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Published: February 20th 2013
So here's the thing about Fiji: it's weird. And I mean really weird. So much so that I am dedicating an entire blog to all things odd and Fijian. Starting with coffee. Back home in the states I survive off coffee, my blood is about 40% leukocyte and Erythrocytes and 60% caffeine. So needless to say I was shocked when I found out that all coffee here is instant, yes instant. I feel a bit like a crack addict going through withdrawals, hopefully this will pass. Thank God for a little place called the Republic of Cappucino which offers a pretty decent espresso served in an air conditioned environment with free Wifi (coincidentally that's where I am sitting now).
Now let's talk buses. The transportation system in Suva is pretty decent all in all. There is a bus that stops right outside my flat every 15 minutes. These buses are all brightly colored, windowless, and there is always some horribly done Fijian remix of an American pop song. I no longer remember the real lyrics to Justin Bieber's "Never say never",only the Fijian version.
Let's talk school. This will really throw all my Tech friends for a loop, it sure did mess me up! When registering for classes there is no set schedule, this comes out the day before classes start.Consequently, it is very common to have multiple classes all at the exact same time. So what do you do? You either a) try talking to your lecturer to see if they will change the time of the classes, which to my surprise most of them will or b) you go to one classes one week, and another the next and alternate accordingly. And that is just the beginning of classroom issue but I won't bore you with the details. Next, if you ever have to use the restroom while on campus I sincerely hope you brought your own toilet tissue with you, because it's not provided. I found that one it the hard way! Back home we call toilet tissue "mountain money", guess here it is Jungle money!
Ever drank coconut water straight from a coconut? I have, with the Fijian police. It's quite common to be walking along the sea wall, have a coconut fall from the sky (I've almost been hit in the head about 4 times already) and have a police officer pick it up, hack the top off and hand it to you to drink.
For all my lady friends, if you ever come to Fiji, bring your own tampons. They don't sell them here. Fijian women are literally confused, borderline scared of them.
Pharmacy's here are called "chemists" and are, for lack of a better word, sketchy. Most medications dont require a prescription. You can walk in and get just about any med over the counter. I've seen pharmacsits hand over class 2 narcotics with no questions asked.
Finally, since I am sure I could go on forever, I would like to discuss Fiji's fascination with Texas. (as you can imagine this makes me quite happy). Just let me start by saying that no one in the Fiji islands, or from any of the surrounding islands for that matter, knows where New Mexico is (which is where I am from). I quickly learned that if I said I was from NM everyone thought I was from Mexico. So in order to save myself a lot of time and frustration, I started claiming Texas. Well let me say, Fijians love Texas! Mainly because they all watch Walker Texas Ranger. Half of my new friends call me Texas, apparently that is easier than Mika, which is actually a Fijian boys name. I've been told it means both "lover" and "archangel", I'll let you all decide which you think is more appropriate .
Until next time, Bula Bula!!
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