Monday, June 26, 2017

Where to look for a rental in Suva

Flotsam and Jetsam bits of advice from a variety of sources:

"I suggest you use a real estate agent. Make sure it is a licensed real estate agent. They know the market, they know pricing, they can be real advocates. Keep in mind that THEY DON'T WORK FOR YOU. The landlord pays one month rent to the real estate agent, so their priority is going to be renting the house. That said, they do have a code of ethics and standards they must maintain, there is also a board you can complain to if you run into problems." 

"Did you know there is a rent freeze in effect in Fiji and that unless the house has been totally renovated the rent can't go up?"

"Landlords will try to get you into bidding war with another renter so they can raise the rent. You can complain to the Fiji Commerce Commission but you have to have proof of what the last renter was paying (their lease) and a copy of your lease. If they don't rent the house to you you can't do anything" 

(got a comment to include? PM me and I can add it to the blog or add it in the comments) 
Amerika's advice: Hire Interactive Transitions to help you with all aspects of your move. If you decide to do it on your own, ask the price, street number and address of the house first - sometimes houses are listed with more than one agent or in more than one place. Also, be sure to ask about your list of your must-haves, like hot water, screened-in windows, ceiling fans, air conditioners in each bedroom or common areas, a refrigerator, a washing machine, a dryer, a cooktop -stove-or range, an oven. If you are in a shared compound, ask who takes care of the common areas. Also ask who pays for things like fumigation and pressure washing/water blasting the driveways/walkways. Dishwashers and bathtubs are somewhat uncommon. Water backup and either a generator or the ability to hook up a generator is good.

If you're looking for a place to rent, use your network (employer, parents from school, church members, people in your clubs, people at the gym, anybody who might possibly know of available house).  Because the market in Suva is still pretty tight there are a significant number of places that rent without ever being listed publicly. Sometimes new tenants will sign a lease the same day that the moving tenants announce they're leaving. The biggest crunches are at the end of the year and at midyear (summer/winter solstice), if you have the chance to move at one of the equinoxes you'll find the market a little softer. 

         # Members    Name of Group

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I'm asking for a friend. Really. Well, most of the time.

First off you have to know that I'm incredibly curious. I once went with a store manager friend to another store just so I could see how inventory transfers worked in their system. I drove out to a spice farm with another friend that was running errands. I talk to people in line. There doesn't have to be a reason, I just like learning new things.

I also ask things on behalf of other people. I mean, like ALL the time. Sometimes I ask on behalf of another person because the other person doesn't want to deal with the followup questions. (Ex: 90% of my discussions with car dealers) Sometimes I ask on behalf because the question is a little too personal (do you know a lice picker?) And sometimes I ask because I'm walking by a location and I think they might know the answer.

One morning I fielded a question about pharmacies. I answered it as best I could and didn't think much of it. By chance later that day I happened to be walking by a free reproductive health clinic and I had time on my hands, so I ducked in.

"A friend of mine is looking for long acting reversible contraception, like the implant or an IUD. Do you have these?"

They looked at me blankly. Turns out I walked in the office portion of the clinic, not the patient side. I was escorted down a hall and into a private area, another staffer came out to talk to me.

"How can we help you?"

"A friend of mine is looking for long acting reversible contraception, like the implant or an IUD. Do you have these?"

"Our services are free and confidential. What is it you need?"

"A friend of mine is looking for long acting reversible contraception, like the implant or an IUD. Do you have these?"

"Everything here is free. What can we help you with?" 

I suddenly realized that the nurse thought I was too shy to explain what I wanted. 

"No really, I'm asking for a friend!"

Realizing that she probably didn't think there was a "friend" I quickly called up the original asker (see, I told you I was asking for a friend) and put her on the line with the nurse. 

Everybody got their questions answered that day :) 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Humidity Proof Makeup Tips

I have a confession: I'm actually a kid inside, I'm perpetually curious and I'm always asking questions. A couple of weeks ago this kid got to play at the candy store for grownups: the MAC makeup counter at Tappoo City. You can see our pics on instagram, for days afterwards I had additional questions coming in via PM or when I ran into people. Here are the answers to the questions that came in after our makeovers

1) Liquid matte lipstick - is this a new thing or has it been around for a while?
Liquid matte lipsticks have been around for a while now probably 8 years or so.

2) how can someone tell the difference between fakes and real MAC cosmetics?
You can usually tell fakes by then packaging if not bring your products to the MAC counter at Tappoo, we can compare them to ours and the shade difference tells it all.

3) Do you have any general tips for makeup in heat and humidity?
Ice face or wash with cold water then apply makeup it stays in this ridiculous heat. If not stick to minimal makeup, adding foundation to moisturizers and maybe waterproof products, if it doesn't irritate.

4) Do you have any general tips for foundation in Suva when your tan may change from one day to the next?
Mixing it with your moisturizer and applying should help, another option is keeping two foundations, a lot of people do that, it's a summer and winter routine. If you only want to have one, keep a darker foundation as looking darker in photos looks better than ashy.

5) Any makeup tips for going away/resorts/weddings, etc
Same as 3 and 4, and packing light. Find neutral shades for shadows and such that will go with everything you wear, unless you don't mind packing extra and matching shades according to outfit

Once again, thank you to the staff at Tappoo City and MAC cosmetics, I'm sending everyone your way for expert advice!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fish. It's What's For Dinner.

Ni Sa Bula Vinaka! We are now taking orders, email your orders to Orders close today Thursday the 1st of June at 7pm. Free delivery tomorrow Friday the 2nd of June between 12noon & 5pm. Please note, all orders are cash payment on delivery (COD) and don't forget to include your delivery address with a mobile contact.  Items available this week are; • Fresh Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi fillets - $25 per kilogram • Fresh Sail fish fillets - $14.50 per kilogram 1. Pre Packed 150grams Cold Smoked Blue Marlin (Thinly sliced) - $7 per pack 2. Pre Packed 150grams Cold Smoked Yellowfin Tuna (Thinly sliced) - $6 per pack 3. Pre Packed 150grams Cold Smoked Albacore Tuna (Thinly sliced) - $5 per pack 4. Pre Packed 500grams Yellowfin Tuna Kokoda cuts/Curry Pieces/Sweet & Sour Cubes (Boneless fish cubes) - $9 per pack 5. Pre Packed 500grams Blue Marlin Minced Meat - $12.50 per pack 6. Yellowfin Tuna Steaks (2 steak per pack) - $27.50 per kilogram 7. Blue Marlin Steaks (2 steak per pack) - $20 per kilogram  All fish are offloaded from our boats than filleted and vacuum sealed at our HACCP certified processing plant.  The delicious cold smoked thinly sliced fish & is ready to eat packs are intended for Sushi, Salads, Sandwiches, Pastas or as a Pizza Topping and is the best substitute for the Canned Products.  For more details about the product please visit and like our FaceBook Page:   Cheers, Filipe Rogers Phone: +679 7088537 Sales ManagerI met with a tuna expert a while back and asked where he got his fish, fully expecting him to direct me to a market vendor or a shop in town. Instead he said he got his delivered. Your mileage may vary, but I've had good experiences with Gene's Premium Seafood ( email below) as well as Farmright Fish

Fish notes:
I use the kokoda cuts as I would boneless skinless chicken.  The 500 gram packs defrost quickly and cook up easily, these are on my weekly shopping list
Sailfish can be gamey but does well brined or marinaded, can be meaty enough to put on skewers and bbq'd
Blue marlin is sometimes used in sashimi as a replacement for tuna

Is this helpful? What have your experiences been?