Nadi Travel Blog› entry 1 of 88 › view all entries
Well I made it! Bula is how they say hello in Fiji and that's where I am now. The 1 and 2 hour flights from Calgary sucked a lot more than the 11 hour one here. It seems so strange, I lost a whole day (Friday the 14th). I was pretty rushed making my connections and had to run a bit because of course Air Canada was delayed both times. I basically just ate a lovely meal, had a glass of wine, took a gravol and slept for 6 hours uninterupted until my breakfast came about an hour before we landed. I met a very friendly marine biologist from England on the plane who just picked up in the last 3 weeks and left her hubby for a bit and is here to study the coral reef for the next 6 months on a really remote island. She was really interesting to talk to. I'm 99% sure Steve-O from Jackass was on the plane and a few mormon missionaries in suits to boot! Almost all the flight attendants were these big husky men - kinda strange.
I got to Nadi (pronounced Nandi for some reason) at about 3am but everything went smoothly getting to the FeeJee Experience office and they explained my next few days and escorted me right to my hostel. It's a really friegan nice hostel with 2 pools and 3 restaurants and the rooms are really clean and the shower hot! It's not really as hot as I thought it would be here - I needed a sweater this morning. Hopefully I'll still be able to get a suntan!
I decided to take the public bus for 50 cents and venture into the actual town (about 2km from where I'm staying). It's mainly a mainstreet with lots of gift shops, places to book tours, banks...Everyone is really friendly and says Bula and smiles on the street. I didn't think much of this guy coming up to chat with me while I was walking just asking where I was from and how I liked Fiji blah, blah. Next thing you know I'm getting escorted into his store - no worries just look around, maybe buy some little souvenir and leave - wrong! He started telling me all about his mountain village and showing me pictures and quoting things from the Lonely Planet. He seemed so shocked I hadn't tried Fiji's National drinnk "kava" so he made this little ceremony for me where I was the "chief" and I had to clap 3 times and say Bula and drink this disgusting liquid and then clap once. This was apparently to bless me on my trip and welcome me to Fiji. All that was running through my head is "I'm getting drugged". I drank once and got up to leave but he insisted that I need to relax "we're on Fiji time" afterall and I can't leave until it's all gone! Yikes! Needless to say I did the clapping and chanting fast, drank and tried to get the heck outta there. He then wanted me to smoke some Fiji weed that is "much better than BC bud" luckily I talked my way out of that one. They tried to sell me a flag for my backpack for $15.50 (their currency is almost equivalent to ours - I don't think so buddy). It's too bad these things have to happen because it just makes me skeptical that everyone is out to scam you or make you buy something. I think I must look a little helpless or young or something because people are always looking to scam me to take care of me (which is a good thing). When I was wandering through a small market today a nice lady pulled me aside and told me to be really careful especially on Saturdays in town because the men drink and get crazy. Even the US customs officer was pretty shocked I was going by myself, he kept saying "be safe, be safe". I bought a few groceries at the local supermarket because it's actually quite expensive here ($6.50 for my breakfast of fruit (which was to die for) and toast). I think dinner is going to be a bag of $1 crackers!! I just stopped at a little internet cafe on my way back to the hostel. I think I'll walk back and take some pictures. Tomorrow I'm off to South Sea island for some time in the sun and snorkeling. I hope to meet some people soon, traveling solo is kinda lonely. I should really run though.
Hope to hear from you all soon,