Tag Archives: Fiji

Aloha from Manoa

I’m off to the land of rubbish, poi (aka paste) and Portuguese Sausage.    I’ll be back in three weeks.

Speaking of poi.   Poi is made from the root of the Taro plant and it really does taste and look like paste.  Two finger poi (thick) or three finger poi (thin), it’s all paste to me.  Grey paste.

Last year I was in Fiji and I attended a feast put on by the locals.  In Fiji they serve Taro differently.  They sliced the root,  and then fried it or maybe baked it, I cannot be sure.  They then prepared a topping made of taro leaves.  Sliced Taro root with a cooked leaf topping.  It was pretty good.   Way better than poi.

The meal was prepared in the same manner in both places (baked in a hole with warm rocks and covered with leaves).  They share a similar culture and heritage.  Too bad Hawaii didn’t get Taro preparation tips from Fiji.

Bye for now, Aloha….oh and Bula too.

Rubbish and Speed Bumps

Last fall I was out of the country for a few weeks, traveling in Fiji and New Zealand.  I love the odd little surprises encountered along the way when visiting a place for the first time.

New Zealand has rubbish containers.  I grew up in Hawaii and in Hawaii trash is frequently referred to as rubbish….but I never knew….it is common in New Zealand too.  For years Hawaii has had signs that encourage travelers not to litter by saying Do Not Throw Rubbish over Bridge.   UNDER OR ALONG the bridge is apparently OK.

Imagine my surprise when I encountered Rubbish containers in New Zealand.  Here, there, everywhere.  Rubbish containers are right next to the recycling containers at most restaurants and in parks.   A use of the English language that I thought particularly Hawaii, was more widespread.  Who knew.

When I am asked about Fiji, I comment that I liked the place even if I felt a bit isolated. Small towns, lots of agricultural land; everything is pretty spread out.  The distance from the International Airport at Nadi to Suva, the capitol is about 200 kilometers.   Google maps calculates the driving time at 2 hours 39 minutes.   They were on a different island than the one I visited.

The one main road….well….it works on Fiji time. The main island has a semi paved highway near the coast that is the main transport between  Nadi and Suva, the Queens Highway.  The road has an 80 kilometer speed limit and many local police officers with radar guns to enforce the maximum.

All along the road are many small towns with slower speed limits, and speed bumps.   I have encountered speed bumps in odd places before, but never on the major highway between the two major cities of a country.

Each individual town has a town speed limit, frequently it’s 50 kph or less.  And the speed bumps are a challenge at any speed over about 20 kph … and they are everywhere.   Most noteworthy, one town had 7 speed bumps in about 1 kilometer.  That works out to one every 500 feet.   Drivers accelerate to 50 in between the bumps only to slow again as they approach them.  Fascinating.

If you are planning to drive from Nadi to Suva, figure 3 1/2 to 4 hours travel time.  Relax and look around, it’s a beautiful drive.