Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Miasmic time travel and other miscellany

Miasma. Now that's a word that doesn't get used very often in the 21st century. However, sometimes it's the only word that can be used to describe the atmosphere here.

We had a very hot sweaty walk at Colo i Suva park with Mike and David on the day before they returned to the UK (squeezed in between lab treatments - they were working!) Anna finally got her chance to go on the rope swing which she did with grace. I declined the offer -  having had three frozen shoulders in the last five years, I have to choose my thrills carefully. The last part of our walk was a slog uphill at which point, Anna began to feel a little poorly, which I put down to the heat. David also looked like he might collapse from heat exhaustion, though this was almost certainly due to the rum consumed the previous night. The air was thick with what the Victorians would call vapours. We finally reached the waterfall, took our shoes off and cooled down as much as we could while eating tuna sandwiches. Anna should not have eaten that sandwich, poor poppet.

The most flattering shot - no one looks great while swinging on a rope, arms and legs akimbo.

In the taxi on the way back, David fell asleep and Anna tried to cool herself down by leaning with her head partly out of the window to catch the momentum-generated breeze. She went straight to bed when we got home and appeared around two hours later to be sick in the most spectacular fashion on the stairs (and up the wall - I had to stand on tip-toes to clean it). Poor thing was sick on and off the rest of the night.  I was a little alarmed the next day when she woke babbling about time travelling when I put my hand on her warm brow, but she explained that she'd been dreaming after watching the Time Traveller's Wife to distract herself the night before.

Of course, as soon as she got sick, I was going through a mental list of tropical diseases. Malaria? Yellow fever? Some sort of parasite from the swim? Fortunately it turned out to be a 24 bug - probably  just a bout of food poisoning, which was overdue as we've been eating out an obscene amount.

We had a day of rest, then went into town to look for a ukulele and a school bag for Anna (both unsuccessful). You have to understand, the shopping opportunities are limited. Outside of the bigger department stores, there are little streets of small Indian-style shops. Some selling beautiful saris, others selling miscellaneous stuff so that it difficult to categorise them. What do you call a shop that sells bleach, sponges, plastic pinwheels and Jesus candles? There are also street stalls, selling locally grown fruit, vegetables, fish, flowers, crafts and some tourist tat (but not much - this is not a tourist town).

The flower stalls.

There is also a multiplex cinema, where Anna and I can get two tickets, plus share a small drink and popcorn for the princely sum of £7 total. While Mike and David were here, we went to see my first Bollywood movie, called Heroine. It was quite an education. First, even though it was subtitled, about a third of the dialogue was in English. It went something like this: "Hindi, Hindi, Hindi...You look sexy, babes...Hindi, Hindi, Hindi...What are you doing this weekend, babes?" They called each other babes a lot in this film. Also, despite having a lot of pressure on the industry to be chaste, the lingering shots of writhing scantily clad female bodies appears to be okay as long as they are dancing. David pointed out that if they'd played the slow-motion shots at regular speed, it would have been half the length (which was very long and included an intentional intermission). The shocked reaction from the audience during a mild (suggested) lesbian scene was definitely liked travelling back in  time.

You can see the poster for Heroine - very risqué indeed.

From the bridge between the flowers and the cinema looking out to Suva Harbour.

Most of the stuff in the supermarket is recognisable, though not always desirable (farmer's tinned mutton? I don't think so.) I still haven't provisioned the kitchen properly and won't do until our shipment arrives from the UK arrives at the end of October. I didn't send any food (except Rington's tea bags), but have sent knives, measuring cups and things like that. My neighbours had a tombola to split up our liquor cupboard (with the proviso that they have to come up with a dish for each of the bottles they take home) and our friend, David, said that he had to built an extra cupboard in his kitchen just for the condiments that he rescued from ours. I'm looking forward to a time when ramen isn't a normal meal option, I've got more than three spices to season with and I can actually measure quantities with something other than the cup that came with the rice cooker...when it doesn't feel like we're camping in our own house any more.

Laundry soap in a fascinating format. 

 Anna demonstrates size of laundry soap (and, no, it doesn't work, according to Mela).

This aisle is for the very old, very young and very bored.

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