The airport wasn’t even five minutes behind me when I saw the monstrous billboard advertisement by Heineken.
Holiday troubles are part of the tradition, enjoy them.
Accurate, I told myself as we whizzed on past, weaving through the onslaught of mopeds and scooters. Mario Kart, but with more traffic. But this wasn’t a virtual reality. I had just touched down in the Indonesian island of Bali and this was not a drill. Due to the severe rainstorms and flash flooding that had unexpectedly hit the UAE, causing mayhem across the entire infrastructure, it was a miracle that I’d arrived at all. Delayed flights, and cancelled ones too, I’d made it! Despite the sleeping pills, the turbulence kept me awake, and I was still jet lagged, still on California timing. I needed a coffee. Or maybe an Aperol; I was finally on holiday after all, and surely, if the billboard was in fact right, I’d already encountered my share of ‘holiday troubles’. Bring on BAAALI!
“I think you could write a book. Kind of, an anecdote of ‘Why Men Love Bitches’. You could call it something like, ‘What Not To Say In A Relationship’. A bit like ‘How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days’. Those sort of vibes.”
My mum is my biggest fan. She is my absolute biggest cheerleader. The first person to watch my IG stories (because she somehow worked out that she can receive notifications of when I post anything…) and the first person to message me every single morning when I wake up. But, her being of the Baby Boomer Generation, and me being a millennial, have some very differing opinions and outlooks, especially when it comes to social media.
My friend was chatting to me, but I kept being distracted by the child who was blatantly staring at me. I could see her, out of the corner of my eye, watching me, unblinking, whilst she crammed cake into her mouth with both chunky fists. Just as I was beginning to wonder if I had a bogey or something on my nose, the cupcake with it’s sprinkles and glittery frosting was finished. “CAAAAAAKE!!!!! MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMM. ME CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE.” She screamed; throwing herself against the plush pink couch giving zero cares about the sticky mess she was leaving in her wake. Oh dear, that sofa looked expensive…
“Well, Doctor S said that when it kicked in, I’d know… That it would be like finding light in the dark… I am not really sure that I am seeing the whole light yet?”
The doctor laughed from the bottom of his belly. “Listen, I wouldn’t quite word it as ‘poetically’ – shall we say – as Doctor S put it… but, the tablets are mainly to help build your confidence a bit, which will have a knock on effect on all the other aspects of your life.”
“Is the light more like when someone leaves the hall light on and the light shines through the gap under your bedroom door? Rather than the floodlight I was expecting?” I asked him as I got up to leave his office. He smiled, “Give it time, Pam! Come back and see me in June. And enjoy your holiday!”
“January is going to be our year.” I was Skyping with my overseas bestie a couple of days before Hogmanay (that’s what us Scots call New Years Eve by the way). I thought ahead to my January work pattern and felt a tidal wave of giddy wash over mewhen I thought about the two weeks of annual leave that needed filled with some plans. Yeah, this year is going to be the year I travel more and actually have some more adventures, I told her.
Fast forward to the first week of February, and if that first month was a taster for the year ahead, then please tell me that the first month is just a trial run?