This was the 16th post (Day 16) of an entire year-long series, which I named ‘Project 365′. The idea was simple enough: travel for a full year and document every day of it, in the form of a daily picture and poem. I am still working on a book of this year-long travel, but till then, enjoy all the posts here. You can check out the daily posts in the details below or jump to the final day of the project by clicking here.
17th July 2014 – Lautoka, Fiji
Soft sand cuddled her toes, And the cool wind kisses her cheek. As the ocean lay bare beyond her, she asked, “Follow me?”. But no answer did she seek.
After a week in Vanuatu, I left towards another island nation in the Pacific. Towards Fiji.
Further Reading: One of my favourite experience in Vanuatu was drinking in a local Kava Bar of Port Vila.
Another Indian in Fiji’s Immigration control
The immigration process at Nadi airport was one of the longest I’ve had so far.
Once they saw my Indian passport, they pulled me off to a side. And then they asked me questions for nearly an hour. And I could understand their predicament. Almost all the Indians who have come to Fiji, have NEVER LEFT! They stayed there for generations, and at one point, 65% of the population of Fiji was Indian. Even now, you can’t take a corner in Nadi without hearing a Hindi song, or running into an Indian face.
My only argument was my passport, exactly a year old. In one year, I had visa stamps from 16 different countries, which included Europe and Australia. Why, I argued, do they expect me to stop and settle in Fiji?
Further Reading: Check out the amazing Indian temples of Fiji!
That settled the discussion. After an hour, I was released from immigration and finally reached the airport exit. I met with my Couchsurfing host Api, who came with his car to pick me up. And we drove to a little village called Viseisei in the fishing town of Lautoka, about 23 KMs away from Nadi.
And there I met Api’s wife Finau, and their gorgeous princess. All of 5 years, she was named Khaleesi! Yep, like Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones! I couldn’t help but start talking to her about Khal Drogo. But I don’t think little Khaleesi understood the context at all.
Finau was down with a toothache, and Api had to go for some work. So, Khaleesi, all smiles, offered me to hold her hand, as she guided me to the beach beyond the village. Like a pup who just found his master, I followed.
The West end of Viseisei is adjacent to the Sapphire bay area, complete with a few different beach resorts. But where I was staying was not the touristy side. In fact, the only thing of interest around the home of Api and Finau, was a small church. The Jone Wesele church was really small, but the given the small population of the town, it did its role reasonably well.