Never fear, I haven't been held hostage in the City of Dreams. The flight left as per schedule and there were hand shakes all round as I was reunited with my waiting room friends from the previous morning. It is a no-service flight, not even time for a sip of water or an unidentified food object, before we spanned the Straits of Death and landed at the recently extended runway; I'm very grateful for that, or we would have cleaned up a few fences, goats and lontar on our way in. In place of the usual baggage carousel is a ute, which is loaded up on the tarmac and driven around to the front of the terminal shed, where you help yourself.
I was flooded with anticipation as we approached home, noting landmarks, checking off changes in the familiar landscape - a new fence, a fallen tree, an abandoned house. Sending Tom ahead to unveil the beach shack and begin damage control from the wet season's fury was well managed, and I arrived to a frangipani on the pillow and organic fruit for dinner.
Leading up to our departure from Australia with the crescendo of activity, lists and packing that marks the change over, I imagined myself laid out on the daybed with a cuppa, the crosshatch of our coconut roof holding my gaze between waves and paragraphs. It didn't take long. I'm home.
Welcome to the barefoot season.