I have a very long layover in Fiji. Seven hours. Enough time that in other circumstances I might think about seeing something beyond the airport.
You know, actually being able to say I was in Fiji. Which these 7 hours will not constitute.
There’s a bit of concern on the part of the gate personnel when I land. Seven hours, far too long for airport lingering. Especially when the airport essentially closes for several hours midday.
But most of those hours are dark and early, and then nothing really starts up until later because things run on island time — not much to see and do, so I’m told, until around the time I’d have to come back for security clearance anyway.
Plus they have my bag checked, and they seem very nervous about my possibly leaving the premises after my luggage has been placed in their care.
Or maybe they’re nervous about how long they will be holding it. I try not to worry about it, and the three airlines in the transition mix.
Morning flights go off to Melbourne, Auckland, Apia (nope, cancelled), Sydney.
In short order, I am the only passenger in the entire terminal. Several employees nervously ask me if I am supposed to be on the Sydney flight. Why else would I be there, after all? After a few times, either the word has spread, or the Sydney flight has departed and it’s no longer a concern.
At 9 am all morning flights have departed. I am for the next flight, which is in the afternoon. There are literally no flights for until after 1PM. The entire airport staff stands down for a few hours. Breaks, spot cleaning, the change of shifts.
I am an aberration at this hour. It’s eerie, and it’s peaceful. I get a catnap, which after the uncomfortable flight that brought me here, is not a bad thing.
And then it’s time to press on. My adventure awaits.