Although HAL blogger Gary Frink is home from his Oosterdam cruise, he still had a few wonderful posts to share. Enjoy!
Suva, Fiji provides exotica in multiple layers: a history of cannibalism through the early 20th Century — “A cannibal fork is the one thing I’ll buy here,” Jeanne announced; military coups; beggars and shoe shine boys in the streets; ethnic Melanesian/Polynesian men wearing Sulus (including police and military,) wrap-around, skirt-like garments bound at the waist (East Indian, roughly half of the population, men wear trousers;) very colorful, attractive postal stamps and currency notes and finally the clock tower, Big Ben of Fiji which, when functioning, strikes on the quarter hour (alas, it was apparently ailing and certainly soundless during our pass-through the campus of government buildings, where it resides.)
The day began with a stroll along the dock, past the police department orchestra, there to serenade us, near the bow of the ship. From the dock, we exchanged “BULAS” (the Fijian shout of welcome) with any and all, as we strolled to our first stop toward realizing our goal of leaving a sprinkling of Yankee Dollars in the City of Suva.
“Go into my shop, have a look around,” said an East Indian merchant, as Jeanne and I entered a long shed, divided into narrow, shallow, shop units. The salesman was leaning against the outside wall facing the one aisle extending through the shed; by loitering outside his limited space, he attempted to chat-up into his space, the foreigners passing down the aisle.