Time on an island doesn’t run in the same way. Fiji is in the same time zone as New Zealand but operates on a different schedule. There is no need to start anything on time or even within the same half an hour. People move slowly, taking their time. That seems to be okay because there is not much to do with your time all day. So people spend the better part of their day simply passing the time.
For me, I will always hold a sense of time on my watch or on my phone. But I have lost track a little and I can’t believe it is December 1st – how my time abroad has flown by! I had a great time today in Fiji. I woke up and went across the street to the beach to stretch out before making my eggs and lounging after. The common area at the hostel is an open air hut next to a book sharing place and kitchen with a bar. A few of the girls I have met joined me while I was lounging. They are each from all over the world – France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Virgina. We made some plans for the day – caught the bus into the town to walk around. We walked through the market which was a really unique experience. There were vendors selling their produce of corn, eggplant, pineapple on the ground and vendors up higher on tables. There was also a whole kava section. Wait – I haven’t explained kava.
Kava, is a plant which they take the root from and pound and grind it into a fine powder. It is then added into a cheesecloth strainer and seeped into water in a large bowl. The Fijian people of the island have made drinking it a ritual. They gather on a woven mat in a circle with their shoes removed. A smaller bowl is used to dip into the larger one and take a cup of the kava and it is passed around to each member. The drink tastes like… mud. Yeah, muddy water. It has unique qualities though – it kind of acts like novacain. It makes your tongue and back of your mouth go numb. It’s not unpleasant but it’s not anything to rant about – it is certainly different.
The rest of my day was spent hanging out with these new friends. We took the bus towards our hostel area that dropped us off a bit further. We stopped for a happy hour drink at the corner expecting to walk the rest of the way after a drink, but it starts to rain – and when it rains in the tropics, it pours. So we hung out at the restaurant for a while and chatted and got to know each other. After 3 hours, the rain was just going and going – so we split a cheap cab back to the hostel. Here, we will just continue to pass the time, hanging out, having dinner, and then it’s kava time.