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So i'm making it sound worse than it is probably. Still, the part of Fiji that we're um trapped in isn't the postcard fantasy you've probably seen. It's not crystal clear waters or rolling surf or perfect weather or a fantastic value. But I guess after we've been to some of the most fabulous places in the last 3 months, Fiji might be a bit of a disappointment. Because all of a sudden we got budget concious, probably because we can feel the nearing return to Big Bowl, smiling and nodding, brainlessly asking, " And which sauce would you like with that? Rice or noodles? Oh! Great choice!" sarcasm, sarcasm, we booked into a cute little resort on the main island of Viti Levu mainly because the description said that they hada big pool, free breakfast and were only a 25 dollar cab ride from the air port. What we didn't know was that this place is a25 dollar cab ride to ANYWHERE and since we're not keen on that, we're subject to isolation (which is okay except that we're also subject to:), hugely inflated resort rates on food (7 dollar pringles), drinks (8 dollar smoothies -where are my 40 cent banana shakes?!?! Oh, that's right, hey're in Thailand!) and16 dollar cocktails. So much for our dream of laying by the pool with a constant flow of banana shakes all week. Certainly not at 8 bucks a pop! Our room is a haven which is great! big huge futon type bed, deck, wooden slatted windows, solid oak doors. We have a tv but since the cable was cut and then twisted back together our reception is funky and limited to ESPN (Ryan is uber happy and I'm learning to love shows like "Pardon the Interruption" and "Around the Horn"), National Geaographic channel, Fiji Tourism Channel and then one channel that alternates between MTV and BBC news. Weird. Not that we're in our room watching TV all the time, but since we've run out of lotion and sunblock we have to pace ourselves with the sun, careful not top burn ourselves as there's no real remedy except a 20 dollar bottle of sunblock from reception. So we wake up, eat as much breakfast as possible, head for the pool until about noon, retreat to our room to play scrabble and watch ESPN (tigers v yankees yesterday and college football today) and then head back to the pool about 3:30 to catch the last 2 hours of daylight and watch sunset. We maybe smaple a happy hour beer or house wine (the only thing in thewhole place priced at less than 5 dollars) and then have dinner in the cheaper of the two restraunts at about 6. We're starving most of the day. Yesterday we walked and walked down a dirt raod past 2 oil company warehouses to find a store. I think it was a store. It was a room, dirty as Egypt with stuff everywhere, in boxes hanging off shelves and laying on the florr. A guy came out from a back room, let us in and then asked us what we wanted. I guessed that they had ramen noodles because of a dusty sign hanging in the front window, we bought 5 packs to stave off midday hunger pangs, and two bottles of soda to ration among the noext 4 days, just incase blood sugar slips too low. Really we are being stubborn and refusing to succumb to the extreme prices simply because we are trapped in our third world paradise. And it is a paradise of sorts. For 2 people too travel weary to do anything but lay in the sun and swim in the pool. There is no beach to speak of. Just a rocky patch that gets covered up with water when the tide is high. The pool is huge and if you can catch it at a time when the owner of the resort's 10 year old and posse aren't screaming and splashing and oggling my boobs, it's quite lovely. I think my boobs are of particular interest because they are the only breasts under 70 years of age here at the moment. Sometimes when I sit on the beach chair and look out across the water I imagine that we'd just sucked it up and spent the extra 2 hunderd bucks to venture off the main island. Then we'd be stranded with Brooke Sheilds in the place where the Blue Lagoon was filmed. Maybe then my boobs would have some peace. But ce la vie. Here we are trapped in paradise, a little hungry, with dry sunburned skin laing the days away because really, we don't have a choice. And maybe that's exactly what we needed to make us certain that we want to come home. 4 days and we hop on our flight to LA provided that the category 5 typhoon hovering over the pacific doesn't impede our journey by stranding us here (the winds are wicked -we thought it was just fiji but there are wind advisoriesdue to the storm somewhere out there over the blue). Happy Birthday to Holly and Heather (Ryan's twin sisters)! And to Dylan in a few days (Ryan's nephew)! This is likely our last blog from the road. We'll be writing a conclusion to this story when we get back to Minneapolis. Thank you all so much for coming with us! We love you all and can't wait to see you in a couple of days! LOVE LOVE LOVE from Fiji!

CRT and RPK


Trapped in a third-world paradise


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posted 01 September 2006

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