Bula Bula! We were greeted by everyone with this Fijian “Hello!” As we walked around Suva, many people smiled at us and said Bula…but never hello. When talking amongst themselves, Fijian was the chosen language, but all the signage in all the shops and restaurants was in English. The three main languages are Fijian (with over 200 dialects), English, and Hindustani. As a colony under British rule for 96 years, indentured laborers from India were brought to Fiji in the late 19th/early 20th centuries to work on the sugar plantations.
Fiji is an island nation with over 300 islands, 112 of which are inhabited. So, there is no single island called Fiji. The capital city is Suva, located on the southeast coast on the island of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. All of today’s photos were taken in Suva, in and around the port. There are lots of trees and flowers, and a very bustling downtown retail area. You can see some jewelry and interesting artwork for sale. There are still a few buildings with colonial architecture still remaining, reminiscent of British rule. We enjoyed seeing a restaurant in a food court called Meet Pie King, which sold savory meat pies. The last two photos were taken in the waterfront park. We are not sure why the human heart is smoking and drinking and is being circled by fish. We are guessing that it loses something in the cultural translation. But the last photo is familiar to everyone in the developed world….the death of the pay phone. Some communities have turned them into defibrillators or tourist information kiosks, but apparently Fiji has just let them deteriorate….quite an eyesore.