, the dancing Lord Shiva which I intended to decorate my living room with. They said import of non-Islamic statues and idols are banned. So I had to leave it at airport and collect when I leave. Wasted 1 hour where they scrutinized everything (especially the souvenirs) in my bag to see whether they have non-Islamic significance. Maybe they think I am a Hindu fundamentalist trying to spread Hinduism in Maldives.
Next, I lugged my stuff to the hotel I booked via email but they disclaimed any knowledge and said they were fully booked anyway. Unfortunately, I didn¡¯t print the email and couldn¡¯t argue further. In any case, I found another much more conveniently located hotel at half the price but time wasted again.
Even then, Male is so small that I took only 2 hours to finish popping by the main sights, sending myself a postcard and visiting the museum. I have whole day Tue, then fly to Yemen on Wed via Dubai (2:30am ungodly hour!).
BTW, the museum, which has little explanatory captions, display some Buddhist artifacts and photos of ruined stupas on some outer atoll islands. Unfortunately, I could not find more details on them, nor about Maldives¡¯ swing from sultanate to republic, then to sultanate followed by republic again, all in the 1950s to 1960s. Maybe I will wiki about these.