Thursday, December 11, 2003

More From Fiji (4 of lots)

That night, we had a "lovo," a feast where the food was cooked for hours under hot rocks in a pit.  Tasty stuff.  (The chicken came out dry, but the pork was delicious.  Also a local sweet potato, which tasted suspiciously like our regular potatoes.)

This was our last night on the island, so we had a bonfire on the beach.  A lot of the passengers (including the young college-aged girls who'd just wanted to party) turned in early.  About 8 or 10 of us took our drinks out to the bonfire and just sat around it and talked. There was a full moon that night which was REALLY BRIGHT whenever the clouds cleared -- of course it would be, there was no ambient light from the village to lighten the view of the heavens.  (There was talk of a late night skinny dip were the moon not so bright.)  It was great and I didn't want to leave.  I finally turned in just shy of midnight -- by that time, there were only five of us left out there:  the four passengers who were travelling alone, and one crew guy.

The rest of the crew was back in the main hut -- singing, dancing, and drinking kava.  (Just crew.  They weren't entertaining passengers; they were having their own little party.)  The crew guy with us explained that Fijian villages (as opposed to the big cities) have no alcohol, so kava is the drink of choice.  (I was told kava: made you sleepy; made you fertile; was an aphrodisiac; and was a muscle relaxant.  All I noticed was it made my tongue tingle.)  He also said guitar music and dancing was pretty much all they did to have fun of an evening.  I reconsidered my earlier evaluation of the crew not enjoying the "welcome singing" thing twice a week -- I think this crowd DEFINITELY liked making music.

Crew guy went back in to bring out a plate of leftovers for us.  By this time, I'd mentioned in passing that I was Jewish, and when I snacked on some pork, he said, "You're Jewish; you shouldn't be eating pork."  I figured this was not the time for a discourse on reform Judaism and my decision not to keep kosher, so I grinned my evillest grin, popped the pork in my mouth and said, "That's why it's so much fun."  He went back in for a second plate.

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