Chapter 3: Happy Endings in Fiji (dirty massage-parlour style? … occasionally)
Our experience with Fiji was bittersweet before it even began. Arriving in Nadi meant we had only eight days left before the end of FANZ. Eight days until our trip of a lifetime was over. Eight days that had to count.
Fiji’s addition to FANZ was truly an example of whim. We had been at the Travel CUTS office in Victoria, preparing to book our flights and “Experience” bus tours in Australia and New Zealand. We waited our turn patiently, our mother making friends with other customers while my sister and I flipped through the “Experience” brochures making last minute decisions.
We both came across the page at the same time, FIJI EXPERIENCE (all caps). We skimmed quickly and then did a second read through just to be sure, each so in tune with what the other was thinking after years of perfecting telepathy.
Julia, “I want to go to Fiji!”
Me, “I want to go to Fiji!”
We paused, vibrating with excitement, smiles spreading across our faces.
Together, “Let’s go to Fiji!”
It didn’t take much to convince my Mother who was just as excited about our trip as we were. Our travel agent joined us in smiling, the ch’ching mantra adopted by all commission-based salesmen obviously running through her head.
After the initial booking, and the subsequent and deserved disapproval of our father, my sister and I didn’t talk much about Fiji. As our 8 day afterthought it didn’t really factor into our planning. We knew that we were going and that the bus tour would take us around Viti Levu, starting and ending in Nadi. We knew that we had three free days that were unaccounted for in the tour and that we would have to figure out accommodation and activities, but we were not concerned. (Something that is so out of line with the obsessive planning of the rest of the trip.)
Still, Fiji is the type of place that just begs to be explored on a whim. Island time, my friends.