Day 1,863 of Traveling the World | Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji | March 10, 2023

Delightful Suva, capital city of Fiji on the main island, Viti Levu. We heard many more greetings of “Bula!” from most people we passed. And, of course, you must answer each person. This in turn gives them the opportunity to engage in conversations with us, which many did. Everyone here is unusually friendly, open, and curious.

The original intention in forming the City of Suva was that it be developed as a cotton farming industry center so as to pay off debts owed to the US. This was the idea of the Bauan chieftain, Seru Epinesa Cakobau, but both the land and the climate proved to be unsuitable for growing cotton.

At the large public market across the street from the port, we saw many unusual fruits and vegetables. We met Karuna, who sells produce there. She was very friendly and gave us all sorts of information. It was a little slow when we were there, but she said on Saturdays, the place is jumping! You can see her photo below in not one, but two photos.

So, we wandered around, as usual, taking photos of things that caught our attention because they were beautiful, or fun, or funny, or unusual. If you have read our blog before, you know that we don’t do the usual travel blogs, and we don’t make money on this, of course. We just write it for our friends and families and as a diary for ourselves. We looked back at our blog of our visit here four years ago, and are always surprised by the information that is there (but that we certainly wouldn’t repeat!).

Perfect day in Downtown Suva!
Our cruise ship, the Oceania Regatta, docked for the day.
We asked a local what this tree was with the pretty orange blossoms. He shrugged, and said, “we call it a rain tree.”
The ship passengers were met by a Police Band playing Sweet Caroline. In Fiji, police officers wear skirts with a serrated hem, as you can see. They returned to serenade us upon our departure!
Some boats just dying to get loose and head into the ocean, where they belong.
A pretty display of produce for sale. (You will meet the pretty owner in a minute!)
We didn’t know what the white root was, nor the bundled reddish tubers….
…so we asked Karuna! Very vibrant and eager to speak with us, Koruna quickly became our Fijian friend and font of information. The white root in the previous photo is cassava, the most cultivated and consumed crop on Fiji. The reddish one is dalo, which we know as taro, another huge seller in Fiji.
A long shot of the whole market.
These perfect bunches of small bananas came directly from the trees.
We get very spoiled in the US with very nice-looking fruit and vegetables. Like with these coconuts, Fijians salvage the good ones and pay a much lower price for their scavenging.
Every fruit or veg sold in multiples were marked with a dollar amount “per heap.” We would say per bunch or per basket, but everywhere we saw heaps (i.e., heaps of heaps).
Many shots of eggplant for sale were taken by us. We don’t know why, just that they looked so colorful and uniform, and were displayed so neatly.
Long, LONG string beans! We have never seen any like these!
These necklace-leis are laced with candy, something we have seen previously in this part of the world. They are popular with children.
We asked the woman selling this beverage if it was KAVA, the local, commonly-used, slightly psychoactive drug. She said no, it was herbal medicine!!
Really – American sports figures are revered throughout the world. We rarely see local sports stars on shirts as we travel.
The shoe repair man. We asked if his hands had blisters from pushing needles through thick leather. Nope! He showed us his unblemished hands.
Presumably, this should say, “best stitchers,” unless it means they leave people in stitches?
Yum! Have you waited all of your life for tuna sausages?? We suspect there is a reason they are not common around the world.
We are presuming that this is a public bus since there is a sign saying, “No cash.” Very unusual to see “Jesus, No Other Name, No Other Way” on a bus.
This pretty walkway, just across from the port, is called the Refurbished Terry Walk and Newly-Constructed Public Convenience, since at the end, there are public restrooms.
They are just paper rabbits (getting ready for Easter!), but they made for a lovely space decoration.
How could we NOT photograph the Awesomeness Glory Boutique?
There are an awful lot of signs and messages in Fiji about avoiding corruption, scammers, and now – skimmers, on an ATM machine.
How often do you see spearguns for sale in the US???
One of the remaining balconied buildings from Fiji’s colonial past.
Handmade wooden masks and other items were for sale along the ocean walkway. A young man carving a wooden totem here handed it to us and urged us to “just take it.” We explained that we don’t have anywhere to put such things, being homeless, and so he relented.
A colorful array of children’s blow-up animals.
Ready for a kiss!
A silly mascot outside a coffee shop.

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