Tag Archives: Fiji Time

On Cloud 9 in Fiji

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Another early night lead to an early morning. Steph and I were up at sunset once again and decided to take our run off the beach and around the island for a little exploring. We headed around the west side of the island to “Sunset Beach” which was completely deserted and perfect for a little beach run. We then hiked around to the south side of the island to check out the wedding chapel (unimpressive) and the honeymoon villas that are separated from the rest of the resort. After having seen every part of this resort and most of the island, I can say with absolute certainty that we were upgraded to the single best villa in the best location on the entire island. Sometimes having a boy’s name and being mistaken for a heterosexual couple prior to arrival really pays off in life.

Morning run on sunset beach
Morning run on sunset beach

To reward ourselves for an aggressive morning we decided to hit the buffet breakfast at the resort. It was shockingly mediocre and full of kids, so we won’t be making that mistake again. I still gorged myself because I have zero self control in any type of “all you can eat” situation. My inner fat kid combined with my Jewish need to get my money’s worth create quite the little buffet whore. After breakfast, we headed over to our favorite activity beach hut to confirm our trip to Cloud 9 that afternoon – more on that later. We spent the rest of the morning chilling in our villa and laying out on our deck. We popped our last bottle of champs around noon, as there was no way I was going to a floating bar in the middle of the ocean sober. We headed back to the beach hut and checked in for our boat trip. Having been to this rodeo before, we knew the boat would be showing up on Fiji time, so we settled in for some people watching on the beach while we waited. Remember the meek Asian couple taking the snorkeling lessons yesterday? Well apparently they are quick learners and decided to upgrade to a kayak today! They even brought along another uncoordinated couple to join them.  There was an Aussie couple who left their three young children, including a baby, with their Grandpa while they went joyriding around on some jet skis. A couple bucks an hour for babysitting, yet you choose to instead make your poor old dad juggle your brood of rugrats while he is on vacation? If I was Grandpa, that shit would be grounds for disinheritance.

China's gold medal kayak team
China’s gold medal kayak team

Our boat finally pulled up and we hopped on with two other girls, one of which was offensively fugly. I thought that perhaps there might even be some sort of facial deformity in play, in which case I should probably refrain from writing about her for karma’s sake, but Steph assured me that she was, in fact, just extremely unattractive. Plus, if I was really worried about Karma I probably should have thought about that 75 blogs ago. Luckily we were on the front of the boat and they sat in the back, because it was the kind of face you just can’t look away from if within your field of peripheral vision.

A swift 20 minute ride later, we were pulling up to Cloud 9, a floating bar in the middle of the ocean complete with an upper deck and a pizza oven. It was as if someone went inception on me and stalked my dreams and then made them a reality. A bar that is only accessible by boat automatically trumps all other bars. Period. End of story. We spent the next few hours guzzling vodka sodas while we lounged on one of the day beds. There were a few big groups of backpackers at the bar, probably spending the last of their dinner money for the next month on drinks. You can always tell they are backpackers because (1) they are shit faced, (2) they are hornier than a JV football team, and (3) they are young, but not enough to give them a free pass on (1) and (2). One of the backpacker girls started begging her group of random backpacker friends for money so that she could buy pot from one of the employees. A hilariously awkward situation ensued in which everyone in the group had to pretend to not have money. This girl was pretty much the antithesis of fiscal responsibility, so I hardly blame them. She did manage to find some money eventually, because about 10 minutes later I saw the deal go down. It’s hard to hide on a tiny floating bar.

We headed back to our resort just in time for happy hour at our villa. For dinner we headed to the Asian “Spa Cuisine” restaurant at the resort. It was pretty much the most awful meal of my life. Problem #1: Children running around screaming. Literally sprinting around people’s tables chasing each other and yelling at the top of their lungs in the middle of a restaurant while their parents leisurely sipped wine as if their children were not solely responsible for ruining the nights of tens of patrons. It’s not even the children’s fault at that point. The blame is entirely on the selfish, entitled, cheap parents who couldn’t be bothered to teach their children manners or at the very least organize a babysitter. Children are a direct reflection of their parents. So if you’re kid is an ass hole, look in the mirror. Problem #2: The waiter. The most awful service I have probably ever encountered in my life, including when I was in New Zealand. And trust me, that’s saying something, because Kiwis suck at service. We took it as a sign that it was time to leave the island. And leave we will, tomorrow.  Mana Island, its been fun.  Mana Island Resort, get your shit together (but thanks for the upgrade!).

