Thursday, 27 March 2008

eggs

During our trip we met a great American couple. They had been travelling for a few months already and had been to New Zealand. At one point they suddenly asked 'where do you keep your eggs in Australia?'. It turned out they had been totally puzzled by the fact that in New Zealand eggs were found on a the normal shelves in the supermarket since in America they are apparently always kept in the refrigerated section and when you get home with your shopping eggs are one of the first things you hurry to put away in the fridge so they dont get warm. Isn't funny the different things that people notice when travelling. I dont remember ever noticing where eggs were kept in countries I travelled in, although I suppose I only really bought eggs in countries I lived in (but I cant remember if they were refrigerated or not in most of those). I suppose it 'cos Australian supermarkets dont refrigerate them so we're not so worried about them going bad, although we do keep them in ourfridge at home, but I think thats just because there's one of those egg holder things in the fridge door.

backpackers

the last two days of our time in fiji were public holidays. Since the towns more or less completely shut down on public holidays some Dutch people we met who lived in Fiji recommended a place we should stay at rather than spending our last night in the closed-down capital Suva. The recommended place was on the beach and much closer to the airport so, since we didnt have to fly 'til late, we could also spend most of our last night at the beach. It turns out the place was a resort, a backpackers resort. It was a beautiful and well-run place but it felt so weird being there. After they showed us our lovely little hut we had a bit of a tour. Seeing all the over-tanned people in skimpy bikinis frying in the sun by the pool made me feel like I was in a different country to where just a couple of days ago we'd needed to cover our shoulders and legs to visit the village. meal times felt kinda like school camp since everyone came out at the set dinner time and queued up for their meals to be handed out. The black board listed todays activities and everyone could put their name down for beach horse riding or reef walking or coconut jewellery (I never figured out exactly what that was) and it somehow reminded me a lot of the place they go to in Dirty Dancing. I must admit I did enjoy being there for a night because our room and the grounds were lovely and the beach was beautiful but it did find it disappointing and puzzling that they didnt serve any Fijian food and most of the other guests just annoyed me. I know I'm getting old and grumpy but I just dont have much tolerance for the arrogant, backpacker, I've been to n countries but only want to hang out in backpacker bars and talk to people from my own country attitude (of course I'm not suggesting that all backpackers are like that, just seems to be a common group mentality). There were plenty of people who were spending two weeks or more just in that one place and I just didnt get it. As I said it was nice, but after an evening and 2 half-days I was starting to get bored. There were day trips but I dont like organised tours much and the idea of tramping into a little village as part of a group of 20 foreign backpackers just doesnt sound very appealing. The real problem for me though would be the food. One of the best parts of travel for me is eating the local food, going out finding places to eat and have a drink see what locals do. From this place here was nowhere to go to, it was a long way to the next town so you more or less had to eat there. On the whole I just couldnt see the point of going all the way to Fiji to spend two weeks in that kind of place, am I missing something? I know they are.















pretty though

simple pleasures

one of the great things about our holiday in Fiji was it was totally relaxing, everything seemed to happen so easily, and it was easy just to take pleasure in all the simple local things like travelling by bus, eating local food, watching life go by, feeling a little like being part of life there. Travelling in other developing countries before, trying to get a flavour for local life has always been a little bit more difficult either because of language problems, trying not to get ripped off, worrying about things being stolen (and things actually getting stolen), getting hassled by people, worrying about the food making you sick, constantly feeling like you dont belong 'cos its so obvious you're foreign and people treat you differently, but none of those things seemed to be a probem in Fiji. Of course it was just as obvious we were foreign but aside from a few extra taxi drivers asking us where we were going and a couple of people trying to sell us stuff in Nadi most people didnt really treat us like cashed up foreigners. people didn't try and rip us off, theft didnt seem to be much of a problem and nothing felt dangerous at all. it was also really easy to travel off the normal tourist route, people were helpful and informative and it was easy to catch a local bus, to get in the back of a carrier or mini bus with the bundles of taro and cassava and go wherever you needed to. I'm thinking Fiji may well be my new favourite holiday.

the beautiful people

Fiji is a great place we discovered. We stayed near the small village of Rukuruku a few nights (at the wonderful Bobo's farm which I can thoroughly recommend if you're ever planning on visiting Fiji away from resorts). Never before have I seen so many beautiful people in one place, I still cant get over it, maybe something to do with all that kava they grow? as well as being exceptionally good looking they were so friendly and warm and even sang and played music beautifully.

information sharing

It seems I'm not very good at informing people. I went to Fiji over Easter and upon hearing about it (either before or just after) the reaction I most commonly got from people was: what? since when? you didnt tell me! its not that I purposely didnt tell them it just didn't come up. I guess I'm not particularly good at announcing things. I always find it a bit odd to suddenly say things like 'I'm going to Fiji' out of the blue so unless someone asked what I was doing at Easter or talked about their own holiday, I guess I hadn't mentioned it. I suppose its a bit strange of me.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

peanut butter m&ms

disappointingly are just not up to Reeses Pieces standard. or perhaps I'm just remembering them better than they were? The coating on the M&Ms seemed to be slightly flavoured and far too sweet, much more so than normal M&Ms, which seemed odd.