Some days, island life rolls on in seemingly uneventful ways. You get up, have coffee, go to work and then…bam…it’s happy hour. Another day in paradise slipped quietly – and uneventfully – by. Life is perfect, you think, as you watch another glorious sunset, cocktail in hand.
Then there are the other kind of days. The days when you find yourself in some absurd predicament your old, pre-island self could never have dreamed up. Like today.
But first…some context…
My mode of transport at the moment is a scooter. A cool, retro-styled, chrome accessorized scooter, which makes me look uber-carefree and cool as I tool about town. Especially fun for a woman of a certain age who spent the majority of her pre-rock life driving a Volvo. Because they are the safest cars in the world.
Obviously, my scooter does not offer the bodily preservation features of my old Swedish tank. But what the scooter lacks in safety features, it makes up for in other ways. Like convenience and economy.
It also happens to be quite fun when the sun is shining…which occurs 99% of the time here. Unfortunately, it is the other 1% that presents a problem.
When it rains, I am no longer channeling my inner Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, but instead looking (and feeling) more like Rose in Titanic. (After the ship sank, not in the car with Leonardo di Caprio.)
And today it rained. For the first time since I adopted a scooter as my primary mode of transportation.
I knew it had to happen eventually, I just hoped it would be conveniently between 8:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – you know, the hours when I’m indoors.
But alas…today the weather gods blessed our parched island with intermittent downpours. Good for the flora and fauna, not so much for island girl on scooter (a/k/a me).
I escaped the first torrent of rain on my way to work, but wasn’t quite so fortunate at lunchtime. I even cut my lunch hour short to try and get back to the office before the deluge began. I was unsuccessful. Very, very unsuccessful. In fact, hindsight tells me I should have just carried on eating and waited for the monsoon to pass. Ah yes…20/20 vision, that hindsight.
So my lunchtime miscalculation is how I came to be sitting in my air conditioned office this afternoon wearing an oversized button-down shirt and a tablecloth fashioned into a sarong. Both miscellaneous items I scavenged from the storage closet here.
Thankfully, we go to a lot of tradeshows and there is a plentiful selection of leftover tops to be found. Not so much for bottom-wear, unfortunately. Must bring that up at the next staff meeting.
Granted, things could be worse. While it is not anything from the latest Chanel runway, the tablecloth is somewhat fashionable. In an island-y sort of way. Featuring tropical shades of turquoise and orange with flamingos and palm trees dotting the edges. It almost coordinates with my aqua-blue top. Almost. And it almost works as an ensemble. Again, almost. I think if I just had the right accessories…
Thankfully, everyone else here is on holiday at the moment, we don’t get much (any) foot traffic and I’ve managed to avoid the neighbors while en route to the shared ladies’ room, so I haven’t had to explain myself…yet.
One plus, I just discovered that one of the conference room windows opens, so now my wet clothes are draped over several chairs, making a meeting in there definitely impossible. As if my current wardrobe wasn’t enough of a deterrent.
And I find myself trying to get some work done in the other room, but keeping one ear toward the conference room. You know, just in case a member of the donkey posse grazing nearby figures out there might be more lunch just inside that tall, open window. They will eat anything, you know. I suspect even soaking wet jeans.
I remain optimistic, though, hoping that my wardrobe is dry enough for a tolerable ride home tonight. (While I like my current Project Runway ensemble, I won’t be seen in public with it if I can help it.) Of course, I just noticed it looks like rain again.
I’m a writer living on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. Originally from the U.S., I followed my heart to the tropics in 2011 at the wizened age of 43. Since then, I’ve been blogging to inspire and entertain. I love kitesurfing, a good gin & tonic, and corgis.
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