At Home with the Fijians

It is with surprising frequency that one is invited into the home of a local when traveling through Fiji. Sharing is the name of the game out on this Pacific island group, and I have met quite a few people offering much more than just directions to the bus station. Here I will try and condense some of the good times spent in the homes of some Fijians so far, though they each deserve much more appreciation than what a mere blurb in the blogosphere can dish out. Continue reading

Fiji Time: Plan On It

Fiji Time happens when you put the beer in the coconut and shake it all up

Descending into Nadi on our Pacific Air flight a few days ago, my dad struck up a conversation with two stewardesses who were seated facing us in their crew seats. He went on about how when he had first visited Fiji back in 1980, there was no TV and only two radio stations. The ladies confirmed this and we began to compare Fiji to other destinations they visit regularly as airline employees like Hong Kong or Sydney. “Too busy,” they say.

“Yeah,” said my dad, “They don’t have Fiji Time.”

Laughing, they wonder, “You know about Fiji Time?!”

Indeed, everyone who has witnessed this remote, volcanic atoll knows about Fiji Time. Continue reading

Fiji: Home of the Friendliest People on the Planet

Fiji Beach Scene #1

Watching a black hulk overtake my view through a coconut sized window in the side of a jumbo jet, it was easy to imagine being swallowed whole by the dark island which was silhouetted against the predawn sea and sky. Striking is the utter blackness surrounding the small Nadi International Airport. Even in this “urban” sector of Fiji, there is a distinct lack of neon signs, lamp posts, or headlights of any kind. Fiji sleeps hard.

Set foot inside the airport, however, and one is immediately subject to a cheery musical trio belting intoxicating pacific tunes, and to the ubiquitous duty free French perfumes and Irish whiskeys. Beyond customs control, Fijians in bright and comfortable outfits wait with signs which beckon to “Mr and Mrs Williams” but each one is also very interested in aiding anyone, even those who are not Mr and Mrs Williams. Continue reading