Monday, 20 September 2010

Laundry, buses and cockroaches

Monday 20th September 2010

MP3 track of the day: Stan - Eminem

Weather: getting hotter the nearer I got to Lautoka

I didn't sleep very well at all last night; images of me walking to the launderettes whilst Fijian's passed me wearing my clothes haunted my dreams. No surprise I got up earlier than I wanted to and so I thought I would get to the launderettes around 6:00am.

What a shocker, it was shut; I waited around for a little while before a local said that the launderette didn't open until 8am (damn and blast). I therefore decided to head back to the hotel, have a shower, pack my bag and then head back out for 7am … if they opened at 8am then surely someone would be around earlier. This was now a show down; British bulldog 'not taking no as an answer' versus Fijian time and I wasn't going to loose.

I arrived back at the laundrette's around 7am, went across to the local corner shop for supplies for the journey (they were open … in fact the fast food restaurant was open too) and then waited. Actually I didn't have to wait long as the owner came at about 7:20am. I picked up my washing (and checked it … all there and they had done a good job too … and for less than they said previously, only $8) hailed a cab and went back to my hostel to pick up my bags and check out before getting into another cab to take me to the bus station … the time … 8:05am, made it! British bulldog 1 – 0 Fijian time.

Actually the bus didn't leave until 8:30am where as my timetable said 8:15am … doesn't matter, I was on the bus and now I would head north and finish my loop around the island before arriving in Lautoka … but the driver had other plans. Instead of heading north the bus went along the southern coast line … the same road I had taken to get to Suva. I couldn't believe it; instead of seeing parts of the main island I hadn't seen before I ended up going past the Pacific Harbor (AGAIN!), Mango Bay (AGAIN!), Sigatoka (AGAIN!), Nadi (AGAIN!) before going past the airport and into Lautoka. This bus didn't even have a TV playing films and so I was forced to look at the view outside (AGAIN!).

Well when I say forced it wasn't really much of a hardship as the scenery around this part of the island is stunning. One thing I did notice is that as we went further west the greenery became less and less dense, until the mountains were scorched with dead grass and the soil turned to sand. I also noticed that the heat was building up the further west we went; I know the day at this stage was starting to get to it's hottest but still, the heat was quite a big difference from Suva or Mango Bay.

We arrived in Lautoka around 1:30pm (an hour earlier than the timetable stated … I'm going to chuck this timetable away) and, being the hottest part of the day, I hailed a cab and went to my hotel (The Cathay Hotel). The place is nice and cool and my room is fairly clean (a few holes in my sheets but apart from that). I explored the hotel a little before I found the common room and there I watched a little TV (BBC world news … catch up on whats happening in the rest of the world).

Finally the time had come to venture out into Lautoka. It's an okay city but I found it difficult to find any decent facility (internet cafĂ© or restaurant). Once I had been on the internet and had something to eat (which wasn't very nice) I walked back to my hotel. I was pretty sure I was heading in the right direction but when I got to where I thought the hotel should be it wasn't. It was now pitch black and so I did the sensible thing and hailed a cab to take me back to my hotel. Turns out I wasn't very far off at all, I had basically gone one block north too many (and the taxi ride only cost $2 … 66 pence so no real loss there).

It was only 8pm but after the day I'd had, and the lack of sleep the previous night, I decided to go to bed. Again I was pretty restless and so I got back up at around 9pm and turned on the light … only to find something scurry under the bunk bed to my right. I'm pretty certain it was a cockroach (I named him Winston) and there was no way I was going to share a room with one of those. During the next 45 minutes furniture was moved, towels were thrown and bits of paper was wafted until I managed to get Winston out of my room and heading for freedom (didn't want to kill Winston as that would attract even more bugs). During this 45 minutes I had seen most nooks and crannies within my room and I was happy that Winston was travelling alone. I therefore, finally, settled down to sleep.

Toodle Pip!

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