Not Culture Shock but Culture Wonderment in Fiji

Expat in Fiji, Oceania, Travel

Here’s a list of several surreal moments experienced while adjusting to new life in Fiji


1. The Burning Bus

This is what came up when I Googled my bus. It’s was on FIRE. And no, this wasn’t like something that happened 2-5 years ago. It was last month.

Here’s another one on fire that I stumbled across on a Facebook page.


And you know the WEIRDEST thing? The bus on fire is a Nasese bus. And the photo was uploaded by Nasese. They uploaded a photo of their own bus burning!


2. Laughing in movies!!!

Fijian humour is different to Australian humour. You can’t see a Drama movie here without the Fijians laughing the entire way through. For some reason the parts of the movie that are meant to be creepy or dramatic sends an entire audience into fits.


3. Calls of public admiration

When we went to the rugby, the crowd cam that shows everyone in the audience had everyone in crazy excitement. Particularly when a man that the audience thought was attractive came on the camera, the entire crowd would make appreciative ‘oohhhhhh’ noises.



4. Just walking around with weapons in public

I was walking to work the other day and a man was heading towards me in the other direction. It was a bit of a quiet area and his clothes looked very dirty (which is unusual). He was carrying a long stick or something in his hands so I was a bit nervous. As he got closer I realised the long stick had a silver shine and panicked at the thought he was carrying a machete. He got closer still and I noticed he was wearing gumboots. He must have been a fisherman, which would explain the dirty clothes. I relaxed a little and assumed the long silver thing was a fish. I scolded myself for worrying about machetes at 8am in the morning. Then he got closer and it appears, he was carrying a machete. Strolling along the street, with a machete.


5. How much there is to do here!

When people come to Fiji they normally visit a small part of the Western Regions. But even though Fiji looks tiny on a word map (seriously sometimes you can’t even see it), this is a country that covers a huge amount of space. It’s going to take me the entire year to see all the things I want to see here: from Taveuni, the Garden Island, to exploring all along the Coral Coast to climbing Tova Peak for a great view of the coastline and boating for views of dolphins, turtles and other sea life.

Mango Bay Resort Fiji


6. When you know exactly what the entire neighbourhood is doing

When there’s a black out, you hear the entire neighbourhood let out a giant sigh. When the Fiji 7s team are playing on TV you hear the entire neighbourhood celebrating there tries, or setting off backyard fireworks.



8. When people know where I live

Seriously, everyone knows everything here. Sometimes I meet people, and midway through the conversation they tell me they know where I live.


9. The man hiding in the toilets

Josh and Clare went on a rainfall walk one day while I was at work. The rainfall they were visiting has been known previously for a few muggings so I asked them not to go. It was pouring rain so it would be slippery and there would be no other tourists around in a remote area. They ignored my advice and went anywhere. Once reaching the falls in the middle of the forest, Josh noticed that a man was hiding in the toilets and kept peeking out to look at them. After 15 minutes of hiding the man came out, introduced himself, had a friendly chat and then wandered away.

Colo-I-Forest Suva Fiji


10. The prisoners

Some prisoners get to participate in community access programs – fixing houses, roads and other things. They all wear orange jump suits so when you drive past them on the road it’s like a flashback to another era. Yesterday a ute full of prisoners drove past me. It looked like a very uneven ratio of 20 prisoners to 1 guard. The prisoners were so happy to be out and about they were smiling and waving at all of the public as they drove down the road.

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