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Bulaaaa Fiji! (ep.1)

So after much wait and much anxiety caused by a stupid volcano (says the girl who chose to live on a “volcanic” island, where basically pretty much all the islands are here because of volcanoes and where earthquakes happen on a monthly basis), I finally managed to take a plane to Fiji. But it wasn’t as easy as just that.

The week before flying, the airport got shut down for 2 days because of said volcano (only a few months after the other volcano that had tons of people stranded in July. Volcanoes seem to be not too happy this year). Then flights started taking off again but of course with delays and still cancellations and shit. I had looked at tickets option, but flying to Oz on a regular airline two days before departure is not cheap, they pretty much asked for my first born-to-be child so I gave up (not giving my hypothetical kid away that easy hey). Things seemed to go back to normal for a while, and of course the night before I was due to take off the volcano got mad again and the airport shut down. And reopened the next day. So I wake up thinking a have a nice day ahead of me in Bali to chill before going to the airport to catch my late flight, but then I find out about the closing and in a desperate (and a bit stupid) move I get to the airport 12 hours early thinking that if I beg maybe AirAsia will reroute me through KL or Sing and I will be sure to make it to Sydney to catch my flight to Fiji, or maybe I can get a ticket for only one leg of my first-born child and my hypothetical kid will still be able to swim. (My flight from Sydney to Fiji is also on a different airline, so of course no one cares but me about my connection problem, other dumb move that one. You would think after the amount of flights I have booked over the last 15 years and the number of airports I have visited, I would know better, but I guess saving 100 bucks by doing this seemed a smart move at the time. Next time I try to book two flights on different companies with a 2 hours connection time, someone please punches me in the face).

Of course all the flights were bloody full, even Garuda my last hope kindly declined all my frequent flyer miles to please get me to Sydney before 10am tomorrow, although the very nice lady seemed almost as sorry as me (and she was having a shitty day too, let me tell you). Another thing that living in Indo has taught me after almost three years: there is no point getting mad at the counter staff, they are having a shitty day too because of the volcano and if you are nice it gives them a break and they will try to help you. Getting mad gets you nowhere around here. Some Russian dude sitting next to me was being quite abusive to the poor AirAsia girl and I felt sorry for her. (but he was twice my size to I didn’t punch him in the face).

At that point in time however, a bunch of flights to Australia are cancelled for the day, but mine is still scheduled so I can only hope that it will stay that way until the evening.

Anyway, I sat around at the airport all day (which to be honest wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, it’s amazing how really I can entertain myself for hours, and also airports are such a great place to people watch), until the flight was finally announced, and I could finally put my plane outfit on (the one that makes me look like a lost Eskimo in the tropics) and at 1am I finally got onto the stupid plane to Sydney and we took off. It was a bit delayed but not much, however since my connection time was not super well planned as discussed before, by the time my bag finally showed up on the thing I had less than 10 minutes left to check in my next flight. Begging didn’t get me anywhere with customs, but people in front of me let me through, then I sprinted through half of Sydney airport until I got to the check in counter sweating and the girl kindly told me “You are the last one, I was gonna close in a minute”. Pfiou.

Then I got my ass on the plane, where everyone gave me some “Bula” (that’s hello in Fijian) and seemed really friendly like expected. Until I got out of the plane and in front of the immigration officer. When asked where I was going to stay, I said “on a boat” (which was only the truth). Then he started asking me questions about the name of the boat and there stuff that I didn’t know, so I get taken to another guy who asks me the same questions, and asks me if I am going to work on the boat. So I explain that I won’t, first I know nothing about boats (except that the “head” is the toilet and that’s from the PADI manual), second I have a job in Indo look at my passport there’s my work visa right there, look also I have a flight out of Fiji in about two weeks, promise I am not staying. Still not convinced, so then I give him my friend’s number who is waiting for me on the boat and he calls him, and indeed JP confirms he is waiting for me, so the immigration guy ends up giving me a visa only until the date of my plane ticket. And since it’s all I need I wish him a good evening and get on my way. My way takes me to the biggest marina in Nadi, where I get “bula-ed” by friendly people and where JP comes to find me and get my tired self on the boat. Took me a day, but here I am.

In the next episode I will tell you actual stuff about Fiji (or most likely about dive sites and waves in Fiji).

Until then if you have a bit of time (and on a totally different topic), I watched this TED talk about vulnerability last month, totally worth 20min of your time, thanks Jo for pointing it out. I will not say “I am the kind of person who cries when Bambi’s mom dies” anymore, I will start saying “I am vulnerable and I am OK with it”. TED is really a great thing, I have to say. You should try it if you haven't yet.

Not going to write today about current events back home, because I don’t think I can right now. Amour et Joie, even if it’s not that easy every day.

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