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Saturday, November 30, 2002
Today (Saturday) we got up early to look for a car again .. so after breakfast and shower we head of to our "favorite" car dealer .. and what a surprise, while the Toyota Echo we have seen 2 weeks ago was gone, we saw a more compact model of the same car, which for the first time we had seen the night before ... in silver ... we looked ... and I actually took it out onto the roads of Suva to test drive it (well .. it was more testing my abilities on left sided traffic .. but fun) .. but to talk about the price we had to talk to the boss, who was not in.
We then went to the USP book store again and the to Cost-U-Less .. where we did some first household shopping ... I also got us some nice sliced salmon, which we have not had in quite some time .. back at the hotel I made us some nice salmon bites.
The rest of the day we spend with some pre-packing .. and I realized that I have not put up any pictures of our hotel room on this blog yet .. so here we go .. (click on it to even see it bigger)
So, this hotel room has been our home for 5 weeks now ... 6 more nights to go ... in total we will have spent 10 weeks in hotel beds .. that is somewhat interesting ... my back hurts like hell .. I want my futon !!!!
For dinner we went to JJ's (to finally try their dinner) ... it was nice .. though the waitstuff was a bit mal-coordinated ... I had Swiss Beef, Ritsu had Chicken Pasta ... and then we shared a Ceasar Salad, which needed serious help.
We walked back home .. again without being robbed .. knock on wood ..
Oh .. happy Thanksgiving afterwards ... Turkey Day is strongly ignored here ... and it results in having the whole Xmas decoration and music just 2 weeks earlier ...
I just got back from the Fintel Internet Kiosk ... allegedly the fastest connection on the island ... what a joke .. they charge 9F$ (about 5US$) per hour and the best I got was 8K download speed ... also .. I cannot use my own laptop there .. so I am forced to use the PCs they have there ... so I wasted part of the time just to download all the software apps I needed. In the end I was quite dissapointed with the speed. I really hope something better will appear here some day ... some satellite solution ...
For lunch we went to "the other" japanese place in town .. called "Zen" ... and .. well. it was pretty pretty bad ... the rice "bowl" dish was served on a plate .. topped by some either pork or beef in some goopy sauce which obviously has never been close to any soy sauce .. the heart and soul of japanese cooking ... actually .. i ordered initially one of the more expensive sashimi dishes .. but got some non-audible answer followed by shaking head which prompted me to better not ask for sashimi ... The fact that they have a very nice space (with a nice, albeit to warm, outdoor terrace) makes that even more tragic ...
Later we had our office xmas party (click for bigger picture)
which was pretty much fun ... we had a silly "secret santa" set up .. and one of the best toys I have seen was a purpose-less plastic glass ornament, which with a switch would blink, rotate and play a snippet of a Venga Boy song ... I was trying to imagine that somewhere in the world some quality assurance guy must have lost his marbles testing each and every one of those ... We had some nice pizza, drink and fun ... and later we went to "Traps" which was ok .. but i feel that with age I cannot take that smoke smell anymore .
Thursday's lunch was at "The Edge" .. Ritsu had their "Mezze of 8" .. 8 different little appetizer things from humus to eggplant to some fish and stuff .. quite nice .. I had the Fish and Chips and it was very nice .. though way too much for "just lunch" ...
After work we met at the japanese embassy. They show a movie there every month, and so we wanted to try that out. We had no idea if it was going to be on TV or screen, what movie (the title i read was "the time traveler" ... and the IMDB did not come up with anything) and who would come watch ...
The idea that this would be a gathering point for japanese expats was quickly shattered ... I'd say 20 people came .. 2 of them probably japanese .. the rest fijian...
Before we could see the movie we had (on full screen) some japan travel propaganda .. which lasted about 30 minutes .. then, a sound I have not really heard in years, a projector came on and the movie started ... turned out the projector could not be any farther from the screen .. so the projected image only covered 1/4 of it ... i am talking about a 4x6 feet visable image here ...
The movie was The girl who cut through time and it was indeed a pretty cheesy high school romance with a dash of sci fi and musical flick ... but it had some surrealism that made it quite interesting ..
It sported some very early 80ies special effects (looked like "made for TV" at times) but then again some great camera work ... so .. all in all , it was a bit confusing .. but entertaining ..
The movie hit its cheese high when in the end credits the protagonist girl just woke and disney like burst out into a song .. Ritsu told me later that this girl was a famous singer chick in her time ..
For dinner we stayed at the hotel .. the kokoda was a bit weird this time .. the fish was somewhat chewy .. and Ritsu had braised chicken again ... I ended up chatting with David a bit again and I had some Kava ..
I spent most of yesterday (wednesday) going through the newspaper / being on the phone trying to find a car ... but it was not very successful ... Why do some people put up and ad and then do not answer the phone ? Or do not reply voice messages ? Hmmm
Dinner was Great Wok again. And again it was very nice ... by now we are known to the wait stuff and they treat us like family :)
Wow .. today was actually sunny .. and no rain at all. This is what we call a blue sky and a clear day here in Suva
Great News, we signed our lease today !!! yes, we found a very nice house in the lovely neighborhood called "domain" which has a lot of green and trees and is supposed to be quite secure ... one reason being that quite a bunch of politicians (the minister of finance is one of our neighbors) and diplomats live there and thus the police is controlling the area around the clock.
After signing we had the fun pleasure of going to the bank to do the money transfer ... oh my .. long wait, lots of paper stuff to fill out, minimal automation or use of computer, many chances for errors ... the banking system is a tad behind I guess ... but they are good at charging fees ... 5F$ for a transfer, 3F$ for every transaction ... wow ..
For dinner and to celebrate a bit, we went to Daikoku (again) and had fish and wasabi steak (again) ... but this time also assorted Sashimi and a Tuna roll ... which was all pretty nice ... the worst thing (and a possible reason for me to not go there for the next 4 weeks) was that the wait stuff and the chefs were 'forced' to wear santa hats ... I really should have taken a picture ..
But the picture of the day was taken by Ritsu ... she caught me in the bathtub washing our sandals :)
We are quite happy ... now we just have to find a car.
Sunday: we slept about 12 hours after that strenuous dive day and I after making breakfast I did a quick supermarket shopping spree. (we ran out of fruit and eggs) ... we then did a long walk again and ended up at JJ's for lunch ... a place located in a very very ugly YWCA building .. but the inside is really nice .. and the menu is quite interesting (also a big plus that they are open on sunday) ... While the hamburger is, as promised, HUGE .. and when I asked for mustard, I got a selection of 3 different ones ... the "fiery hot" chicken wings were probably the smallest I have ever seen and they were merely drenched in honey ... they were sweet and had NOTHING fiery on them (or nearly no meat on them, too)
It was already late afternoon when we got back and I finished (finally) reading "Lord of the Rings" while Ritsu was napping and then I went to the bar for a beer, where I ended up talking to some middle aged italian business man who had some very weird opinions about working on computers .. sounded like he was mistaking them for TVs (by saying 'oh .. the guys today cannot work anymore .. all they do is playing on their computers') or typewriters (by saying 'i never had to bother with computers, i had employees do that') ... ahhh .. ignorance is bliss !!!
Anyways .. Ritsu joined me and we had dinner (wow .. there are still items of that hotel restaurant menu we had not have yet .. so I had the pepper steak) and then a bit later David showed up and we had some more nice chatting.