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Robert F. Kay's Blog – May 2011 Archive (7)

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.11

The effects of contact between European civilization and an iso­lated people were unsuspected in Fiji but familiar to much of the world since the age of discovery began. Smallpox had descended on the Aztecs just as Cortes besieged Mexico City, and Moctezuma had been immobilized by…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on May 30, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.10



The "discovery" of the islands-for what that ethnocentric no­tion is worth-is credited to Abel Tasman, who sighted Taveuni and some outlying members of the Lau group in 1643 while on his way to Java. The next recorded visit by a European was not until 1774, when Cook made a similar sighting. The first white man to gain any idea of the…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on May 28, 2011 at 12:54pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.8

"Apparently that was the Fijian equivalent of a doll with pins in it," Derek continued. "Anyway, Fergus's dad would eventually find it, shout out 'What! This bloody thing again!' or something like that, kick it around in front of the servants to show he wasn't afraid, and then put the figurine back on the mantelpiece and…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on May 18, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.7

Thurston Botanical Gardens: luxuriance, a feeling that a brigade of gardeners could barely keep them tamed, to keep this bush from that, those grasses from the freshly weeded borders, that tree from claiming all the sky.

Venerable ivi and…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on May 15, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.6

By ten o'clock the place was full and the music-from a bank of speakers on a small stage-loud. Standing drinkers crowded against the booths; I wondered if we were expected to share. The thought had scarcely left me when I felt a heavy hand on my shoulder. I composed a…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on May 11, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.5

The plates cleared away, Derek ordered us each a Drambuie, rolled a cigarette, and looked more content than at any time since our arrival.

"You know, I think this is going to be just fine. I was afraid at first that you…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on May 7, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments

On Fiji Islands -- Suva-- Chapter 2.4

He was now so caught up in the colonial atmosphere that he was drinking gin and tonic-something I didn't know he liked. The sun was hot, but there was a breeze; we could hear the shallow water of the reef lapping at the edge of the hotel…

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Added by Robert F. Kay on May 3, 2011 at 11:00pm — No Comments

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