The magical wonderment that is a day off. Something that we are all familiar with, we are all working towards. Getting through the days of the week, ticking them off so that we can hit that relaxing, far off distant land. The weekend. Out here in the Maldives, days off are even more appreciated. Particularly this week, after the rain we’ve had. Sunday really was a SUNday. It was so sunny I worried that the glare was going to burn a hole through my retinas and out the back of my head.
Just imagine, you are surrounded by the clearest, bluest water your brain could ever imagine. You see eagle rays and baby blacktip sharks swimming past. I’ve never slammed on my breaks so hard as I did this week when cycling along the jetty, and someone behind me yelled ‘SHARK’! The Australian in me wanted to run for cover. That was not the normal response out here. Sharks are sweet non-bitey creatures here. Something that everyone wants to see on their snorkels and dives. Sweet little non-nibbly sharks. I can get used to that. Baby sharks.
Days off here are like days off in your dreams. You travel around this little island by bike, from place to place with all your friends. A playlist of 90s songs playing in your head. Sand caked between your toes, waterproof camera dangling off your handlebars. Alternating between reading under the trees and throwing yourselves about in the crazy blue water, trying not to burn. Only the thought of food drags us off the beach.
It has taken some adjustment to relax in my place of work. But little things like not putting on my uniform and not rushing through breakfast make the whole world of difference. Inhaling cups of tea that are of nuclear temperatures because I was late getting out of bed. On my day off I take polite little sips. Days off are greatly appreciated by all. We all have to live together 24/7 in a small patch of our own. A bit like being back at school except maybe kinder. It’s cheesy. Yes.
What people choose to read in their time out, their holidays, precious Sunday mornings, changes. Some of us want to read the stuff that requires the brainpower that we do not possess during the working week. The science, the politics, the non-fiction. Others want nothing other than an easy read to relax our brains. That familiar series, we will re-read an old favourite, the author that we love. It doesn’t matter which boat you are in, just as long as you are picking up a book and exercising your mind.
My favourite SUNday read :
Anything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I have yet to read a book by Chimamanda that I couldn’t put down. I think she speaks to my soul. We sell her Feminist Manifesto in the shop, I press it into the hands of anyone who comes in. ‘Read this, share it’ I say. I read Purple Hibiscus back when I was at school. I can still remember the effect it had on me. I see her words as an education. Teaching me about how others live their lives, how we process emotions and share this experience of life. Most recently, I read her collection of short stories, The thing around your neck, being not much of a short story reader before, I was a little hesitant. I drank up each story, wishing each was the length of a full novel. So, my go-to SUNday read is one that, for me, is a comfort read, one that has never let me down.