Being away for a month in Morocco and three COVID-19 tests later, I started the long, arduous journey back home. Prior to leaving Morocco within the five-day period we got the COVID-19 test done in Rabat, Morocco. May I add this was the second test we had done in Morocco, as time had run out the first time and we had to reschedule our trip home.
Eventually my traveling partner and I applied to the Ministry of Tourism for permission to enter The Bahamas and was promptly denied entry. You can imagine my indignation. What! I am a Bahamian and they are trying to deny me entry into the country of my birth?
Well our tickets were booked and we were coming home and in the meantime we tried to reach the Ministry of Tourism to see how we can get this problem sorted out.
Eventually we left Morocco on Sunday and the previous two days we tried to get Tourism, however, it was the weekend and no one was available. Long story short, we arrived in Fort Lauderdale to catch a JetBlue flight to Nassau and we still had not gotten Tourism. Finally minutes before the flight was closed permission was granted. Apparently Tourism only had labs in Canada and the United States on the approved list of labs. Again when we did our original test in Morocco we had the same problem with Tourism. You can imagine the anxiety waiting on that email from Tourism to come through so we could board the flight!
We arrived in Nassau, cleared immigration and were passed on to the COVID-19 personnel and filled in a form promising to follow all safety protocols and quarantine for 14 days. An app was put on my phone, which I understand was to track me and make sure I behaved myself and stayed home. Shortly after I went home to be locked down for 14 days.
I live with my daughter Lauren, along with Max, a young puppy (three months) and two cats, which meant Lauren had to move out and leave me with these animals. This is going to be fun, I said to myself.
Before coming home I had given my daughter a grocery list and once I was safely home, the first thing I was jonesing to eat was corn beef and white rice (fire engine). After 30 days of eating in restaurants in Morocco (I am not complaining) my friends took excellent care of us and the food at their homes and restaurants was the best I have eaten anywhere. It really was an amazing gastronomic experience, the lamb and coccus and sea food was excellent. I digress, back to the corn beef… well when I went to the cupboard I searched up and down… no corned beef I almost blew a fuse. No corned beef, this was on my mind the entire trip from Morocco, that when I got home the first thing I was going to do was make me some fire engine.
My friend Ricky, bless his heart, dropped a case of beer and my other friend Paul dropped off the wine, with Freddy picking up the rear by delivering the pea soup. My friends definitely ensured I was set up for success in the food and liquor department.
My experience with the barely housetrained puppy was a whole other story. The next few days cleaning after this dog was truly an exercise in patience. Max cried in the evening time and eventually I let her in to my bedroom with hopes she would settle down and how did she reward me? Yep she pooped in my bedroom and as I went downstairs she also made a deposit on the steps, in addition to puddles of her wee all over the house. I said Lord I am going to kill this dog. The cats were crying, the dog was chasing the cats through every corner in the house, it truly was like a comedy in a movie.
Here I am screaming bloody murder, but do you think this rambunctious puppy with Betty Davis eyes paid me any mind? In fact her expression was often, what’s the problem papa?
On the second day something had to give, I called Lauren and told her to come for her dog, if not she will find it in a garbage bin. Of course she said now daddy calm down and I relented and silently cussed to myself – quite honestly it wasn’t that silent. I think my neighbors may have thought I was having a quarantine breakdown.
Fortunately, I am blessed to live close to the beach, which forms a part of my backyard, so technically I was safe from the COVID police. I did not come into contact with anybody and Max and I became friends and we swam several times a day – the idea was to tire him out.
In the evenings Max was relegated to the porch. After she carried on for a few minutes he quieted down and went to sleep, so we now have a system, I feed her, walk her, tire her out and put her to bed, just like a child.
However at 5:30 a.m. she gets up and the day starts all over again, feed her, walk her and she chases the chickens and cats, truthfully anything that moves.
Well, at least there is no more poop to clean up.
• William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation, two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association and a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.