Saturday, March 8, 2008

Things to do in Suva when you're definitely not dead

If you're dead, just go to Denver... But I've been in Suva for the past 24 hours or so - this is as close as you come to a metropolitan center in Fiji, or anywhere in the Pacific islands, I understand. Suva's Fiji's capital with a population of around 200,000. Ironically, the big international airport is in Nadi, on the other side of the island, 2.5 hour drive away. Equally ironically, tourists don't come to Suva a whole lot, because it's actually a city, not a beach resort destination, like the rest of the country!

So, while I've been in Suva so far, I've managed to:
- catch a bit of a rugby match - and I suddenly like rugby a lot! It's a lot like American football, but with the parts that really annoy me taken out - the constant stoppages of play and the extreme specialization. Here, you've got the same seven guys on the field the whole time, and if the one with the ball gets tackled, you just fight to get the ball loose, not stop the play! They also don't wear any pads, which makes all the hitting an interesting proposition. But the players all have to do everything, so no 300 pound lineman who are not even allowed to touch the ball in this game! The match I saw was the final for Marist Sevens, the local tournament here in Fiji used to select the team they will send to Hong Kong Sevens - the big international rugby tournament, in Hong Kong, next month.

The team Fiji is sending to Hong Kong

- go out drinking with the locals... Well, I had to do something in the evening, and the hotel where I was staying seemed pretty devoid of other tourists to hang out with. The bars here are pretty much the same as most bars back home though, including the crowds - a lot more guys than girls, and the girls all flocking together in little groups... So I made friends with a few locals and learned that the they had either started drinking a long time ago, or the Fijians can't hold their liquor - we were taking turns taking shots of beer, and they were getting quite thoroughly drunk! All in all, a fun 'cultural' experience

- there's a botanical garden in Suva... It's wholly underwhelming!

There is a nice clock tower in the garden

- see a movie! Well, the movie theater is air conditioned, it's hot outside, and I couldn't come up with much else to do, so I watched 10,000 BC in a Fijian movie thater. At $5 Fijian (less than $4 USD), it's a good deal too! 10,000 BC is an OK movie at best - somebody really went wild with the CGI in it, but I don't think they did a particularly good job! A loooong set of funny ads predecing the movie, but you do get the standard previews too, so now I've seen the preview for the new Indiana Jones movie - Harrison Ford is looking old!

- have some Indian food. It's kind of like being back in India (the British brought a lot of labor over from India to work on the sugar cane fields here in Fiji, apparently) - there's a lot of Inidian restaurants, and they're generally quite good. Just weird to see samosas on the menu, as opposed to on a street corner!

- Play World of Warcraft, apparently. Currently sitting at an internet cafe (typing this) and everyone around me is playing...

In a little while, I'm off to catch my 15 minute flight to a neighboring island, where I'm going diving tomorrow - looking forward to more shark sitings! Coming soon, hopefully a few picture to accompany all this prose!

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