A false start

I’m back from a magic week in the beautiful island paradise that is Samoa. There is a lot to be said for the tradition of winter holidaying. I think you’re crazy if you don’t. There is nothing quite like escaping the crappy weather and the dark evenings and the winter headcolds and jumping a plane to somewhere hot and filled with cocktails (or mocktails, as the case may be).

Things didn’t quite go as smoothly as I had hoped, however. I’d like to blame it on pregnancy hormones, but that wouldn’t be entirely fair (and as far as I know, my brother-in-law who is equally to blame for the screw-up isn’t pregnant). We booked the holiday several months ago. Flights from NZ to Samoa are about as antisocial as you can get. They all seem to leave in the middle of the night. When you’re heading away that’s not such a big deal, it even kinda adds to the fun, but on the way home it just plain sucks.

Last Saturday night we packed our bags and headed to the airport to catch our 12:30am flight. When we arrived (in the middle of a thunderstorm, congratulating ourselves on being so clever) we noticed that our flight wasn’t on the board. Bad omen. I pointed it out to the woman at the check-in counter who in turn pointed out that our flight had left 24 hours ago. She also pointed out that the ticket clearly said 12:30am. There wasn’t much to say in response really, other than ‘shit’. So that’s what I said. I have no idea how we screwed that one up so badly. It was the whole going to the airport the day before you fly out that got me.

I suddenly went from feeling self-righteously over my morning sickness to incredibly nauseated. Flights only go every few days so I knew things weren’t going to be good. Luckily, we found Steve. One of the unfortunate blights on society today are those people that work at public service counters that have power issues. Steve is not one of those people. Steve is an airport angel and he saved the day. After half an hour of diligent searching and wangling and rule bending, Steve managed to book us on the next flight out (2 days later) and organise a return to match. We effectively had the identical holiday shunted back 2 days.

As it turns out, that couldn’t have been better. We managed to avoid the 2 days a year that Samoa has thunder. I could have hugged Steve. I thought he was so wonderful that I actually got off my ass and emailed the airline to sing his praises.

So come Monday, we tried again and all was well. We arrived in Samoa to 30 degrees and a week of the most amazing weather I’ve seen in a while. I spent a fair amount of time each day just feeling grateful for being alive.

And that’s notwithstanding the fact that I don’t look that flash in a bikini right now…

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