“I see you’ve booked a garden bungalow.”
Amanda and I looked at each other with panic as the concierge reviewed our reservation on his computer. We thought for sure we had booked an over the water bungalow. If you’re going to splurge on a trip to Bora Bora, why not go all the way, right? But when he said “garden bungalow” I thought I might spit out my fruity welcome drink and start crying at the same time.
And so it rained…
Two days earlier, Amanda landed in Tahiti, and I met her there a day later from Auckland. An insanity of rain was bucketing down since before I arrived, which made venturing out for dinner (without umbrellas) an adventure all on its own. We had painstakingly booked round trip flights to Bora Bora nine months earlier, so we weren’t staying on the island of Tahiti very long. Unfortunately that did not mean we would escape the rain.
Our flight was actually three hops from Tahiti to Moorea to some other island I don’t remember the name of and finally to Bora Bora. These islands are so close, it took less than two hours from start to finish. But flying through the storm was painful on the tiny airplane. Although we were sitting just a few seats away from Alex Borstein from MadTV and the voice of Lois on Family Guy, which was kind of cool.
I promise we’re not lesbians
We were staying at the Sofitel, which has two locations. Like I said, we decided to go all out, so we booked a bungalow at the private island location. The guests who got dropped off at the main location first were definitely giving us odd looks the whole time they were on the boat with us. I’m not sure if it was because we seemed too young to be on such a trip and splurging on the more expensive of the hotel’s two properties (we certainly got those stares, and comments, when we went to Antarctica) or if they thought we were lesbians.
(Just a side note: Bora Bora is definitely a couples destination, so much so that the hotel staff couldn’t even wrap their heads around the idea of Amanda and I vacationing there. Everything they had listed us as Mr. and Mrs. with Amanda’s last name since we booked our room with her credit card. Though due to Amanda’s penchant for using the word “girlfriend” when referring to a female friend, this wasn’t the first time we were possibly mistaken as a lesbian couple.)
Bad weather to the rescue
Upon arrival, a burly Polynesian man insisted on carrying our backpacks. I travel light, and Amanda travels even lighter, so we felt silly handing over a combined weight of about 35 pounds (16 kilos) but he insisted. And then, after sitting down in reception, we heard the frightening words from the concierge as we sipped pink fruity drinks.
“I see you’ve booked a garden bungalow.” LONG PAUSE. “But because of the weather, we’re not putting anyone in the garden bungalows, so you’re being upgraded to an over the water bungalow.”
I’m not sure why the bad weather meant it was better to be in a hut above the water instead of in one firmly planted on the ground, but this was the only perk of the storm. We’re pretty sure the person Amanda spoke with on the phone when booking misunderstood and booked us the wrong room, which at least means we paid less for it. Not that US$750 for two nights was cheap. But I guess it could’ve been worse.
As we settled into our bungalow, we just had to wonder, what do we do in Bora Bora when it’s pouring?