The good thing about growing older is that there are always memories. And always some good ones amongst all the rest. Lately I’ve been reading my fb notifications, and some of them have been making me cringe. Especially the ones from 2014 when I was going ape-crazy over blog excitement. Nowadays I’ve toned down a bit. No longer publicizing to fb. And going ape-crazy.
This morning I saw some happy flashbacks. Four years ago today we were enjoying an idyllic Fijian island vacation. My children were 9 and 6 respectively.
We spent 8 full days eating, swimming, snorkeling, eating, sleeping, relaxing, eating, swimming. Full catering included.
I forgot about a fresh apple in my bag as we went through customs on our Castaway Island holiday. So after receiving a customs fine, and not having enough cash on hand to pay it, I quickly went to the nearest atm in sight to withdraw money. But, being in a panic at being stopped at customs I completely forgot my pin. Total mind blank. And after the first failed attempt I was too nervous to do another one in case my pin got blocked. My husband had already withdrawn his daily limit.
It was agreed that I could pay the fine when I returned to the airport which would be in 8 days time. However, the fine clearly stated it needed to be paid in 7 days failing which you would have to appear in the magistrates court at a set time.
At the airport the following Saturday we went to pay the fine. At the security office I noticed there was an envelope with my name on it. Why was there an envelope with my name on it? We paid and went to go through passport control. Only to find out my passport was blocked. Do not allow to leave the country. My heart started racing. We were ushered into an office and told to wait. From the window I could see the airplane and there wasn’t much time before it started to board. No-one seemed to want to make a decision on my passport, and being a Saturday made it worse with decision-makers not being at work etc. I was entertaining visions of missing my flight, and being held back to appear in a magistrates office, and being alone in a foreign country etc, my mind raced ahead and my heart was beating so fast I felt like I was going to have a heart-attack there and then. Please let me go! After what felt like an eternity an official came into the room, interviewed a very nervous me, eventually stamped my passport, and said I could go! Still in time for the flight home.
A few years ago we vacationed on Castaway Island in Fiji. For anyone who has seen the Tom Hanks movie Castaway, Castaway Island is in the same group of islands as to where the movie was shot (day trips are also offered to that specific island). Spending a few days on Castaway Island was like spending a few days in a tropical island heaven. No cars, all food prepared, water, snorkeling, sun, sand. And not forgetting the very friendly Pacific Islanders. Bula!