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The Fiji Times Journal

From Smith: december 26 - boxing day

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm pleased to report that all is well.

Today was 'Boxing Day,' a public holiday that follows Christmas,
so all was closed. I moved into the Smuggler's Inn - I think we should
stick with it unless something better comes up. It's right on the beach
and it's close to the airport, which will be important upon your arrival.

The car was a good call. Everything is far away from everything, buses were
nonexistent today and are sporadic at best in general. It sounds like a minimum
taxi ride to a nearby location costs $15 and goes up from there.

I drove into Nadi proper, a strip of shops and markets catering to tourists
and locals. All signage is printed in English, and most folks are able to
speak in English, though I hear them speak among themselves in their native tongues
much more quickly to each other. The signs have a handpainted stylized look.

The population is noticeably of Indian descent (curry shops, sarong stores!) and
the native Fijians, whose semblance is not unlike Aboriginal Australians. Everyone
is friendly.

I'm rediscoverig Island time. Everything moves rather slowly, though folks in
service positions are keen to the Western ways of their customers. I see people
walking on long roads in the heat of day and dark of night (no streetlights)
at a meandering pace, no hurry to arrive. I feel myself wanting to be productive,
and realizing that this is a place where things happen as they happen.

I think there is something nice about a place where people shout 'Bula!'
Just because you're in earshot and eyesight. Everyone waves.

I drove north to Lautoka, also closed. It's a similarly boxy town, non-descript
in its Fiji-esqueness. I'm looking forward to seeing the bustle of the towns
once they reopen.

I didn't photograph or video today. I'll bring my camera out tomorrow. I
was warned against 'local boys who are mischevious,' and want to take care
about filming alone. I'm scouting and planning for when we're all together.
I'll be counting on Wynn to be my ally in shooting sprees.

The internet connection is abysmal, so if you don't hear from me, it's because
the connection is down. It's 11:00 at night, and this is the first time I've
been able to get online all day.

I started a more literate sounding blog on my computer, and will send it once it
takes shape. Please let me know the type of things you'd like to hear about
- the blog is similar to this note, just less conversational.

I'm going to send this before the connection goes out...


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