And suddenly...Boom!!!

Trip Start Jun 30, 2004
Trip End Feb 14, 2005

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Flag of Fiji  ,
Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Ok, so the flight was along time. 13 hrs. That's what I thought. And I couldn't get any sleep, despite having a two-seater to myself. But I did have "the day after tomorrow" on the telly and loads of metal on 1 of the radio channels, but I am knackered at the mo. Anyway, as it happens, flying backwards around the globe, I have lost a whole day and I spent the whole of that day TRYING to get to sleep. It was the 8th when I arrived, but could have sworn it was the 7th. Anyway........

I arrive in Fiji. Grinning to myself profusely, that I am here.

I'm in FIJI.

On walking to the customs, there are these 3 dudes jamming away at the entrance in tropical shirts, playing tropical music (i can't pigeon hole it, but it sounds cool dammit). So I haven't slept in 24 hours, I'm yanking my backpack and guitar everywhere and then......there are these people everywhere. "Bula, you want a taxi?", "where you going?", "nice guitar, where you going?" Well as it happens, I can't access my AOL e-mail account(bloody computers- in a homer voice), so I can't remember the name of the hostel where my reservation receipt was sent. Bugger!!. Some woman collars me after sensing a smell of hesitation and seeing the look of "ok, what the eff do I do now?" and we go into her office. Its like a war interrogation, but with holiday leaflets everywhere. I got her to sort me out cheap accom for the night thinking that I had somewhere booked for tomorrow and not for tonight, but as I missed a day, I'm already booked in. Doh!!!! Of course, I ahve already paid my deposit. it only ever happens to me. I'm looking out for the Trueman cameras!!!! Anyway she was really cool though and I just chatted to her about everything. Then again, she is probably paid to be like that right? Her mate Paula (the most manly looking woman EVER, actaully....I think it WAS a man) chats to me. Fear creeps in. Ha Ha. She was cool asking about USA and what stuff I knew on guitar.

So I've signed up to do a 9 night tour of the Mamanuca Islands, just off the north of the southern island (for those that don't know, Fiji is pretty much 2 large islands and then a few groups of islands, dotted around. Type in Map of Fiji on google or something and you will get the idea or you can look at this:

After that, I am thinking about going back onto the main land and heading south around the coral coast towards Sigatoka and then to cpaital SUVA. I mean nothing is certain (you guys know what I am like making decisions right?), but its good to have a rough plan. Apparently I am advised against going to the North Island as they had a cyclone not too long ago and a lot of people are in tents. We'll see.

At the moment, I am currently downtown Nadi. The weather is scorching and I'm guessing it will be hotter on the Mamanuca Islands. Time to locate the sun block!! The drive to the hostel where I am staying, was awesome. There were people picking in the sugar cane fields and beyond them were the mountains. People just wandering around looking at me from there shack-type houses. That's pretty much what all the buildings look like. Animals in the fields and all that. To be honest, it reminds me of stuff I have seen on the telly about northern Thailand (not the tourist bit), as they drive through the villages. Its completely different from everywhere I have been in my life, yet on the way into town, so many people were like "bula" and quitely nodding as I acknowledged them. Its a quite a humbling experience, and half of the time, I don't know where to look. I guess, going from UK to USA was peezy as pie, but this is something else. I'm not freaking out or anything, but I just was not expecting main island Fiji to be like this.
Everyone in town loves the guitar, so far about 17 people have asked to buy it off me, one person $500 fijian (about 160 quid), but if anyone asks me to play Bob Marley again, I will die. Its a good job actaully that I know 1 Bob tune, otherwise, I would probably be playing for my life. Everyone wants you to come into there shops and hang out, play songs for them etc etc. Everyone is tooo friendly. I have heard that it is the Fijian way, but its scary when you come from a place wear tourists are really acknowledged as different from the citizens.
I have met this one bloke called Didi, who worked in a craft shop? I had to drink Cava as a welcoming ceremony(the national beverage which has healing properties and makes everyone relax) It tastes like rain water from a gutter. Its pretty grim and it makes your tongue go numb. And I have had 4. Go figure. Still, just wandering around the markets and having a good time. I am now the owner of a Sari. I swear I have only seen girls in them ever, but the guys have them here, and now I have to wear one too. Ha ha check me out in a skirt. I need a beach towel, so it doubles as that. ha ha. I'm trying to see if I can haggle for a digital camera, cause I was conned completely with my $4 purchase in OB.

Anyway, I am off tomorrow Island hopping to hang out and jam with all the natives. I will speak to you all again when I get back.

Oh yeah, to the Americans reading this, the Fijians drive on the right side of the road, not the wrong one, and they have roundabouts. Ha ha


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