Today Bruce, Bosilio, two unnamed Fijians and I decided to hunt for this mysterious brewery that we have heard about in a town called Nasori near Suva. Unfortunately, we failed miserably. Instead we wandered into the Whistling Duck. Well, first off you have to understand that we were the only Kavaluqi (kavalungi) in all of Nasori so walking into this bar, well, lets just say head were turned and stares frozen on us. The bar was already crowded at 11:00am with burly looking Fijians, trashed, smashed Fijians. Now Fijians cannot hold their alcohol what so ever. This bar was filled with tons of guys, big guys. All over 6' and well over 200lbs. We decided not to stay there, but to get out the door we had to fight our way past two drunk guys playing (fighting) tug-o-war with a woman.
We wandered on down the street to...well, I don't think it had a name. It was a single room with a pool a table, a picnic table, a couple of elementary school sized stools and a bar with a boom box playing reggae and hip-hop. We taki'd a few tall boy Bitters, played a few games of pool, Fiji style.
From here we proceeded on to Suva Central. Our destination; The Club At Garricks. Garricks was on the second floor, above a boarded up store front. We all had to pee from the tall boys and ended up having to wade to the urinal one at a time through the slime and muck at the Garricks facilities. Here we sat on the balcony taki'ing tall boys and hollering at girls...mostly big girls.
This is where I learn of yet another interesting Fijian custom. Bosilio tells me that he is not allowed to talk to his sister, nor she to him. This is an old custom and it varies from village to village. Likewise Andre cannot speak to Ateca's, his wife's, unlce. It is an odd custom and I'm not exactly sure how it works, but Bos says that it is a sign of respect.
After the blur settles into our heads we decide to go for food. Bos suggests the Suva Market for Lamb Neck. LAMB NECK!!!! I am so totally in. We get there and its just a cage in the middle of the sidewalk. Dirty as hell and I'm sure I am going to be sick tomorrow. The women are all excited because I am the first kavaluqi, white guy, to ever eat here.
For four dollars you get five lamb necks in a curry sauce, meat around the vertebrae, and four fist sized pieces of casava (starchy root).
Post beer journey, lamb neck adventure and then drive back, we find our selves at Bosilio's house. As always there are tons of children running around and a bunch of men drinking kava in the Yard. Bruce and I are invited to share their Tanoa (large wooden bowl used for serving Kava). We agree to just one or two, of coarse this turns into seven or eight.
Sitting beside me is Patrick. Older Fijian fellow. He speaks only in whispers, as do lots of other Fijians after drinking kava. Because of this, and his thick accent, he has to repeat himself two or thre times before I finally get it. I learn that he is an officer in the army, has been for about fifteen years. He tells me of his travels all over the world and of the American soldiers he's met along the way. For the most part he ahs high regard for Americans, except for their constant swearing. He also tells me a bout his favorite place on earth, his village in Siqatoka (Singatoka). He is very proud to be Fijian. I admire that. He posses those qualities that make Fijians unique. Inviting, warm, welcoming, interested, selfless. I've known him only a few minutes but already he has invited me to come and visit him at his home and eat and stay with him for a day or so if I like. I know that his offer in genuine.
A great encounter to end a great and long day. Tomorrow, if Bos and his wife call, I will go to the Tiki pool bar and swim and play with Danny, Bos's daughter.
pser...last night i woke up with a giant cockroach crawling up my neck...couldn't get back to sleep so went to the couch.