Tropical Christmas // Fiji Edition07:00:00
I get to Fiji in the pouring rain in the early afternoon. The immigration and bag claim takes a good two hours in total and as I leave the arrival hall I realize that my promised pick-up isn’t there. I ask a Fijian cab driver and he shouts through the hall in a language I don't understand. Another guy turns around and tells me to wait. He’s not here to pick me up but he’s going to my hotel anyways. That’s sorted, I guess. So I do as I was told, I sit and wait.
Not much time passes until the people he was actually waiting for show up. He waves me over and we all walk through the rain to the car park right outside the arrival hall. The airport is a shed and getting lost here seems impossible. My fellow travellers, from Iceland, have at least 6 suitcases and bags. “Is that all yours?” I ask and they laugh. “Yeah, we’re moving back to Iceland.” We chat about our lives on the 15min taxi ride to the hotel. The two of them basically did the same thing as me. The girl, whose name I immediately forget once she said it, studied in Melbourne for a while, then they travelled up the coast, over to New Zealand and now Fiji. I guess her boyfriend just tagged along. He seems to be more of a quite person, pretty much exactly how you’d imagine a Viking to be. Life in Sweden gets you used to shy and quiet Scandinavians. They don’t talk much but overall they are lovely bunch.
After checking in and having free welcome drinks (a Tequila Sunrise without Tequila…so basically a sunrise?) I am taken to my room. I am staying in a cozy three-bed dorm. No one’s there. Not too bad considering how little I paid for my whole stay. I pick the bed right next to the window and get comfy. An hour or two on my own, Anna and her big, blue backpack join me. She’s German too and we instantly get along. Unfortunately, she’s only here for one night but at dinner we decide to meet up on Mana Island later this week – yay, friends. Fiji gave me a bit of a headache pre-arrival when it comes to finding and hanging out with other backpackers and solo-travellers. After all, Fiji is a THE honeymoon destination and I didn't want this to be a “that one time I was gonna go to paradise but in the end it was just me and a bunch of newlyweds making out by the pool”-kinda holiday. Now, one may ask “but Leah, how did you end up going to Fiji in the first place if this was what you were worrying about?” Well, my friend, it all started when I got kidnapped by a bunch of Japanese/Fijian/Korean kids on a Christian missionary in Seoul earlier this year. Long story short, they didn't sell me Jesus but a holiday to Fiji and a couple of days later my flights were booked and I was counting down the days.
Originally I had planned to just chill by the pool all day on Monday, however, the Fijian weather decided to destroy my plans. 10mins of sunshine was all we got that day so I spent it working on my blog, watching movies that I found raiding my computer for something to do, reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and taking the world’s longest nap. Tuesday was a bit more exciting. I left early in the morning to go to South Sea Island, one of the smallest Islands of the Mamanucas. So small, you can walk around it in less than 5mins. The sun was doing its best, with an occasionally rain shower here and there but nothing too dramatic. Soft drinks, beer and wine as well as lunch were all inclusive that day so I spent most of my time in a hammock getting drunk by myself and loved every second of it.
“Would you like half a glass, Ma’am?” the bar man asks as I order my fourth Sauvignon of the day. I hand signal to fill it all the way up to the top and just giggle something like “I’m on holiday.”
On Thursday I went to see Anna on Mana Island. But I couldn't find her. Compared to South Sea Island (which can easily be fully walked around in less than 3min) Mana Island was a tad bigger - and by a tad I mean huge. One of the Fijian staff members, Filipe, who made it is mission to awkwardly hit on me all day helped me finding her around noon so I got to hang out with Anna at least for a couple of hours. I also met a bunch of other backpackers there and we just had a good time chatting with each other and petting a puppy no one knew who it belonged to.
Waiting in line to catch the boat back to Nadi I ran into, guess who, Filipe again. Being 100% I haven't sent out the wrong signals, because let's face it I'm the worst at flirting and in addition to this gay (what a combo, aye?), he hands me a pen and a piece of paper asking for my email address. Being the nice person I am I first scribble down my real one, last minute decide to change it into a fake one though - ain't nobody got time for that. And honestly, my biggest fear is that he'll send me dick pics out of nowhere. The dilemma continues when he asks for my Facebook information. I tell him he can find me with my fake email address and for the next two hours that I am stuck with him on this boat all I can think of is "what if he actually has reception here and tries to find me right now and what will I say or do and I am the worst liar and oh no, I DON'T WANT TO DEAL WITH THIS". It never happened. BUT....
...the next morning, after another lonely night in my Nadi dorm, I am catching a boat to the Yasawas Islands, about 3.5 hours away. The first person I see at the terminal in Nadi is... yup, you're absolutely correct: Filipe. I hide. I hide like an immature teenager for 1.5 hours. I just don't like confrontation, okay? I am only able to relax once I realize we won't be on the same boat. Jesus, if you exist: thank you, bro! I am sure you have something to do with this.
The Octopus Resort is located on a huge island but the resort itself is small. Being praised as one of the best resorts I am only mediocre entertained but my book is good, the food okay, the ice cream I treated myself to after lunch - because it was Christmas Eve - delicious and the weather not too bad. My visit here is short but sweet and around dinner time I get back to my hostel where I am having a huge Sushi dinner all to myself being in a ridiculously good mood. What a Christmas...
In fact, while I do think Christmas should be frosty and white because that's just what I am used to and love, I did enjoy my little hot Jesus's birthday adventure. 32°C and a pool side are nothing anyone would say no to, I believe.
On Monday it was time to say good bye, so I hopped on a plane to my last destination of my year long travel: HONG KONG.