Mangoes World

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The final thought

So we leave Hawaii, the place where dreams are made of. Had I had been there longer, the only dream I would have would be dreaming of not living on the streets, before the Jacks woke me up and told me to move on.

I loved Hawaii. I would do anything to stay there. (For the complete compilation of what I wouldn’t do, make a prediction). I wasn’t looking forward to coming back to mosquito ridden and rainy Fiji.

I was sad to go, but nothing nine hours on a flight couldn’t cure. Again I was pleased by the vegetarian meals on planes. I was also fortunate enough to lie down for the flight. Linz moved to another chair but had to move again due to Christmas Island in comers. And by this stage I was out cold. Well as much as on can be with a crooked neck. I heard there is a giraffe living with one, I can’t see why I wont survive.

Arriving in Fiji, we luckily enough had transport to our hotel. It was a little less than an hours drive, it was wet and it was late. Checking into our hotel was easy, but no food in sight. So we decided to go straight to bed.

As soon as we awoke it was raining. Our villa was cute and I got the double bed. This was due to a rock off we had at The Royal Grove. I had chosen the double bed of the next hotel, which left Linz with the double there. Until this place, I thought I chosen the short straw. As long as it’s not a air bed I’m happy.

Fiji is well, boring. I found it hard to settle for days of nothing. Perhaps because there is no sun? It’s hot and there is nothing but reading and writing to do. Which is awesome for two days.. But the big factor is the lack of energy burning. This results in my insomnia and more frustrating for Linz, who has to put up with the late night- early morning routine.

Our first full day we headed into Sigatoka for shopping. As if I needed to make more purchases. On the positive side, we saw a few more white people. On the negative side, apparently ‘Fiji time’ extends for 45 minutes! We were least impressed, while waiting for our driver. You’d assume $50 FJD would get you some sense of urgency. But then again we were riding with a kid who had two rat tails.. Who let them out?

Our Friday consisted of reading and writing. It began with my stomach not feeling well, a usual result for different food. Thank god for America’s own Pepto Bismal. (Stomach pain relief, not De-gas or Dihorrea tablets, that Silva has eloquently taped to my desk. I’m just thinking about this year’s students seeing the packet and being horrified. It’s just short of Bowler letting my form group assume I’m away because of the squirts.)

We caught a cab to the sister resort for a change of scenery. There were loads more people but it wasn’t entirely full. It was a beautiful place to sit and write. I did feel bad for those who chose Fiji as a pick up destination. Where ever da party’s at, it ain’t here!

It did bring to my attention the influx of Australian tourists. I feel proud of my country until I step into a shop and hear an undercut wearing bogan and her husband have a whinge at the 2.6% VAT added onto her purchases. Forgetting the 11% GST good ole Howard added within the price and that different countries have well, differences. “If you did that in Australia, you’d be sued!” The red neck scumbag decided that it would take the Fijians too long to add it all up and walked out. I was embarrassed for Australia and felt like I was Kevin Rudd about to give his apology in embarrassment of previous generations. Doesn’t customs have some sort of screening process to keep these kind of scumbags in remote Australia? I’m pretty sure there are some cattle that need mustering or beers that need pulling? Or at the very least, garbage that needs sorting. I have vowed to myself that if I ever witness such rude behavior that ‘I’ll pull out me knife and slay the beast with me bear hands’.

Retuning to our villa on the infamous Coral Coast, we nestled back into reading. We did take a short walk to the waters edge and discover bright blue starfish and some ugly phallic looking sea urchins. They scared the phallic out of us.

For our last day the sun came out. Finally I had an opportunity to get my black on! So I sat myself by the pool. I hadn’t had much tanning, only a few days here and there so this was the perfect opportunity. And get my black on I did. Including the sunnies tan. It’s not my most attractive feature, but its all I’ve got.

We had also booked a snorkeling trip just off the coast. I had forgotten how much I love swimming, the weightlessness and speed. It’s remarkably quiet and solitary, but it’s what you learn to love. I’ve learnt I need to do some more mind relaxing activities. There were loads of cute little fishies and some pretty corals. I learnt that I often won’t swim because it’s cold. I preferred staying in close to avoid the ocean temperatures!

