Chapter 1.1 – Nadi
After breakfast Derek went out to buy a newspaper; I began writing up my journal. The flight from Vancouver had begun with a stewardess’s memorable phrase:
You fly across the world’s emptiest hemisphere, keeping pace with the night. Five hours to Honolulu-nothing but blackness below; then the glare of an overlit American city, an orange sore on the dark skin of the Pacific. Six hours more darkness to Nadi, and a day of one’s life left in safekeeping with the international date-line.
This longueur had been interrupted when dinner arrived: a ham slab with some tired alfalfa sprouts resembling a tuft of dog hair. Derek glanced up from his science fiction story and remarked:
At this the stranger in the aisle seat became helpless with laughter and spilled a martini in his lap, the first of several such accidents. He introduced himself:
By the time the Fiji landing cards were distributed, Gorky was asleep.
RACE-INDICATE ONE ONLY OF THE FOLLOWING:
The same is true of the other categories. “Fijian” is not an adjective like “Canadian,” applicable to all citizens of the country. It refers only to those of indigenous descent. The Fiji Handbook makes the point: ‘
Taukei (owners) is the word in the Fijian language which the Fijians use when referring to themselves, so that Taukei and Fijian are, to them, synonymous. The ownership of the land is one subject which can ge~erate great heat in Fiji…. The nonFijian who describes himself as a Fijian is, in the minds of many Fijians, laying claim to the land.
On Fiji Islands, was published in 1983 to critical acclaim. Ron has graciously allowed Fijiguide.com to serialize his work for your enjoyment. We welcome your comments.
©2011 Ronald Wright