At which point do you acknowledge there must be a serious case of mistaken identity going on, when it is so clearly to your advantage?
I know that the Fijian people have a reputation for being friendly, but from the moment we arrived at Denarau, it was clear that they had mistaken me for royalty.
On arrival at the gates to Denarau, the guard stopped our taxi, leaned through the window and gently patted my head. This was to become a common occurrence.
Within two minutes of arriving at the Wyndham Resort, all of the reception and security staff knew my name. I loved seeing the serious face of the burly security guard melt into a huge grin and call out ‘Bula Joshua’ every time he saw me.
During our stay, it soon became obvious that my parents weren’t to be trusted carrying me. On my way to the pool (which I visited every chance I got) staff would insist on carrying me, often introducing me to other staff along the way, who would squeeze my cheeks or tickle my toes. I always showed my gratitude with my most spectacular smile.
At the restaurant I hope I didn’t lose anyone their jobs, as again I would be carried around, passed from staff member to staff member while my family ate. And once they discovered my passion for pineapple, it became a competition to see who could produce the most delicious sample.
Wherever we went in the resort, people would rush over, pat my head, squeeze my cheeks, tickle my toes or sneak me pineapple pieces. All in all, it was glorious!
Unfortunately, my royal status was revoked with a jolt when I landed back in Sydney. No tickling? No pineapple? No-one calling out ‘Bula!’? Not even a smile? Back to reality with a thud but dreaming of returning to Fiji in the very near future ….
PS. Because I am not quite a year old, my aunty had to help me write this about our trip in February 2013