That night we were invited to a session of Kava by the staff at the hotel. I had already bought some to take with me, but I was keen to give it a crack. Kava is a herbal relaxant, it is supposed to calm you down and send you to sleep. “Perfect, this is just what I needed to avoid staying up all night and waking up early.” Sitting around the bowl of Kava, we elected democratically by way of sex, Mick. He had the power to begin each round and end them. Other members of our tribe included Linz, an Australian Mother and her 12 year old daughter and the English retirees, Lesley and Mick. Opting for his first taste of Kava to be ‘high tide’, (the larger bowl) he had his first taste. Onwards to Linz who despised the rooty delight. According to a source “peer-pressure was high, but the outcome would be vomit”. Linz took a sip and passed it on. When it came to my turn, I was ‘high tide’ all the way. I wanted to get to sleep before 1am, I was racking up with the boys. Apparently the ritual of having Kava would become a way of playing chicken with males. I was in! Numerous glasses later, I was more energized than ever. We went back to my room and I couldn’t sleep and I woke up at 8am. (With a headache, apparent side effect of Kava.)

The last day of our holiday was spent lounging around and preparing for our journey to the airport. We were being picked up 2pm, with the expectation of being at the airport at 4pm. Lest we forget the numerous pickups that added on the extra hour to our journey. Gagh!

Lest we forget, Linz not having the facilities to wash her hands and committing herself to throwing out anything she touches until she can wash them.

Arriving at the airport, we checked in successfully. And by successfully I mean, Em and her 38kgs and Linz and her 50kgs. We smiled and eyelashes were fluttered. We were also informed that we were on standby. Had we had not made the flight I would have been furious.

I am deeply disappointed by our lying flight itinerary! It had set us up with high hopes of a 4 1/2 journey back home. Where in reality it was actually five pushing six hours. In addition I think a whole family holiday of over 20 people including impossible preteens and screaming babies. Once a teacher always a teacher, both Linz and I told off the obnoxious little girls running around the plane.

Seriously? This is not the root of all evil on this afternoon turned red eye flight. Was it the fact I was sitting in close proximity of four continually flushing toilets? Or was it man who I sat next to, picking his nose and flicking them onto the floor? I will let you decide. It’s like a Goosebumps ‘Choose your own ending’ decision.

So in conclusion, upon reflecting of our journey we have felt that it has been a success. No hating as Silva and Bowler had predicted. We had a few issues, as you do, but nothing of great drama worth recording and publishing. We did have many moments that remain to strive for comedic reenactments. Such as the rivaled ‘log master’ theories of the universe or the daily Red Neckisms, and even the spelling quiz.

In terms of achieving the mission objectives. I think we did well. I was unable to find a beloved leather jacket, but it’s not like the 100s of clothing of items I purchased, wont be able to make up for it.

Finally, we pay homage to the airport ‘pickeruperer’ who has saved my back from lugging almost 40kgs and two bottles of alcohol.

And yes… We do like Pina Coladas!

Linz and Em

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I’ve had to post the two blogs at the same time, because I’ve had no internet connection. Which means no connection with the outside world. And I’ve survived- which highlights that Facebook is purely a hobby and not an addiction..

So after arriving at our dingy hotel, we argued with the owners about the airport transfer and decided we would just pay for the cab and be done with it. We were exhausted and not really interested in arguing, and although
we had paid for an extra nights accommodation because we arrived so
early. Getting to the hotel was almost a comedy of errors. See the
pictures below, taking note of the “casual walk ins” sign and then
of the road we nearly got bogged in coming here. Fijian irony I

The complimentary breakfast, was well complimentary. It
included a strange jam and toast, with a side of fruit. Drinks were
extra. Having not eaten a great deal of food, we reluctantly ate
before heading to our room. I felt like a chicken pecking at the
seed, I had no other reaction than to feed myself. I needed a nap.

The room was clean and the beds were like giant sponges. As both of
us were tired, it wouldn’t have bothered me if I slept on spikes.

After a couple of hours, power napping we headed out for a walk.
Our hotel was a grave yard and we had seen one other couple. Fairly
reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Psyco- rain included.

A short walk down the bumpy, unpaved path we wound up in Club Fiji. Found the massage place and ordered ourselves a much deserved rub down. $25 FJD to be covered in oil in awkward beach shelter. I really enjoyed taking off my top in the middle of the hotel and exposing my mangoes. Whatever Trevor!

After we both had received massages, we found and
started a hostile takeover of the blue leather 70s couches. This
was going to be the place of relaxation for the next couple of
hours. We read, we ate and most importantly we ordered ‘Pina
Coladas’! Well I ordered one, Linz had a Daiquiri.

Moments later, sitting back sipping our cocktails on the 70s leather couch, our theme song blares through the speakers. We were speaking with
Tonga, the Waiter and explained the significance of ‘If you like
Pina Coladas’. It’s what both of us have held on to from booking
our trip in term three. Without the song we had nothing.

