It`s 8:30am Christmas morning here in Fiji and I`m sitting in a small café in the Nadi airport awaiting my flight`s boarding call. Celine Dion Christmas carols are blaring throughout the gate lounges and a few random people are sporting Santa hats. If it weren`t for those two factors, it probably would not feel like Christmas at all. I`m wearing a sundress, sandals, and sunglasses on my head. I`m sporting a pretty decent tan (if I do say so myself), and clutching a bottle of water to deal with the intensity of the heat here in Fiji.
Yesterday, after spending an hour or so on the beach at Mango Bay, I got a drive up to the main road with the owner to await the local bus that would take me back to Nadi. As we made out way toward town, I was amazed at all of the people on the streets in both the towns of Sigatoka and Nadi. The waves of people in the shops was even more overwhelming than midnight tax free days at the Mic Mac Mall or Friday nights at E-Mart in Sanbon. It seemed as though everyone was out running last minute Christmas errands. Upon arriving in Nadi 2 ½ hours later, I stopped by an internet café to try and upload some of my pictures, but it seems as though internet connections are also on "Fiji Time" (haha).
Once I finished up on the internet, I could not resist the urge to buy myself something nice for Christmas. Next thing I knew, the clerk was offering me $10 off of each of three dresses I had tried on, and I ended up walking out with all of them! My inability to resist deals is a weakness of mine, especially at Christmas.
Anyways, I grabbed a cab back to the Novotel hotel and spent the evening watching 7th Heaven (because it was the only thing on), eating tempura delivered to me by room service, and trying on my new dresses. As awesome a time as I am having traveling, it saddens me to think that I will soon have to go back to work. If there`s one thing that I have learned thus far, it is that backpacking the South Pacific is extremely expensive by backpacking standards. Nothing comes cheap, and absolutely nothing comes free! If I want to hit all of the destinations on my 2008 travel list, it is time to refill my bank account... (of course it is with great sadness that I admit this)