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Saturday, January 25, 2003
Sunday midday .. it has been raining pretty much all day so far .. and really hard ..
Yesterday was not much better, but it was sunny in the morning and I decided to go to the market ... only problem is, 10000 other people had the same idea, and downtown was clogged and there was no parking and traffic as a nightmare ... note to self, take a taxi next time ...
the rest of the day was kitchen stuff, computer stuff and some TV .. went to bed early .
Friday Vik and Wayne came over during their lunch break, just to say hello, after that I went back with them to the office and I brought the indian food leftovers and we all ate together.
A bit later I had a scary situation: The people who monitor our house alarm system called and said that one of the sensors in the house was triggered, which usually means someone is walking around ... I asked them to send someone by. But Vikash quickly drove me and we could not see anyone / anything that could have cause the alarm to go off ... weird .. maybe just a defective sensor.
Anyways, we started then later with some beers and ended up at Traps bar, where, funnily enough, I ran into Wade (who was at our dinner just 2 days ago). I was quite tired around 10:30 and went home. Then I tried the phone connection to the Solomon Islands, and it worked quite well, only that every minute or so an annoying dialing sound occurred. But Ritsu seems to be well and she keeps writing her own Travel Journal.
For over a year Ritsu and I have spent every single day and night together ... but we knew that this was going to be interrupted with her upcoming business trip to the Solomon Islands, so i brought her to Nausori Airport in the afternoon and after check in we waited and waited. Then she boarded her plane to Nadi.
She called me later and we found out that she reached Nadi by plane faster then I went back to Suva by car! (Suva - Nadi by car is 4 hours, Nausori - Suva is about 45 mins)
Oh, here is an interesting paragraph about the Solomons, taken from the above CIA link:
The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of their livelihood. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. However, severe ethnic violence, the closing of key business enterprises, and an empty government treasury have led to serious economic disarray, indeed near collapse. Tanker deliveries of crucial fuel supplies (including those for electrical generation) have become sporadic due to the government's inability to pay and attacks against ships. Telecommunications are threatened by the nonpayment of bills and by the lack of technical and maintenance staff many of whom have left the country.
Sounds like a perfect vacation spot.
Dinner was just steak with some blue cheese sauce ... I used to be so good at steak, but either it is the meat i get here or my talent is fading, the steak came out very chewy ...
So I spent my first night alone in over a year ... especially in a house as big as this one it feels weird ... to extra scare me, I heard some noise from within a house ... after investigation I found a pretty big frog hopping around the living room. Well, got him gently out of here, no froggy food in here anyway.
The last 2 days I spent pretty much in the kitchen to prepare for our first "dinner party" which we had last night (Wednesday). I extended my indian cuisine horizon and made Lamb Madras Curry and Chicken Korma. A potato/culiflower and a english cabbage curry. Ocra, Rice and 5 condiments: Tomato, Tamarind, Mango and Pineapple Chutneys and Raita (yoghurt sauce). All very yummy, I got most of the recipe ideas from the same south pacific cookbook, but I went very creative with all of them of course. I later got a great link to a website full of indian recipes and I will surely try more of that soon. I have so much chutney now anyway.
Anyways, around 7 our guests came, Edo and Marly, and Wade, who we met for the first time. We had met his wife at a BBQ many months ago. It was a very pleasent evening and we had a lot of fun and talk and food and drink. Now I still have leftovers for the next week :)
Monday was a typical rainy Suva summer day. I was still somewhat grounded without car, so I spent most of the day cooking for a dinner we are planning for Wednesday. I am experimenting with indian cuisine these days and created a nice hot pineapple chutney and for dinner I made us lamb korma (lamb chops which have been marinated in yoghurt, ginger and garlic), turned out very nicely.
As promised here some more pics of the trip to Toberua: