It's Fiji time
It's Fiji time Reviews
Sep 11, 2007
There are three things you just have to get used to when visiting Fiji. It doesn’t matter how long you are planning to stay there. Just accept the fact that these three things will be an important part of your visit:
C) Fiji time.
If you are OK with taking these three things onboard, then you’re ready to go. GO GO GO!!!
Let me start with Kava.
“It’s kava time!”
“Eh… what time?”
“KAVA TIME!” the man had a huge smile on his face. “You are guest, we welcome you, and we drink kava. KAVA TIME!”
All right, it sounds interesting, and I regard myself as an explorer. Let’s do some kava. Kava is an herbal drink enjoyed on many occasions: celebrations for a newborn, greeting of visitors, daily life purposes or if someone is ill. In short: kava is the answer. It doesn’t look particularly nice; simply speaking it looks like dirty water.
“You say: Bula,” the man said, still smiling as he gave me the cup made of coconut shell.
"Bula," I said as I took it.
"Bula," replied the Fijians (all smiling) in return, and I emptied the cup.
“Bula” I said once more (just to make sure I didn’t do anything wrong).
“Bula” they said again. And we all smiled.
I can assure you that the first thing you’ll hear when you arrive in Fiji is: “Bula” (pronounced boooolaaaah) and you will hear it about a trillion times a day during your stay. You cough and someone will say: “Bula.” You walk into a shop and someone will say: “Bula.” You pay your restaurant bill and the waiter will say: “Bula.”
You sneeze, burp or drink the earlier mentioned kava and someone will say…can you guess? You’re right, they will say: “Bula.”
Time is something the Fijians doesn’t have any relations to, and this brings us over to point number three: Fiji time.
Fiji time is a rather interesting expression if I may say so, it means a random numbers of hours. Ask what time it is, and the answer will be a smile and “Ah…it’s Fiji time…” Ask when the bus is leaving, and the person you’re asking will answer: “Soon.” “How soon?” will your next question be, and he will look at you like he’s thinking: “What’s up with you, lady, relax and smile.” “Five minutes,” he will say, for then to add: “Fiji time.” That will in practice means two hours, and you will probably get to your destination quicker by walking.
In the beginning the concept made me laugh, half way through my stay it made me breathe through my nose like an annoyed bull, and towards the end of my trip it made me grind my teeth. I am a patient person, but I’m also a Scandinavian. We don’t do Fiji time in Scandinavia. But as I look back, I realise that I actually learned something of this phenomenon: “Time is coming, it’s not going,” as one older man said to me. It’s true!
Fiji is a beautiful place. The water is deep azure blue; the beaches are bright white, the sun always shines and if you’re really lucky you might even see a sea snake (the author of this piece did indeed see a sea snake, and at the time she didn’t feel that privileged, but now…oh man!). I would highly recommend Fiji if the sun, smiles, beaches and a relaxed life is what you are craving. If you want the taste of kava after (or before) your scuba diving, fishing or some Fijian dancing – then get up, buy your ticket and head for the Republic of the Fiji Islands.
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