Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes -- On Picturesque Fiji

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Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

Picturesque Fiji

I drove to Suva and back to Lautoka the other weekend and marvelled at the many people in villages, settlements and homes-on-their-own, selling things on the roadside. I saw coconuts, dalo, cassava, oranges, lemons, chili, fish, crabs, sasa brooms, pickles, prawns, bu (fresh young coconuts), pawpaw, bele, live chicken, and much more.

There are places along the highway where we see citizens with their cars parked under shady trees and the bonnet used as a display. We see many types of fruit and vegetables, and it being a Sunday I spotted a few where whole families were waiting patiently for customers. Many of these people are in very lonely places and when one stops you can see the whole family smile. Because you bring them money and a chance to speak to someone else. You are an opportunity!

In other places  I passed whole groups where stalls have been erected and the places look like a mini markets. 
I saw little boys playing with friends, men sitting away with their basin of yaqona and the women “manning” the stalls with their daughters. There were some homes in places so far away from other homes that I usually wonder what the people’s income is.  

One home I came past can only be described as something straight from a fairy tale.  The home is painted a light purple —or is it sky blue, I can’t really say what colour it is. And the grass in the yard is so nicely cut you wonder if it is a bowling green. The home is surrounded with flower gardens with hibiscus in full bloom.  Several other flowers make it a sight for sore eyes, it’s so colourful. To add to the description of the little home, it's quaintly picturesque.  And on the road side was a table full of pumpkins,  and sasa brooms standing proudly in makeshift stands looking majestic,  saying, “Take me.  I will clean your home well.” 

In the past when you drive from Suva to Lautoka, homes were few and far between. It is not like that anymore. People have built homes in places that are so isolated, it seems they want to live far away from the maddening crowd. But one must have a car to live so faraway and I didn’t see a TV antenna, or signs of electricity, and I didn’t see a garage. 

I said to myself, these people must have a very peaceful, quiet and wonderful life. I would like to live  there and just while the time away in my little garden oblivious to what was going on in the world. I  would go down to the stream and catch prawns and fish from the nearby river. With abundant land, I would be self sufficient in root crop and vegetables, and I would probably not have a fridge. I would have live chickens (or as we call it here,  jangli murgi) and never use oil or eat fried foods. From time to time I would climb up into the mountains and from the highest peak look around to the many parts of Fiji and survey my “kingdom” while everything’s still.

Heck.  I’m getting carried away. But I know what I will be doing next time I travel to Suva. I will 
stop at that quaint little home, say hello and find out if I can tarry a while.


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