If it weren’t for the fabulous view from my private hilltop bure, I’d feel a little guilty for spending the afternoon indoors writing, as opposed to out exploring.
I could seriously gaze at this view all day long, rain or shine, overlooking luscious tropical gardens and the magnificent ocean glittering in the sunshine below, complete with the sight of another distant mountainous island rising out of the mists…
Palm trees swaying. The sound of leaves rustling in the breeze. I remember writing about all these island sensations from my old landlocked home in years past, so it’s particularly special for me experiencing it first-hand!
Even better when I remind myself this is my life now.
Rest assured, the afternoon wasn’t a complete waste – earlier, I ventured over to one of Taveuni Island’s more unique tourist attractions: none other than the International Date Line, the imaginary longitude line itself we’ve all heard of that’s apparently located approximately 180 degrees from the Greenwich Meridian in London, east or west (depending on your preference).
Both extremely fascinating and totally underwhelming, it was a bit weird being in yesterday and today at the exact same time. I mean, arguably, am I not standing in ‘tomorrow’ as well as yesterday and today, as today is tomorrow in yesterday? I don’t know. Thinking about it too much makes my head hurt.
Anyways, I found the International Date Line site much less crowded than expected (I don’t know why I envisioned battling crowds of folks trying to take selfies while straddling the line), marked by a simple yet concise plaque atop a rural hill.
According to my taxi driver, who doubled as a very enthusiastic tour guide, the International Date Line moved to its current position through Taveuni Island at the turn of the millennium. Even with his explanation, I still can’t quite understand why the line appears to wriggle around so much on a map… Why toss the Cook Islands along with some of the Fiji Islands into yesterday, while the vast majority of the Pacific is in today?
The plaque explains it all relatively well, or I guess as best as it could, but at least alludes to the confusion by noting the time-keeping system’s staggering complexity, aptly concluding with “perhaps it’s just as well most international travellers do not have to do their own calculations!”