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Jorgie gets to Fiji today! The plan is for Jorgie to land and transfer to the marina where she will get on a ferry, meanwhile, Steph and I will take a small boat to an island where we will then transfer to her ferry. Sounds easy enough, unless someone gets a case of “Fiji time” somewhere along the way and fucks the plan up. Steph and I dragged our shit down to the hostel, which is where we were taking our boat transfer from since it was about a third of the price as our resort. We then waited around for our boat “Captain” to get some fuel. I use the term “Captain” loosely here, as our boat was basically a glorified canoe with a motor. But it did the trick and we made it to Beachcomber island in time to meet the ferry. Just to give you some background, Beachcomber island is the notorious backpacker party island in Fiji. They even have a dorm room with sixty beds in it. Given Fiji’s proximity to Australia, I don’t think we can even fathom the amount of Chlamydia that gets passed around that barn of drunken backpackers. The best way I can describe it is if someone made Lord of the Flies into a porno. Thankfully, our stay on Beachcomber lasted all of 10 minutes. We boarded Beachcomber transfer boat to get to the ferry, at which point a Surly Fijian woman demanded we pay her $10 for the transfer since we were not guests on that island. I tried to argue, but seeing as how our only other option was to stay trapped on the island of disillusioned, drunken youth, she had our feet over the fire.

Ten dollars and ten minutes later the three musketeers where reunited on our way to Waya Island in the Yasawa group, arguably the most beautiful islands in all of Fiji. After a smooth hour and a half ride we pulled up to a huge island with striking green mountains and long stretches of white sand. The longest stretch of sand is home to Octopus Resort, which would be our home for the next few days. We disembarked and were stuffed onto tiny little boats to transfer to the island. We walked straight into paradise where we were greeted, handed welcome drinks, and directed to our beach hut. We decided to toast to our Fijian reunion with some duty free vodka in said welcome drinks. After settling in, it was time for lunch. The way Octopus resort works is basically like the most awesome summer camp you’ve ever been to. We sleep in what are essentially fancy cabins on the beach (with outdoor showers!), there is an activities board where you simply sign up for whatever strikes your fancy, and you eat all your meals in a central open-air dining hall with your feet in the sand. After lunch, we continued to hit the duty free vodka freely while we blew up our amazon prime pool rafts and settled in for a drunken day by the pool.

This is where shit gets a little awesomely weird. We quickly found ourselves surrounded by a few children who were splashing around in the pool. Normally this would be reason enough for an abrupt location change, however the vodka was coursing through my veins and I was feeling charitable. I took it upon myself to teach the children the rules of the pool that were taught to me so many years ago by my mother. Rule #1 – when adults are floating in a pool, stay the fuck out of their sun. Rule #2 – it is the responsibility of the children to keep the adults from overheating in the sun by periodically splashing them gently with water. To my shock and awe, the kids took to this little game of “splash the nice American ladies” amazingly well. Our favorite kid, a little Russian boy who we called “D-Money”, spent HOURS sitting on the edge of the pool spraying us with his water gun upon request. This, my friends, is why you have kids. So you can train them to make your life more enjoyable upon request. What do you do when you get a dog? You teach it to sit for its food, or course. Why should kids be any different? Yes, I just compared kids to dogs. I know, that’s really not a fair comparison. Sorry dogs, I swear I didn’t mean it.

By about 5pm we were good and sloshed. Hence why you got no blog yesterday. Frankly, I’m not terribly keen on writing this one while I stare at the beautiful beach in front of me, so I’ll make the rest quick. We napped, showered, went to dinner half asleep. It was uneventful and we were in bed around 8:30pm. Tomorrow we go on the HIKE FROM HELL. It might take a while until I can gain enough perspective to write about that hike from a place of humor. I’m currently exhibiting signs of PTSD and need to grab another beer.

The Friendmoon Diaries: Fiji Edition

The eve of my Fiji trip is finally upon us.  And thank god, because I’ve been stuck in the USA for over three months and the travel itch needs to be scratched.  Not to mention this is my last opportunity for reconnaissance before I have to decide what country to move to should Trump be elected president.  Who am I kidding, it’ll obviously be Costa Rica.  This originally started out as a trip to China so that I could check a few of the obligatory tourist sights off the list (Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, etc).   After my initial research, it came to my attention that I would fucking hate China.  Aggressive crowds, a general lack of respect for personal space, squat toilets, no access to gmail, and the acceptance of dog as a form of meat product made me start to second guess my decision immediately.  Once I found out that real Chinese food includes none of the Panda Express menu items, it was game over.  So I moved China to the Rick Steves retirement tour list and it was back to the drawing board.   At this point I was mentally exhausted out from all the mock Asia travel planning and decided a well deserved beach vacation was in order.  Enter: Fiji.  It was a quick sell to the girls, as I have seldom allowed them a completely laid back beach vacation over our years of travel.  What can I say, I’m getting lazy in my old age.

