Honeymoon Saga: The Maudlin Muslim and the Wandering Jew

Hello my darlings. And how are we today?
It's shaping up to be a rather beautiful Spring here in little old England. It's all sunny and pleasant outside and everyone seems in much better spirits now we aren't getting slapped about the faces with sheets of rain and the wind has stopped blowing our umbrellas inside out (I'm on umbrella number 3 now.. sad times)


 


But, rather than dwell any longer on the the murky days of bad weather, I shall exchange my broken umbrella for a parasol and enjoy being able to see the sky.
I love the UK when the sun is shining, it's absolutely gorgeous and you get this wonderful glimpse of what people are like at their most relaxed. We all become these fun, holiday versions of ourselves doing things like sunbathing, barbecuing and wearing unflattering shorts.

All this sunshine has got me thinking about our honeymoon. I look back on organising it now as a pleasurable experience but, believe me, at the time it was an absolute nightmare.

You see, aside from the usual toing and froing that all couples go through when deciding on their post nuptial holiday, we had the added confusion of trying to pick a country that was both, warm and stable in October/November for a beach holiday and you know, wouldn't kill us with bricks when we got there. Now Bob and I are quite blessed in life, whereby our interfaith coupling hasn't really caused any waves for us with family or societal/cultural pressure, so we didn't fully understand the epic saga that was to ensue:

Initially, our honeymoon wishlist started like this:


The Maldives 
Rome then Paris
Singapore and Bali
Borneo
Antigua
Barbados
Cancun
Jamaica
Santorini
Bora Bora


And after painstakingly exploring and nearly booking each one, we realised this:

The Maldives  wet in October
Rome then Paris  crap weather
Singapore and Bali  after weeks of conversations and brochures we were finally about to book this then there was a UK embassy warning against air travel to this part of the world because of a) freak air pollution from land clearing fires and b) UK nationals are being kidnapped by the truckload
Borneo  too wet in October
Antigua  hurricane season
Barbados  hurricane season
Cacun  hurricane season
Jamaica  hurricane season
Santorini  too cold in October
Bora Bora  too far away/expensive

So we thought, ok, let's regroup, look around, and see where else is warm enough at that time of year. We then discovered this:

Morocco  they'd kill us
Egypt  they'd kill us
Israel they'd kill us
Pakistan they'd kill us
Most of Africa they'd kill us
Dubai  they'd kill us
UAE they'd kill us

It's safe to say, we were in a bit of a bind :/

And then, out of nowhere, like a glistening beacon of hope came, ZANZIBAR.
The beautiful, white sands and turquoise waters of unspoiled, gorgeous Zanzibar.






We found our perfect hotels, planned out twin centre holiday, paid our deposit and sat back pretty damn pleased with ourselves. This place looked like paradise and we felt so lucky to be going there. We started buying our holiday clothes, Bob got all his vaccines, my maid of honour bought us a guidebook and then.....

Two Jewish girls got acid thrown in their faces...... in Zanzinbar........ pretty close to where we were staying.
Turns out Zanzibar doesn't really care much for Jews.



So there we were back at square one and, quite rightly, a little bit peeved at this point. We scoured the globe like two lonely travellers... well, we got my parents' big globe out and started looking at it. 

I don't think I'd ever legitimately considered a perfect stranger's reaction to my love life before this moment. I'd always assumed, like any of us, that my life choices were my own damn business. The idea that the sight of Bob and I together (or someone learning that we are a Muslim Jewish couple) would cause so much upset to a perfect stranger is just fucking nuts. Not only that, now it was getting in the way of my holiday so I was pissed. 

We spent the next few weeks throwing travel brochures across the room and giving them the finger. We then pulled our socks up, regrouped and started again. This time, calling up boutique travel agencies and opening with, "Hello, my fiancé and I are a Muslim Jewish couple.. where won't we get killed?" I had three different agencies working on "Operation Honeymoon", each equally intrigued and fascinated enough to want to solve the puzzle; and each one came back with the same suggestion........... Cyprus.

Apparently Cyprus is the unofficial  Mooish safe haven. The place where Jewish Muslim couples from the Middle East go to elope and, subsequently, honeymoon. No judgement, no people telling you your marriage is bullshit and no people trying to kill you.




I love that this happens. I love that there's somewhere for Mooish love birds to go, somewhere where, unlike their own countries, they can make their love legit.. but you know what? I'm not from the Middle East, I'm British and my country doesn't sanction who I can and cannot marry. So I didn't feel so good about skulking off to Cyprus like we needed some kind of hideaway. I'd spent a year planning the perfect wedding and I wanted my damn honeymoon. White sand, turquoise water, piña coladas and frolicking on the beach with my husband... and getting naked.. lots and lots of getting naked.

So, after researching, and not booking Cyprus we put "Operation Honeymoon" back on the case and finally, against all odds, we found beautiful "Island X". A tiny island in the Indian Ocean with all the beauty of the Maldives but with considerably better weather in October (also, unlike the Maldives, this wasn't a Muslim country so there was marginally less risk of being clobbered with bricks every time there was PDA afoot).

And my, my was it a glorious holiday. 




and yes, of course I brought my teddies



It was so calm, relaxing, beautiful and romantic... and after the unmitigated saga we'd endured to get there, it was just what we needed. Right down to all the staff calling me "Mrs Bob"and our friendly beach waiter who kept bringing us cocktails and chocolate milkshakes all day without needing to be asked.

Everything about it was the perfect holiday and we didn't receive any hassle at all.............. 
apart from when we got taken aside with all the other non white people at the airport and had our luggage searched by men with guns.

Sorry Bob.
Welcome to the fold :/
#brownpeoplewoes








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