Friday, March 4, 2011

Nadi, the Capital of Fiji

We shared our "farewell" Fruit Punch at the Sunset bar, and departed our wonderful resort on the Coral Coast of Fiji by 11am.  Our van transport was right on time, and escorted us up the road to one of the first hotels on the strip for a poolside lunch.  Fresh fish was served in coconut husks, marinated in lime with mild sweet onion - delicious!  The prices in Fiji are quite reasonable, half of the costs we paid in Australia, but probably more than Bali or Thailand.  Still good value.

We found the Polynesian Fijians wonderfully friendly, but there is obvious tensions between them and the East Indian Fijians who have emigrated here in the past 200 years. Land leases were granted in 99 year blocks, and in the 1970s many of these leases expired.  At the same time, Fiji became independant from Britian and placed their own democratic government in parliament.  The chief clan system combined with the British legal isn't working well, especially after the East Indians started to outnumber the native Fijians in the late 80's...  over14 coups have occurred between 1994 and 2006, and it sounds like there maybe another one in the making - I hope our visit doesn't spark one off!!!

So on to the shops of Nadi.  The city was similar to Lima traffic and Bali shops with Thai salesmen.  We went to a "secret shop" to pick up a few items at a fraction of the price... bargaining in full force.  Seriously, Lacoste shirts for $10.  Are they real?  I can't tell the difference.  Outside, the school busses full of young students in uniform waved at Katie in her blonde braids, with one boy blowing kisses when she made shy.  So sweet.  From the shops of the city to the cruise port, where the same shirt was offered at $140 Fiji  ($85 CAN) and the Hard RockCafe offered drinks for $36 - are you kidding?  We left and  took our chances with the airport food... good choice, as the pizza was excellent and though we were at the airport early, we wern't worried about rush hour on those Nadi streets.

We boarded our flight to Honolulu with a quick stop in Apia, Samoa.  The flight was delayed taking off, so we ate again (much better airline, Air Pacific, with food and drinks included, and movies too!)  And that was our first Friday March 4.

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