Tomorrow marks a full week here on Tavenuni. Staying in one place for several days you get to know a few things.
First, bring lots of cash. Yes, things cost less individually, but you have to pay for everything and the places that take cards don’t seem to advertise that they do.
Second, greet everyone by saying Bula and say Vinaka for thank you. Sometimes they get said together though the why of that I haven’t yet learned.
Third, don’t buy fruit from the chap across the street. He has followed us every time we have left the house imploring us to come buy pineapple, apples, papaya, so forth. Sir did succumb once and purchase a pineapple for $2.50. This industrious fellow lives with his Auntie, to whom he gives the proceeds of fruit sales. In this case she got $1.50 and he pocketed the extra $1. Later, we saw him having a cup of tea and a cake up at the airport. You’re welcome.
Fourth, ration your meals at Coconut Grove if you want to preserve your budget. The food is excellent but costly. The menu claims that not many places in the world serve seafood caught locally just hours before you eat it. Rubbish. Also, I overheard the retelling of a story wherein a guest there got lost in his kayak and had to spend the night on one of the little islands offshore. No locals I asked had heard the tale even though it “made the news” according to the teller.
Fifth, no, it’s not okay for the bakery to blast hip hop music so loud that I hear it throughout the afternoon. But I was also told that a person over there is an alcoholic and behaves erratically. Next time I am supposed to call in the police. I won’t, even though I was encouraged to hope that I had escaped that racket when I boarded the plane.
Sixth. While there don’t seem to be many biting insects there are some. Bite count is up to 27. Fortunately none itch. There are also plenty of geckos, some of which are not timid and will seek attention by scampering across the table or bed. And, oh yes, magnificent spiders. The one in the bathroom, god rest it’s soul, was about 4″ across.
And the final lesson: dress modestly. I was surprised at how quickly this set in. On day 3, I was horrified to see a woman in sleeveless top and running shorts. I bet she was Californian.