Daily Living In Suva, Fiji

Expat in Fiji, Oceania

Fiji beaches may be beautiful but that doesn’t capture everyday living.

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Sometimes, there are parts of Fiji that are challenging. That’s ok because I still love living here! But this post is designed to share some of the more difficult sides to living in Fiji, to help prepare incoming expats for what to expect.

 

Where I live

This is my fence. It protects us from bad guys and dogs.


I have a secuirty guard. He protects us from bad guys, but not dogs. He also helps me chase the electricity company down the road when they unfairly shut off our power.

This is my verandah. I like that we can see the ocean if we peak through the trees. It’s a nice daily reminder that we live in Fiji.


It’s a bit cloudy because it rains a lot in Suva.

The annoying thing about my verandah is that it’s plagued by birds. They fly around the neighbourhood, collect rubbish, and bring it to our verandah. Weekly I have to get rid of egg shells, fruit and dead lizards.

A friend recommended we hang CD’s to scare the birds away. We did this. It did not scare the birds away. Now we look like weirdos.

 

The neighbourhood

This is the beach near my house. It’s used as an unofficial rubbish tip. You should not swim here. I am scared to go anyway, because of dogs.
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How’s the serenity?

We live in an industrial neighbourhood. We were a bit worried when we first moved here because no-one wants to live next to giant factories but it’s actually made the area awesome because there are security guards outside every building making our street super safe…

Except for the dogs. They make their owners safe but no one else. During one afternoon stroll that lasted a total of 3 minutes, I was chased by 6 dogs. Also, they can bark all night if it’s a full moon.

Mostly, my neighbours are very friendly because #fiji but sometimes, some neighbours make poor choices. Like my neighbours who sit and rev their trucks for 30 minutes every morning for who knows what reasons, and the ones that decide to burn their trash in their front yard, despite the fact that rubbish collection is twice a week.

This is my garbage bin. It has no lid (hence the bird problem). It is raised from the ground due to dogs.


This is my footpath.

Regularly a car comes around slamming its horn for twenty minutes. It’s just a ute collecting glass bottles but the first time we heard it, it was making such a huge amount of noise we thought it was a tsunami warning.

 

Route to work

This is my bus. It likes to play loud music in an attempt to both:

a) make me feel upbeat

b) destroy my ear drums.

It releases a lot of fumes. If you google my bus on the internet, you will see photos of it on fire.

If I am feeling tired or sick, I take a taxi. By law, seat belts are compulsory only for people who sit in the front therefore I have never seen a seat belt in the back of a taxi.

 

Food

Here are the markets in town where we buy fresh fruit and vegetables. When you buy food it doesn’t look like it does at home. No perfect round lemons or perfect orange mandarins. But it’s better and healthier because this food comes straight from the farmer.

img_9974These are the fish. We would only buy fish very early in the morning because it can’t be stored in ice and there are flies.

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This is my supermarket. It’s pretty good but once I saw a pigeon living here.

This is the fire exit today.

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Also there was a stage where there were consistently bugs in the flour. I threw a few packets out but then I thought we’d just have to deal with it forever so now I just sift all the flour to remove bugs. Don’t tell my husband.

 

My Workplace

Is awesome, but I can’t write about it online.

 

And that my friends, is just some of life in Fiji.

Follow my adventures!

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Juliette @ Snorkels to Snow
    September 8, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    This is SO good! I love how straight up this article is. People assume living in Fiji is sipping fresh coconuts on a beach all day but the reality of day-to-day living is completely different. I’ve never been brave enough to buy fish from the side of the road market though, even first thing in the morning! I burst out laughing about the music from the bus and the fire exit! Totally relatable!

    • Reply
      Emma Margaret
      September 8, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      Haha I’m glad you can relate! I still love it here, but sometimes I pull out my hair!

  • Reply
    Namis
    September 8, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I am moving to fiji coming wednesday (14th) so I am a bit excited. But after reading this I can safely say its very similar to Sri Lanka 😀 btw im sri lankan. Lol

    • Reply
      Emma Margaret
      September 8, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      Ah exciting! Good luck with the move!

  • Reply
    angela
    September 9, 2016 at 6:02 am

    great reading, so much better than a travel blog

  • Reply
    Jonny Wilkins
    September 13, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Some familiar points I remember from staying in Suva, and some we deal with here on Taveuni too. Moving to and living in “paradise” (or anywhere new for that matter) is basically swapping one bunch of pleasures and problems with a different bunch, and then it’s a case of enjoying the bits you love and dealing with the bits you don’t !!

    • Reply
      Emma Margaret
      September 13, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Very well said!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 22, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    My family are moving to Suva in January and as a long distance obsessive runner was horrified to read about being chased by dogs my greatest fear!!!!!
    I take it this is not a hobby/obsession that can be pursued in Suva, please tell me this isnt the norm every where!

  • Reply
    Somer
    March 17, 2017 at 11:37 am

    This is the best real account of Fiji I’ve read. It made me laugh out loud as I know exactly what you’re saying. Especially regarding the dogs! Read it to my husband who laughed as well.

    • Reply
      Emma Margaret
      March 19, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Thank-you! Glad it made you laugh! X

  • Reply
    ben
    March 21, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Used to live in Suva a while back and thinking of heading that way again. Your street looks exactly like the street I lived on in Laucala Beach. The dogs were a menace!

    • Reply
      Emma Margaret
      March 25, 2017 at 12:32 am

      That’s crazy maybe it is!

  • Reply
    Peter Vandever
    July 21, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    I had to laugh at the bus thing. That is so true when it comes to buses in Fiji. Samoa is worse about it…. Rock concerts on wheels lol

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