The song has encapsulated many things for both of us. It has been
inspiration for survival in the Linx filled halls of MEC. It has
given us a dream, a hope and above all – escapism! On a side note,
the second line of ‘being caught in the rain rings true for this
hot tropical climate. A song that will speak forever in my soul.

After eating Tacos we headed back to our dingy hotel. We were
exhausted and struggling to keep our eyes open. So after a long
-cold at the start, hot at the end- shower.. We climbed into bed. I
awoke wide awake at 1am thinking about the range of things that
circulate throughout my head. I made a few decisions. I also
decided it was time for the fan.. At this point Linz heard me wake.
And here comes the first of many memorable quotes “I’m regretting
not bringing my Phone for many reasons, one being using it as a
light.” Its not the normal reason for missing your phone, for me..
I’m missing WIFI. I’ve got no connection. What puzzles me more, is
that shitful run down bed bug ridden hotels in Phnom Penh have WIFI
and in Fiji it barely exists.

Waking up the second time, I realized I had been massacred by mosquitos. If the Dengue fever was transmitted per occurrence of bites.. I was well and truly converted. 23 was the morning count. Linz however survived the
mosquito massacre with only a few wounds. Hideous! I look like a
child with Chicken Pox!

We had planned a trip into town from the hotel with the 70s couches. It was a bargain rate of $2.50 FJD each way. The items on the top of my list was Tea Tree oil and mosquito repellent. Lucky the market had Bushman’s sticky but effective gel, although my biggest problem was the sleeping with the enemies. Linz made a few purchases, this included a mask, some little angels, and a picture. I just smoothed over the wooden goods and thought about buying Daddy, a hideous Hawaiian shirt.

On the way back we luckily or not so luckily (jury’s out) got to drive slowly past a cremation. Not my sort of entertainment.. If you know what I mean!

On the whole today was a hell of a lot hotter. I was getting my
black on.. Although there no sunbaking as yet.. But never fear
there will be plenty of opportunities..

Walking back to the dingy hotel, a small rat type creature scuttled across the road. My initial thought was a Weasel. Upon clarification from the
bartender, it was a Mongoose. I had finally lost my Mongoose
virginity, and it felt good.

I change my massacre to 30 bites on my legs! The lesson I have learnt for the future is; I can not take romantic vacations next to the ocean, unless I’m in Bora Bora and the actual villa is in the sea. During the day I was ok, but at night the little kamikaze fighters were sneaking in the fly screen and
biting me on the butt. The only time I’ve ever experienced worse
bites was up on the Murray river, when I slept with my head poking
out of the swag. I awoke to about 12 bites to my face. This time,
I’ve been pro-active about ensuring that no bites reach my face.
I’ve now resorted to sleep in Bushman repellent, I’m enjoying the
way I am able to Superman myself to the sheets! 😉

For dinner, we ordered back at our own hotel.
This was because we felt bad because the night before, we didn’t eat here. Linz ordered a beef curry, to which some of the beef didn’t taste like beef, and with my food phobias- of course I didn’t want to know that. Garnishing her plate was a rather large chilli. Being the ‘Kungfu chilli master’ that I
was, I ate it. (Now it is important to note my tolerance for spicy
is rather high, as I spent years cooking as a ‘chilli chick’ in
chilli cook offs with my mum. Not only did I order and taste loads
of chilli, I was steadfastly becoming immune to it. Up until this
point, I had not met a chilli I couldn’t handle.) Well that all
changed in a matter of seconds. I managed one bite and then spat
the chilli in a projectile way back on to the plate. I almost died.
(This would be the second time Jarrad, would disagree with that
statement) but I did! The Kungfu chilli master had met her match in
a small hotel south of NADI. I went to bed with a “soar” throat
that night. Saw a gecko on the wall- took a picture for you Bowler.

“Wake up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy”, I did a bite count
and have isolated another few additions. I’m collecting mosquito
bites, like you collect seashells at the beach.

We managed to go for a massive walk along the black sandy beach. Just in time before the torrential down pour that is tropical Fiji! It meant that I was the sacrificial lamb, with no umbrella. It was me that was running
ahead in the down pour. Linz had the cameras and phone. I had the
drink bottle and the rain.

On a side note- Fijians are lovely. Everyone says hello or “bula” in Fijian. I likey a lot! Tonight we leave NADI, thank goodness. I’m bored.

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“Transport: Who does that?”

A brilliant beginning to our journey, as the Jurassic
ticket machine at Gardenvale station apparently doesn’t take notes
or credit cards. Which is overly perfect considering people
wouldn’t always have coins. In effect we missed the first train and
had to wait patiently in the cold for the next train. A great start.

