Fiji Time

Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
1
15
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Trip End Apr 02, 2014


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Flag of Fiji  , Viti Levu,
Monday, January 6, 2014

Everyone has heard of the phrase "Island Time".  It's as much a mentality and way of life, as it is peoples' propensity to view a time schedule as somewhat elastic.  Maybe it has to do with the heat, or the fact that you're on vacation... whatever it is, people on island time tend not to rush.

Fijians, however, take this to a whole new level.  Here, it's called "Fiji Time."  And it makes your typical island time look fast-paced.  The locals here like to say, "No Hurry - No Worry".  And this mentality extends to all aspects of life.

No one who drives is in a hurry here.  And that is made obvious by the fact that the national maximum speed limit is only 80 km/h (48 mph).  Despite this, you are more than likely to average less than 60 km/h, considering that the speed limit through most towns and villages is 20 km/h.  And you really can't go much faster than that, even if you wished to, because the main highway that runs through all towns is littered with massive speed bumps.    With this in mind, it is easy to see why the 187 km drive from Nadi (the largest west coast city on Viti Levu - the International Airport is located here) to Suva (the country's Capital City - located on the southeastern corner of the island) can take more than a few hours.  

And nowhere is peoples' propensity to avoid hurrying more evident than in hospitality.  This took a while for us to get accustomed to, considering how the hospitality industry operates in North America.  Here in Fiji, you can consider yourself lucky if you place an order for a drink and it arrives 15 minutes later.  Sometimes that beer you ordered could take a half hour to get there.  But damn!  That nice cold beer will be the best thing you've ever tasted, in this hot, tropical, humid heat.  However, this is where a situation can develop... You see, you cannot nurse a beer here.  It's just too hot!  By the time your beer arrives, the bottle has already begun to sweat.  Within minutes, every slug on the bottle is a mixture of ice cold and quickly-warming beer.  If you haven't finished your beer within 10 minutes, you'd be better off to just order a new drink, because the one sitting in front of you will be warm as [insert preferred metaphor of choice here]... 

Despite this, Fiji TIme is quite contagious.  Within days, we found ourselves to be acclimatized to the slower pace of life.
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