Getting to Fiji takes a long ass time

Maybe the sight of the guy holding his foot in the air and clipping his toenails while waiting for his iPod to charge at Gate 101 at SFO was a sign. But then, I’ve always missed seeing omens.

Sir and I settled into our seats for the long flight to Fiji and waited for take-off. He was on the aisle, me one seat in. His seat-back would not recline so I volunteered to switch, since I can sleep in nearly any contortion. I tried adjusting the headrest and it came off in my hand. As a steward approached, Sir said, “I’d like to give you a piece of your aircraft back.” The steward must have seen this before because within 30 seconds the headrest was back on and the seat reclined. We switched back.

A little TV might be relaxing. The removable remote control was nifty–phone on one side, TV buttons on the other. Unfortunately, no combination of presses would bring the screen to life. Sir’s worked but had images with blurred edges. Forget it.

How about some reading? My light lit my right knee but since I had an empty seat next to me, no worries. Sir, on the other hand, managed to illuminate the area 4 seats to his right, surprising the woman sitting there. Turns out her button lit his book so an even exchange was made.

I got several hours sleep, but Sir only scored about 5 minutes. The generously built lady in front of him managed to get her seat back past the usual incline and when she sat back down after a visit to the restroom, she crushed his knees. Meanwhile, the fellow behind him was unhappy with Sir’s angle of repose and commenced banging on the seat-back like a 2 year old. Sir ratcheted it back some more.

When we arrived in Nadi it was dark and warm. I’m not sure even how to pronounce the city name–so far I’ve heard Nadi to rhyme with Laddie, and Nadi to rhyme with Lady. In any case, Sir’s bag went awol and he is Not Pleased. It’s never a nice feeling to be the last people at the baggage claim and the bags still forlornly circling are not yours. I wonder if those bags are all the ones that are lost for other people in other airports who are waiting waiting waiting like we were. Sir’s bag might be parading itself before the passengers in Minneapolis for all we know.

We walked to the domestic terminal and checked in a bag to storage which contains many of our clothing items for NZ. The area was dark and seemed to be unoccupied. Sir called,”hello?” and a woman emerged, rubbing her eyes. To be fair, it was 6 in the morning, a cruel time to be at work.

There was no one in line to check in for our final leg. Having lost a bag, we just had one to check. It went through and then Sir was asked to stand on the scale. In my experience, this is where you put the luggage. Nevertheless, his weight was noted. Unfortunately, then it was my turn.

Finally we got to the gate for the final flight to Taveuni. Not really a gate, more of a holding area. After awhile a man opened the door to the outside and called our flight and he escorted us to the 20 seater plane. This was the best part of the journey, and not just because it was the last. It was 7 in the morning, the light was lovely, and all I could see was luxuriant land and sea sea sea. Coming in to land was like an amusement park ride, but much prettier. We dropped in over houses and crops, whizzed to the end of the runway, then turned around to disembark.

It seems everyone gets around by taxi or bus. A beat up diesel Toyota minivan took us to Lomalagi, the house where we’re staying this week. The view is hibiscus, palmetto, and sea. First order of business is a nap.

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