Wednesday, August 13, 2014

To buy or not to buy aka I have one, but it's in the container

We packed up our worldly possessions and moved halfway around the world. We had to break things into three sets:
One set to go in the container
One set to go in the suitcases we were taking to Fiji in August
One set to stay in New York for when my son and I came back in September.

It's said that man plans and God laughs. We got here ok but one of my suitcases didn't. Luckily things like my shoes, my bras & undies and a pair of pants, a pair of shorts and a skirt were in the suitcase that did get here. Unfortunately I only had the one shirt I was wearing and another that was in our dirty laundry. Oh and we had dinner with hub's new boss planned for the second night we got here. Yikes! A quick shopping trip to Jacks of Fiji covered me, but put me in an odd position for my first week. Should I buy ___ or wait for the suitcase. That was especially tough the first couple of days when Fiji Airways hadn't even located my suitcase yet.

Breathe. As a friend of mine sent me a quote from Fight Club: “It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.” ― Chuck Palahniuk

Thankfully Thursday night I got word that my suitcase was on the way to Suva.

In the meantime I'd been taking full advantage of my favorite part of our new place:
Starting my morning with a cup of coffee and a cool breeze off the patio
No, not the view,
the Washer and Dryer!

Did I mention that I didn't have a washer in New York? I'm kind of picky about my laundry, it was not fun to send it out, but it was even less fun to schlep it to the laundromat. 
So now we're settling in, we've gone to the grocery store and picked up the essentials, like cooking oil and onions and garlic and ginger, but there's a few more things that we need.

See, we made dinner with fresh fish we got at the market, and we invited over the neighbors.
Those skewers? Not ours

Those skewers? We had to borrow them.

That cutting  board? Also not ours, but that came with the house. The wineglasses didn't. 
Those wine glasses? Also borrowed.

We have all kinds of stuff... 
I don't think I'll be wearing the black boots in Fiji, I just couldn't bear to give them away. Do you know how hard it is for a woman my size to find knee high leather boots that fit my calves? 
We just don't have it here. It's all in a container that's on a slow boat to China, er, Fiji.
See all that stuff? It's ours. We miss it. Well, not all of it, but I want my corkscrew. 
So the question is now: should we buy wine glasses and a corkscrew or just keep inviting over the neighbors? 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The case of the missing sock

Is it in the container? 

Is it in one of the suitcases? 

Is it in the bags we left in New York? 

Did the dryer eat it? 

Where in the world is the other sock?!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Vampire bats

First, my apologies for the clickbait. These creatures are not Vampires, they don't suck blood. In fact, these bats don't even use echo-location! Whoa. This is messing with everything I thought I knew about bats! There are some interesting reads online - you really should check this one out:

  • "perhaps one should think again before eating one. The bats were a great delicacy featured at Guam fiestas and feasts. You could even find them packaged in shrinkwrap alongside the other meats such as chicken, rabbit, duck, pork, beef at the local food markets. Then, some scientists doing research on a type neural disease that was more common on Guam than any other place in the world discovered a relationship to the fact that most of the sufferers of this disease ate tortillas made with the flour of Cycad palms. This might have been the end of the story. But then, the researchers found that these same folks also ate fruitbats… and then they connected with the fact that the bats also eat the fruits of the cycad palms. When the researchers analyzed the bat’s meat, they found high concentrations of cyanide and other toxins in its meat. Since this discovery, folks on Guam do not eat the tortillas made from cycad-fruit flour or fruitbats–even if these have been a long-standing cultural custom for centuries."
I'm looking forward to my time here in Fiji. Now that I've learned a little bit about megabats I can't wait to find a biologist to tell me more about these incredible creatures! 

  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Early morning market visit

This morning we took advantage of the jetlag that wakes us up ridiculously early. We went to the market! It's located just outside the King's Wharf.
I was warned that the best stuff goes fast. Sure enough, but the time we'd done a circuit and come back around the lobsters were gone.
We bought some red snapper for dinner. They were cleaned right in front of us
No shopping carts here! We were limited to what we could carry. Luckily some items came with their own handles...
So many colors!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Whoa, I took that pic!

I've been taking a lot of pics this last week, some of them just make me go weak in the knees. Here they are:

I grew up  in the desert, so I tend to oooh and aaaaah over water. This pic turned out exceptionally well! 
A few years back I got an amazing pic of a Turkish coffee at a small restaurant in Virginia. I didn't think anything would top it... then this one happened along. 
My Suva Picnic Park & Seabreeze Park along the seawall are beautiful! This pic happened at dusk and was just magical 
Temporary quarters, but still pretty awesome
The day we got here. Wowza. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

I'm not in Kansas anymore

I walked to work (OK,  hub's work) through a rain forest,  had to look RIGHT before crossing the street,  and watched some awesome cultural performances at the Open Day. The staff wrapped up with a awesome bbq and Kava.
I'm definitely not in Kansas anymore. 

This is the walk to my husband's office. It's so cool! 
I HAVE to get used to looking RIGHT before I cross the road. RIGHT. 
The student groups all had a great time. The Vanuatu student group was especially enthusiastic
At the end of the night we had kava at the staff barbecue

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Grocery store trip aka buy local

I had some sticker shock at the grocery store. This store seems to cater to expats but still had some stuff I wasn't used to. 
I want to do some consumer reports style experiments to see if Tide Pods are really worth the price. A bag of laundry detergent is about $5FJ. 
$19FJ vs $3FJ. Yup, definitely buying locally produced toilet paper
I have never ever in my life seen in store coconut grating
I probably would have taken a pic of this anywhere. It was just funny that it happened to be in Fiji