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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

The Fijian way

FIJI | Wednesday, 19 August 2009 | Views [870]

Nisa Bula! As I stumble through the arrival hall with a bottle of duty-free liquor (which my host family asked me to purchase) after getting like my eighth Fiji passport stamp, I spot my name hastily scribbled on a piece of paper. His name is Ratu, the younger brother of Luisa. As I was whisked away in a taxi I could tell it was going to be a fabulous experience! Luisa, Ratu, and his family are going to be my hosts for a lovely time in Nadi! Whilst Nadi isn't the best place in Fiji, it's a springboard to the Yasawas and other islands nearby and it's definitely better if you're staying with a local. Within Nadi itself, you'll hear the monotonous call of "taxi" along with tour touts and shopkeepers trying to convince you to buy something. Of all the places I've CouchSurfed my best luck has come in Fiji. Last year whilst in Suva I emailed five CSers, and four of them said they could host me (the only person who couldn't was in Malaysia at the time), and I found Luisa and family only a few days ago. As I walked to the market with Ratu's uncle I was starving for some good old traditional Fijian-style curry, so we picked up lamb and then went to the vegetable market where I stocked up on pineapple and various other things. Walking back, I observed a gorgeous pink island sunset whilst feeling like "this is going to be a fabulous dinner! As the scent of curry wafted through the kitchen, Luisa was busy filling out the voucher for me to visit Beachcomber Island! Three years ago I visited South Sea Island, so now it's time for Beachcomber! One thing Pacific Islanders sure are good at is eating! There is never a shortage of food regardless of where you go, and tonight's dinner is no exception: tasty lamb curry, rice, vegetables, and the whole lot! Though I must warn: this lamb is very bony, so I had to chew it very carefully to avoid breaking a tooth. The little specks of bone go on a special "bone plate" set out by Ratu's uncle. Feasting the Fijian way! Hospitality the Fijian way! Islands the Fijian way! Living the Fijian Way! Fiji is now officially a part of my soul. Feeling stuffed after eating so much, it was time for a kava session. Luisa prepares the earthy-tasting, novocaine-effect "grog" in a giant bowl, and we all say "Bula" before a round of kava in a coconut half shell is passed (using two hands) to the person across from them. As I drink my first round I feel the tingling effect on my lips.

The same is repeated by Ratu, Luisa, and the rest of us whilst we sit ceremoniously around the kava bowl. Satisfied and kava'd up the Fijian way, I say vinaka vakalebu for such a lovely evening. The Fijian way...

Tags: food, hospitality, people

 

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