Speaking of the girls, let’s meet the team for this trip. They are blog veterans.  That’s right my friends, the mean girls are back in action for the first time in 2016!  I’m sure you all remember Katie (aka Jorgie) and Steph from the Sardinia/France and Thailand trips.  Not to mention the 13 other countries I have traveled to with one or both of them B.B. (before blog).   We are no strangers to threesome beach bumming.  We have perfected the art of fitting three plates, three wine glasses, and a few appetizers onto a tiny little table meant for two.  We are experts at breaking up the sets of double beach chairs to awkwardly shove three together, while rotating our one umbrella around as needed.  I even through together a little slideshow from the archives to prove it…

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Since you are already familiar with our little tribe of friendmooners, we’ll skip the introductions this time.  Instead, I’ll use this pre-trip blog to share some fun facts about Fiji with you:

  1.  “Fiji Time” is real.  And it might be the death of me.  This is exactly what it sounds like; an excuse to completely disrespect other people’s time and patience under the guise of a “cultural norm”.  I’ve gotta call bullshit.  Let’s call this what it really is: a mixture of laziness, apathy, and selfishness.  I have estimated that I will be told “relax, you’re on Fiji time!” about 100 times over the course of this trip.  Let me outline the flaw in this statement: since when does wanting to get shit done in a timely and efficient manner automatically classify you as an uptight pain in the ass?  Frankly, I find the complete disregard for productivity downright negligent and borderline sociopathic.    Do I act like a total cunt and then just write it off as “Rory Time”?  No!  Because while I may be a bitch, I’m not a delusional one.  I acknowledge it.  I may not apologize for it, but at least I’m calling a spade a fucking spade.  Just be real with me.  Just say “you know what lady, your snorkel tour is going to start an hour late just because I’m lazy/hungover/just like to fuck with annoying tourists”.  I’ll still be pissed, but at least you’ll have a shred my respect.    With this all being said, I still have to behave like a good little tourist and respect this “cultural difference”.  Luckily I have developed a method for abiding by “Fiji Time” while simultaneously combating “Rory Time”.  It’s a little thing I like to call “Xanax time”.
  2.   Fijians = Cannibals.  At least until the 1800s.  Native Fijian tribes used to actually eat people.  And sacrifice them.   The last reports of cannibalism were some unlucky  missionaries a few hundred years ago.  Apparently the gospel has spread since then and eating god’s humble servants is now a no-no.  I have to point out here you would never see a Jew getting eaten for the sake of proselytizing our religion.  We don’t play that shit.  I just want to state for the record that the only thing I am willing to sacrifice on this trip is a day to the international date line.  And even then, I want it back on my way home.  Should there be some bizarre natural disaster that necessitates a cannibalism revitalization, I am confident that I won’t be the first tourist chosen.  But I also won’t be the last.  #thighslikewhat
  3. Kava is their hallucinogen of choice.  Here is the scoop on Kava.  It’s a communal, plant based drink that symbolizes community and togetherness.  In the spirit of calling things like I see it, it’s the Fijians drink of choice to chill with friends or family at the end of a long day and get a little loose.  Or, when a case of “Fiji time” strikes, something to pack for your afternoon lunch at work.  Word on the street is that is tastes like dirt and is offered to tourists in a ceremony of sorts where a cup is passed around.  Since I’m not exactly a stranger to passing things around in a circle of friends, and this drink is supposed to make you more adaptable to good old “Fiji Time”, I’m thinking I might have to give this one a try.   Not to worry, I will report back after I have spit it out and gone in search of vodka.

So what can you expect from my Fiji trip?  Given the fact that booze is even more expensive than prompt service out on the islands, I would say that my alcoholism will probably be somewhat contained on this trip.  That was obviously sarcasm. I’m just going to get drunk expensively.  You can expect me to complain about “Fiji Time” at least ten times (once per day should suffice).  I just found out there is a New Zealand school holiday while I’m in Fiji, so given the geographic proximity of NZ to Fiji, I would imagine that you can expect a few rants about my utter disdain for other people’s children.  I’m no stranger to the Kiwi’s “zero fucks” attitude, so I can only dread how that will manifest itself into a lack of discipline when it comes to their parenting skills.

Oh, you wanted the positives?  Well, since my life is essentially one long endeavor to get myself on a boat, interspersed with half-hearted attempts at being a contributing member of society, there will definitely be quite a few nautical adventures.  I’ll be aggressively tan.  I’ll do some snorkeling.  Although my definition of snorkeling is drinking a beer while floating in a clear body of water.  You say potato… I will burn through every book on my kindle.  I’ll hop through some of the most beautiful islands in the world and lounge on hammocks while watching insanely beautiful sunsets and drinking absurdly expensive cocktails (because I am rich, bitch! ok maybe not – but I’m good at pretending to be).  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – my friendmoon is gonna kick your honeymoon’s ass.  Minus that whole not getting laid thing.  You got me there, honeymooners.