Saturday, May 7, 2011
So Fiji is not my favorite place. It is pretty, don't get me wrong, but I don't care for the pressure and the trickery involved in getting people to buy goods. Let me explain.
After my tour today of the town of Suva and the Suva Museum (dedicated to the art of cannibalism), I went for a quick walk around town before heading back to the ship. I spoke with one local, who absconded with me to a local t-shirt shop, speaking in their native tongue that roughly translated as "If he buys something, don't forget it was ME who brought him."
I didn't buy anything.
So I walked along the waterfront heading back to the ship, and just before I got to the gate, yet another very friendly artisan sticks out his hand and asks me where I am from. I tell him I am from North Carolina. "Ah, the states! How is Obama?" he asks. I tell him Obama had a great week. I try to walk away. He motions me over to his table of carved wooden objects. He picks one up.
"What is your name?" he asks.
"Michael" I say.
And I kid you not, from the time the word "Michael" came out of my mouth, he had carved my name on one of the pieces of wood. A knife of some sort. Ugly.
"What is your last name?" he asks, picking up another one.
"Really?" he says, eyes lighting up.
"Believe it or not." I am thinking he will probably misspell it "B-E-A-C-H".
He wraps up the knives in newspaper and hands them to me.
"My family is very poor. Give me ten dollars for these."
Are you freaking kidding me? Not to mention, I only had three singles in my wallet.
"I'll give you two," I say, frustrated that I totally got suckered into this.
Thankfully, Jemma walks by and says hello. My way out of this. I take the rolled up items and walk away, somewhat ashamed that i only had two dollars, but more ashamed that i got myself into the situation to begin with.
Jemma and I get back to the ship, and I show her the knives I just bought for two dollars. The first one says "MICHALE", and the second one says... and I kid you not... "BITCH".
That's how it sounds in Fijian, I suppose. Michale Bitch.
Enjoy the pics from Fiji. I made a friend, as you will see.