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Bula Fiji

FIJI | Monday, 8 October 2007 | Views [155]

The trip to L.A. was uneventful except that the thorough security thing annoyed me. First I got frisked (or “patted down”). Then I was told to sit down while someone checked out my luggage. She opened every zip (I was pleased I had so many!) and wiped inside them checking for bomb residue.  Nothing – of course. All of this I didn’tworry about, although I think they are paranoid. But the bit that annoyed me – after all this, no “thanks for your co-operation”, just a “you can go now”. Rude az..

The flight seemed to fly past. I had the window seat, but the person next to me moved, so I had both seats. L.A. looked impressive from above – like a giant modern painting. Coming in after dark the lights looked like copper + there were blue or aqua lights. So, it was like copper and aqua beads strung into abstract patterns. The airport was not so impressive. Not enough seats – people sitting on the floor everywhere. No decent coffee shops or food. The American Airlines plane I flew into L.A in didn’t provide food – you had to buy it. Some very odd things in the richest nation in the world!

Eventually, around midnight L.A. time we took off. The plane was chock-a-block. Again, window seat  but two people beside me. Felt jammed in. But I slept on the plane. Better than usual. Not restful sleep, but it helped [with the time. Not being conscious of it!]

Lost a day as we crossed the International Date Line. Arrived about 5.20am. As we walked through terminal – along the open verandas – I could feel the warmth (and humidity) and hear birds sing. The sun was just coming up. I felt my spirits lift. Inside were four Fijian men singing. Everyone was happy. Such a contrast6 to where I’d been.

When I go to the Resort – way out of town (later I’m told $70 Fiji return to Nadi!) but nice. My room wasn’t ready and I sat around, had (2nd) breakfast. Eventually one of the people put me into a “day room”. Not sure what that is, but it had a bed and I slept. Eventually into my own room - which is a deluxe garden bure. – Which means a villa with bedroom, living room (sliding door to shut off the bedroom)), kitchenette (but who has food?), a front enclosed veranda and a bathroom. This has a spa bath – and an outdoor shower. That is, open roof. Wow!! More sleep. Photographed the sunset. So here I am.  Feeling pretty relaxed after my snoozing on and off all day. Also had a shower in the outdoor shower, using all the frangipani products. And I’ve washed and dried all my clothes. At peace with the world.


I’ve been a bit annoyed about being so far out of town. But I’ve decided it’s a blessing. I have permission to do nothing. Doze, Sit by the pool. Take only photos, leave only footprints, as they say.

Last night was great. I went down to the restaurant. No choice, really, it’s the only place you can eat. But I had a lovely steak and coconut ice-cream dessert. The tables were set up in the sand, under a tarp sail. The lights of Nadi in the background, waves lapping. The occasional “plop” of a fish. Then around 8pm a Polynesian dance display. The dance troupe – boys and girls – did dances from various South Pacific countries and it included a spectacular Samoan Fire Dance. At the end, a participation thing which I (to my great surprise) joined in. We did a Conga line thing which was bizarre – I almost tripped but all’s well. Such fun.

I’ve done absolutely nothing over the past few days. Every day – I’ve sat and looked at the beach. had spa baths,  showered in the outdoor shower. If you like being in the pool, or scadoo-ing or whatever it would be paradise.. I've watched TV – Rugby and the Independence Day Festivities in Suva. But I don’t find it easy to do nothing. I’ve just read a book called “How to be Free” where the author suggests we don’t do enough “nothing”. Although he means as opposed to “work”.

The Arts Tour:

 To break the pattern I book on the Arts Tour. The day started with a fire-walking demonstration. Done with due ceremony – but I’m not convinced the rocks were actually hot. We were sitting a long way from them, but there didn’t seem to be any actual fire around them, no white-hot ash. Just a show, I think. Then dancing, a bit of play-acting, Telling the story of “old” times. Then lunch. Afterwards, all into a thatched roof boat, poled around by “warriors”. (The same ones that were part of the earlier show). As we paddled around we paddled up to bures depicting the various crafts. One showed how to make fire with 2 pieces of wood. Then, later, a tour of the temple (reconstructed) where they acted out the ceremonies and the chief’s house – more acting out. The complex was reconstructed for tourists and had the ubiquitous craft shops. But not as sophisticated as many, and good fun. 

Fiji has been the perfect end to this trip - five days of relaxation and detoxing. I'm heading home and feel good.


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