Its been eons since I last blogged about the magical and mystical Fiji on my facebook notes and this my first bit on Fiji on wordpress. While I’m packing for Fiji and Sydney, a few of the Emirati families I know are returning from Fiji after 18 days in paradise. When I hear them talk about the exoticness and uniqueness of the Coral Coast where I was born, the Blue Lagoon Cruises and the fact they keep going back, I realise that I’ve only been to a fraction of the 332 islands that make up our nation.
As a child, I was fascinated and enchanted by the beauty of Rotumans. I wanted to go there as a teenager to get myself a Rotuman husband because to date, I find they have the best looking men on earth. I wanted to taste the red prawns of Vatulele which I did and dive the Astrollabe Reef instead of spanning the Sigatoka river for ‘kai’. Na kai is possibly the tastiest shellfish I’ve ever tasted in my life and I guess Fijian cuisine has its own taste because everything is fresh, organic and people go to the markets for fresh produce everyday as apposed to depending on processed food to save time.
Then there is the artesian Fiji water which has scientifically been proven to keep one’s skin young and healthy with its high levels of natural silica. Thanks to Hollywood celebrities giving up botox injections and turning to Fiji Water for eternal youth, our small nation is now one of the most famous brands associated with folks who will settle for nothing but the best.
Someone once described Fiji as a place where you experience the “exhilaration of a dolphin arching high into the air, the gliding swoop of an orange dove through the rainforest and children performing in unison to the beat of a hollow log drum. Its where one can sizzle with the evening’s entertainment, murmur with the quiet calm of pristine nature, swim with huge harmless manta rays or have an adrenaline rush at ‘Cloud Breaker’, the incredible wave offshore Tavarua that draws surfers from around the world. Fiji is where you can float in the calm turquoise lagoon privately, walk through lush rainforests, where flowers are tucked in the hair not to impress tourists but because it makes us feel at one with nature, where the sun shines everyday and when it does rain, people rush out to the brief downpour for a warm tropical rainbath shower which ends as quickly as it began.”
Its still fascinating when I go home to see people gather around in my living room in the evenings having a bowl of kava with my dad – I never seem to have the luxury of time the way people in Fiji do or enjoy life to the max in true Fijian style all the time. I miss waking up at home to the view of the sea in shape of a boat, looking out to the sandhills of Nadroga from my bedroom window, picking mangoes, oranges and passion fruit in the forest 2 minutes walk from my house or gazing at the Sigatoka town from my kitchen looking for excuses to go for a milkshake on the promenade.
In between decorating my new holiday home, thanks to my very generous sibling who gave it to me as a gift, this time I look forward to day trips on deserted islands with no form of digital technology, to a Blue Lagoon or Starlight Dinner cruise and walk through the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. I hope to snorkel at Treasure Island or Vomo, vegetate on a hammock with a cocktail in my hand and I am insisting on the little umbrella.
To the wild world seeped in negativity, deception, recession, heartbreak and sadness, I strongly suggest taking a walk in our paradise. It helps and you will emerge a brand new better person at the end of it!