Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Bus riding

MP3 track in the day: Hot in the city - Billy Idol

Weather: Hooooot!

Having a lazy morning I got to the bus station and boarded a bus to Tavua, which is about 1/3 of the way to Suva along the kings Road. Once I got on the bus an Indian lady chatted to me; she offered me a traditional Indian sweet (which tasted good … no idea what it was made out of, but good all the same) before explaining to me that her daughter was at university in Suva and could she have my email address as her daughter likes to make friends internationally (I bet she does). I reluctantly gave her my email address ( I can always delete unwanted emails) and then we chatted a little more. It's quite sad actually; she has three children (one married, one is a carpenter and the youngest is at university) all living in Suva. Her husband died last month and now she is alone in her village here near Lautoka; she has therefore decided to move to Suva to live with her children (maybe I might reply to any emails sent). The culturally interesting thing about our conversation was that when I said I had two brothers and a sister she immediately asked if they were married, not what did they do for a living (That actually never entered the conversation).

As we traveled along the north of the island, looking inland, I noticed that it was completely different to the southern part; scorched land covered the mountains instead of tropical greenery. The reason is due to the mountains that are located in the center of the island; basically any rain clouds that pass over are pushed up by these mountains and the rain falls before it hits the northern part. The odd thing is that this part of the island seems to be Fiji's economic heartland with trucks full of, what looked like, wooden poles all the way along the highway. With all these wooden poles, I was expecting to see trees from which these poles were cut from, however, with hardly any trees around, the only logical conclusion I could make is that the long grass crop, which lines the roads here covering the landscape, must actually be a small tree of some sort. These must be where the wooden poles are coming from but I'm still not completely certain. Then it kind of hit me; maybe these wooden poles are actually sugar canes, Lautoka is the suga refining capital of Fiji so that would make sense.

We went through Ba (no not him) and then after another 45 minutes we got to Tavua. I said goodbye to the Indian lady as I got off the bus; both Ba and Tavua have less to look at than Lautoka, so I just crossed the road and got on the next bus back to Lautoka. This time I concentrated looking towards the coast and even though it was a little greener, it was still not the same as the southern coast. As I continued on my journey I could see small tropical islands off the coast, making me think about the next leg of my Fijian experience, island hopping.

At around 12:00 I got back to Lautoka where I headed to my hotel for a spot of lunch. With not a lot to do, I went into 'Fiji Time' and chilled watching a little TV (BBC news … catch up on what's been happening in the rest of the world) before heading to the cinema once more. The film this time, 'Scott Pilgrim Vs The World'; from the makers of 'Sean of the Dead' (I think … well one of Simon Pegg's films anyway) it looked quite funny when I viewed the trailer at the cinema the other day, and it wasn't bad. The film is a comedy about a boy (Scott Pilgrim funnily enough) who wants to date this girl but in doing so, he has to defeat her seven deadly x-partners. If you get cheap tickets (Like me, £1.60 to see the film) then it's worth going to see it.

After this film I was determined to have something to eat; not feeling hungry at all today I had only eaten half a packed of biscuits and most of a tube of Pringles therefore, conscious of not eating enough, I went to a restaurant and ordered spaghetti … but couldn't eat it all (and I felt a little rough after eating … maybe I'll listen to my body next time).

My final act of the night was to remove another cockroach from my room. I don't know if Winston had returned (all cockroaches look a like to me) but I did improve on my all time record of 'removing a cockroach from a dorm using only a coat hanger and two pieces of laminated paper' from 45 minutes down to 8 … get in!

I'm looking forward to leaving Lautoka; it's been okay but there is very little to do and the food is awful here. However, more importantly, this ends my time traveling around the mainland. For my final week I shall hopefully be island hopping a little before returning to Mango Bay. I've thoroughly enjoyed this part of my trip as I've seen a lot of 'actual Fiji', where Fijian's live, work, shop etc. However it has at some points been quite a mission and the fact that only five out of my fourteen nights, I've spent in Fiji so far, has seen me share a dorm with someone else has meant it's been quite lonely too. I'm looking forward to island hopping but I am under no illusions that this part of my trip will show me the dream world of Fiji and not what the people of Fiji actually deal with day-to-day.

Toodle Pip!

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