Training from Gardenvale to the city is about 25mins to
Flinders St. So it’s perfect to leave my house at 7pm. Sitting on
the train at Flinders St, awaiting departure to Southern Cross, we
began to notice a couple of things.. Firstly we were sitting there
deciding ‘Pina Colada’ stories for a later date. Traveling with
someone you don’t know extremely well leaves the capacity for ‘Pina
Colada’ story time wide open. Back to the fact we are sitting on
the train waiting for the exit, it was becoming obvious that there
was a large number of people of Indian decent boarding. This is not
a particularly common occurrence on the Sandringham line. With more
continued reflection on 2010, the train began moving with the title
‘Sydenham’ line. At this point we were able to realize two things,
where the hell is Sydenham? and the other- we had sat on completely
the wrong train. Apparently the Sandringham line is not city loop
worthy as it becomes a train to the West. Scared and shocked at the
fact we had sat there, began reflection and not paid enough
attention to a Melbourne train, we disembarked at Parliament

I am traveling with Linz, who “arrives in Cambodia in the
middle of the night with no accommodation” and I’m also not a
travel virgin. We completely took for granted that all trains to
the city ride the loop- a statement intended primarily for most
city bound Frankston trains.

So jumping off a Parliament station, left us with hardly any options as the next point for the majority of the trains is Richmond station. It’s a confusing web of platforms similar and less organized to the London tube or NYC subway. So, we caught a cab to Southern Cross, bearing in mind the
time. I found the first smelly cab possible, and by smelly, I mean
the stench of alcohol. A familiar scent from living with males in
the past.

$8 AUD later, we arrive at Southern Cross and high tail
it to the airport. Along the journey we had committed ourselves to
certain changes/resolutions. I had committed to be wary of my
marriage plans to hot chips and make a concession to order, with
meals one only once a week. (If I’m able to stick to this
commitment, I shall make Daws and Bam proud.) Linz on the other
hand, had given up chocolate. This would be the last time she would
consume the sugary delight. We of course have created a photo diary
of this life changing moment.. And after consuming a Twirl and some
MnM’s, she felt sick. Dairy is no longer a dietary option, and I’m
not a massive chocoholic.

Upon checking in, we had decided that a weigh in for luggage seemed appropriate. As I had packed almost nothing on the notion “it’s Hawaii, they’ll have everything” and Linz “I’m giving away things to less fortunate people”. I weighed in at 12.2kgs and Linz at 20kgs. Hhmmm. It was at this point we were informed of our 30kg luggage allowance. We both celebrated
appropriately! However this did not go without removal of the Bon
Bon from Linz’s Christmas kit.

Skimming through Duty Free, we headed straight for the cafe. Linz in search of non-dairy and gluten free and me in search of something tasty. We nestled into chairs for the photographic opportunity of Linz’s last chocolate. I had wished for some of our colleagues to be there to recreate
Davinci’s ‘Last Supper’. It was a moment of parallel followed by
brief sickness.

I was also struggling with my own demons- no mobile
for an extended period of time. Gagh! Only once have I refrained
from Facebook for a period of 24hours, a dare enforced by Mr
Wright. For the purpose of the story, I was able to cope. My mobile
is purely a device I am attached to, and would prefer it over
breathing. No biggie!

Upon boarding the plane, I realized how many children and babies were on board. I wasn’t concerned as I had my iPod, with freshly charged up tunes to rock out to. Red Hot Chill Peppers are always part of the reoccurring beats. I generally order vegetation meals on planes, so that I get served first and I don’t turn my nose up at chicken/meat/fish. Scoffing the roll, I settled in for the night. This meant playing footsies with the man in
front. He was hot, I was happy. Simple pleasures!

A shitful sleep for Linz. On the other hand i was exhausted and wasn’t really
bothered till the child began screaming. Gagh! Arriving at NADI
airport, we were awaiting a transfer to the hotel. It’s 6am
Melbourne time and 8am here. It was at this point we finally got
lei’d! It was quick and virtually pain free. I advise you strongly
to get lei’d. I’m looking forward to doing it again in Hawaii. Our
transfer never arriving, we jumped into a cab with a great driver.
He informed us of many things, that if I wasn’t asleep inside, I
might had bothered speak back. The difference in Melbourne is, they
say nothing and smell of alcohol. Yummy!

Finally: Power nap required. The next three days are for recuperation. And doing nothing. The hotel is less than can be desired, but cheap and good
to sleep in. And it’s hot!

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