…three Aussies in a tub…
A dinghy actually. Three Aussies together are usually pretty funny. Great sense of humor and timing. But add the fact that these three just got in from Samoa, were tired, had been up all day clearing customs and hadn’t slept yet, and then went out for dinner with seemingly a few beers and you have real comedy.
Ann and I were walking back from an evening at the fair (more on that below) and we heard from out of the dark; “‘ello then? Remember us?”. Um, maybe? “We’re Doug, Ken and Bennie!”. Oh yeah, on the mooring just in front of us, they came in this morning. So we chatted a bit as we all headed down the rickety old wharf to our dinghies to go back to our boats. The three of them kept up a running commentary the whole way about how Bennie’s leg was just like their outboard-neither was working. Bennie had a bum knee and the outboard, well it was being an outboard, which meant it choose not to work whenever it wanted to. Like tonight! Just getting into their dinghy was a challenge. “Bennie, you sit over there-Ken you sit here, no there. I’ll just slide over, omp, here, oops, sorry mate…watch them oars!”
They then proceeded to try the engine a few more times before declaring it dead and deciding to row back to their boat. The slapstick continued off into the dark until we heard a thunk and a “That’s got it then, up ya go Bennie, watch the knee”.
We felt better knowing they had made it back safely and got in our dinghy for the short ride back to Charisma. These were really great guys. Wish we had more time to spend with them, but they are headed west and we’re headed “northish”.
The Fair. We had heard there was going to be music and a dance troup at the Fair tonight. There were neither. Maybe tomorrow night. But in the mean time we learned more about “The Fijian Way”. It’s a saying we hear from time to time when people here want to keep things simple. Two examples:
Dinner. There were some really delicious looking foods available for dinner from a number of booths. Most were BBQ type things and we eventually settled on a $5 Fijian dinner plate with noodles, BBQ beef, sausage, onions and taro root.
Mouth watering. As they packed it, seeing no implements, I asked for some chopsticks or forks, or maybe just some napkins? The people in the booth all looked nervously around. Clearly they had no such thing as implements to eat with. Finally one of the bolder men smiled and said: “You eat with your fingers! It’s the Fijian way!”
So we did. And it was delicious even if we did have to wipe our hands in the grass where we were sitting.
Fijian Way part two-I needed to use the “facilities”, but assumed there wouldn’t be any and was getting ready to go down the street to a restaurant or something, when I spied a sign that said; “Men”. Ooh, I know what that means and it’s just what I’m looking for. So I walk over and as I get closer I noticed this “structure” looked decidedly temporary. It’s basically corrugated tin held with some sticks pounded into the ground. You walk over behind it and lo and behold, there is basically a rain gutter type thing made out of…tin! Well I know what to do with that. But the gutter suspiciously disappeared behind the wall on the downhill side of the structure (too flimsy to call it an outhouse). Now they had my full attention and I decided to investigate. I followed the open tin rain type gutter a dozen feet or so past the wall within which I had so recently found relief and to my (not so complete) surprise, it terminated at the bank of the creek! No swimming tomorrow!
I imagine if I had asked, someone would have answered; “It’s the Fijian Way”.
To be fair (no pun intended) this is a truly lovely country and I’m just poking some fun, but it is decidedly third world-and that’s really where a lot of the delight in being here comes from. The simplicity of life here is refreshing. We’re really enjoying the places, experiences and people.