Trip Start May 18, 2004
Trip End Jul 08, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Fiji  , Viti Levu,
Sunday, December 2, 2012

I took a flight from Sydney to Nadi in the evening, where the only one international airport of Fiji is located. Just after I got off the airplaine, so many crying birds and a Fijian music band welcomed the arrival passengers. At the baggage check, food and plants were checked, but I totally forgot about an orange in my bag. So the baggage checker beeped.... Even then, I didn't remember about the orange, so I confidently opened my bag in front of an inspector. Then the orange (and instant noodle and biscuits) was found. I knew I had to pay fine, because I had not declared beforehand, so I was very shocked... When she gave me a piece of paper, I thought I had to take it to the payment counter and pay the fine. She said that was just a record that she "destroyed" my illegal item. Yes! I didn't need to pay fine! What a relief!

The next day, I explored Nadi. I got up at six thirty and strolled around my hostel. Wailoaloa beach was only two minutes' walk from the hostel. There were fishermen hauling a fishing net and when I approached them, one fisherman greeted, " Bula! (Hello!). After a chitchat, he told me that he was a taxi driver and asked me if I would hire him for three hours for FJ$100! What a ripoff! In Fiji, it is obvious that I am a tourist from my skin colour, so this kind of offer was easily predictable. Of course, I turned it down, but a few minutes later, another offer came from an old Fijian. He was selling coconut juice. Because I had tasted it in the Philippines before and I didn't like it, I tried to decline, but he said he showed tourists the way to get coconuts on a tree, which interested me a bit. He said he would climb a tree after I drank coconut juice. However, even after I drank, he didn't climb, saying coconuts on trees are immature and too early to gather. I had predicted that. Although I am used to scams like that, scams are always tiring... I had to complain.... Then his grandson showed up and the old man told him to climb a tree.... However, this is not the end... He climbed the tree half and the old man told him to look at me, so that I could take a nice picture... Then, he climbed down.... The old man claimed that the boy had climbed the tree!... Not again! I complained. This kind of experiences will be memorable later, but still tiring at the time. As a result, he climbed the tree again and kicked down some coconuts. 

After I came back to the hostel, I had a lazy and happy moment in a hammock. Late in the morning, I headed to the city by a local bus. The bus looked like a safari park bus without windows and doors on its sides and it suited Fijian muggy climate. I love enjoying local taste like that. Anyway, I got off the bus at the stop where many people did. because I didn't know where my destinations were specifically in the city. It was not a problem because the city area was small. First, I exchanged money and then I explored a regional market. The market was full of vegetables and fruits with a reasonable price. I tasted pineapple and curry roti for one dollar respectively. After that, I have got a haircut. Even while I was in Australia, I wanted to have my hair cut, but I had a plan to come to Fiji, I didn't go to a barber's. I asked the price at the entrance of a barber shop and I found I was right! The price was one third that of barbar shops in Sydney, that is approximately AU$3 and the second cheapest haircut I had had!

Because there were not many buses running to my hostel area, I had to wait for the bus for nearly one hour. A ticket seller recommended that I should take a taxi for FJ$10, although the bus ride was for FJ$1.15. I chose bus without hesitation because I was a backpacker (lol). While I was waiting for the bus, two different Fijians talked to me. One of them offered me a special price for a good hotel; the other offered me a private tour. The latter one introduced himself to me as an airport staff member, but I doubted it, because scammers are likely to pretend to be a teacher, airport staff member or famous Japanese company worker (because I am Japanese). I enjoyed talking to them, but declined their offers. Though I had heard that Fijians are friendly, because I couldn't tell the difference between scam and special offer, I had no choice but to decline. In my experience, trusting locals is always difficult for short-term visitors in developing countries.

The last event of the day was the fire dance show held in the hostel ground in the evening. I had thought it was just an "additional" show to the backpackers' accommodation, but it tuned out to be an exceptional show! It was as well worth watching as a show held in luxurious hotels! The show included a good sense of humour as well. I don't know how often they held the show. The show was held only once during my five-day stay there. So I might be lucky. All in all, I got some problems, Bamboo was absolutely the best hostel in Fiji. 
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