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Thread: Tuesday in Fiji

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Tuesday in Fiji

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    For my vicarious friends, a snippet from our journey to Fiji…

    Having survived the airport queues (mainly in Sydney), we arrived at the Sheraton on Monday evening, had a light supper and strolled through the resort in relative darkness. The next morning I woke up and stepped out onto our balcony to a vision of tropical beauty – coconut trees laden with fruit lined the pathway to the ocean.

    At breakfast I tried an espresso, and was glad I’d brought along the aeropress with some Gambella Naturals. We changed, went to the closest pool, swam with friends and family, and met new friends and family that were all at Denarau for James and Toni’s wedding. This became a daily ritual as the pool brought relief from Fiji’s hot weather.
    I was keen to go to Nadi in the afternoon, and heard we could get a bus whose route detoured off the barely sealed roads and through a local village that is occupied by many Fijians who work at the opulent resorts. So, for 70 cents, we took the 45 minute ride to Nadi. The bus was full of locals, and if one would alight, another was sure to hop on. The people were incredibly friendly; greeting us with, “Bula” and happy to answer my questions. I had taken my camera, thinking I would take some photos along the way. Then, as the bus bounced along the dirt road and I saw the living conditions I left the camera deep in my pocket.

    Some of the houses were made of timber while others were of corrugated iron. I don’t know how the people tolerate the heat, or manage to keep everything so clean in these circumstances. It would have been depressing if not for the obvious sense of community as people gathered to greet those that had come home from work.

    Nadi was an ‘experience’. Most, if not all of the stores, are owned by Indian Fijians, and there is at least one person outside every store cajoling tourists to come in for cheap diamonds and black pearls. Having walked to the end of the street and now returning, I asked someone if there were any Fijian-owned stores there. The fellow introduced himself as Tonga, and like lemmings, Sue and I followed him into a store filled with Fijian handicrafts. Before I could look around, we were taken near the back of the store, grass mats were rolled out, and we were asked to remove our shoes, purportedly for a welcome ceremony, though I think it was to make it harder for us to run off. We sat down on the mats and Tonga’s colleague, Moses, presided over the kava bowl. As we followed their instructions to clap our hands and gulp the muddy drink, I knew that this was going to be expensive...I just didn’t know how expensive. Suffice to say that we eventually left with what may be the most costly Fijian carving ever made, that we later presented to James and Toni. We also took with us two small bowls that we doubted would get through customs, though ultimately did. They will always remind us of this day, when we enthusiastically and knowingly allowed ourselves to be fleeced.

    In the evening we dined with one of my daughters, and during the meal she told me that Maurice had died some months ago. Maurice was around my age and I had known him for more than twenty years when I lived at Moorebank. He was the local motor mechanic and more than once, allowed us to pay off the repairs to the various cars we owned over that time.

    I ended the day as it had begun, sitting on the balcony with coffee from the aero and a Captain Black cigarillo, contemplating the events of the day.

    The next few days were filled with relaxation, excitement, and joy. James and Toni’s wedding was an event we’ll all cherish in our memories – the monsoonal rains as Toni arrived at the Chapel, the pizza feast that followed, Paulini of Australian Idol fame singing their wedding song, and the hotel staff blessing James and Toni at breakfast the next day with a local song.

    We had a great time. We even went sailing in a Hobie Cat that I somehow managed to flip and needed to be rescued…but that’s another story.

    One of the guests...my grandson, Ammius


    The Bride, Toni


    The Shoes...


    The Couple...James and Toni


    The Wedding Party...


    Song at breakfast...


    Sunset...

  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Tuesday in Fiji

    Good one Den. Glad to hear it all went well and sounded like a big occasion. A bit of oppulence and a bit of a reality check to give it perspective.

    I wondered how you would get on for coffee there. Another thumbs up for the Aeropress

  3. #3
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    Re: Tuesday in Fiji

    Im glad everything went well, Dennis. Toni looked gorgeous, as did the bridesmaids, and Ammius is too cute for words. It sounds as though you had a fabulous time, but we really do want the Hobie cat story.....

  4. #4
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Tuesday in Fiji

    Ok, Ill put my hand-up as a "vicarious friend"
    :)

    I have to "ditto" Viviane and Flynns posts on all counts!

    Toni, James and the bridal party all look great.
    I love the outfit on Ammius.
    ...and that does look like a perfect end of day calming sunset.

    Glad it was fun and hope the newly weds are starting a 50 year honeymoon period.




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