Thursday, January 5, 2012

Around the World: Nadi

January 5, 1992

Back in Nadi after a fairly uneventful bus ride from Lautoka.  I found a place to stay and gave it a thorough inspection for uninvited six legged flying guests. There are screens on the windows, and I know I'm in Fiji because there is no light in the bathroom.

It is unbelievably hot.  I can't even begin to describe the intensity of the heat.  At the hotel bar, the two ladies tending the cafe joined me for lunch while I tried to find a beverage that would keep me hydrated long enough to actually drink it.  They mentioned a beach, just a short walk from the hotel, down the road and around the corner.  A dip in the ocean.  Sounds like heaven.

Towel and water in hand, I start making the short walk to the beach.  The road I've been instructed to follow bends to the left just up in the distance.  When I arrive at the bend, the road continues, bending to the right.  At that point, the road continues and bends and continues and bends.  I have consumed more than half of the water I brought with me, which is now the temperature of tea.  I'm on an island so there is obviously a beach somewhere, but not here, where it would be most useful to me now.

Disappointed and dehydrated, I walk back to the hotel and straight into my room.  Flip flops, bathing suit and beach jumper still on, I continue straight into the shower and stand under the spray of cold water until I am shivering.  Perhaps a quiet day preparing for the flight to Sydney tomorrow, close to an ample supply of cold water is for the best.

The beds in the dorm are odd.  The four bunk beds are stacked three high, connected to metal poles that are secured floor to ceiling.  There's no conceivable way to get up to the top bunk, no ladder, no steps, no trampoline.  I only hope there's also no giant, bionic bugs.

Yes, these things are actually this big.
Photo by Anastayshere

I'm woken up by a storm pummeling the metal roof.  The rain sounds hard enough to puncture through the structure, if not the island itself.  The ferocious thunder rips through the air, shredding through my body, making me feel like a plucked guitar string.  The lightning is so intense, it transforms the blackness of a small island in the vastness of the Pacific into daylight for several seconds.  In those moments where the room is temporarily lit, I can see the metal pole supports of the beds are all covered with cockroaches.  

• ¤ •

"There are times when fear is good.
It must keep its watchful place at the heart's controls."