Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Ode to Cat Stevens!

.....or ongoing adventures in Abdul's house


If the reference is too obscure, look it up!  No, I have not converted to Islam….yet!  But if these peaceful people are any indication, I can understand why someone might consider it!  Being more of a Hindu, however, in spirit at least, I am finally feeling part of the community.  This morning started at 7, long after the roosters had announced it, and after my daily ritual ablutions, I locked the door and started the trek down the road from Abdul's house.  In no time, a car pulled over and picked me up.  Turned out to be Fayez, Abdul's son.  Abdul 2's son that is, the one who is away in New Zealand at the moment.  Very friendly young man who only drove taxi on the weekends.  Today he was on his way into Nadi to his job selling cars at the dealership.  The Abdul family are definitely movers if not shakers!

A long day at the marina with many ups and downs, not only on the ladder.  The welding job on the bowsprit had been going sideways yesterday so a call to the boss had him show up this morning to see how things were progressing.  A few steps backwards, removing some of the work, and forward again to what we hope is a proper solution.  Interlude on Camdeboo with a screwdriver to check their anodes….seems we will be going ahead with some refitting there as well.

And the Toketie decks were buzzing with bodies but not much seemed to be changing!  Turns out they have been waiting two days for a couple of bags of silica sand to complete the sandblasting (all those spots I found that they overlooked the first round).  A phone call to the boss again, who is in Suva for the week, but still accessible and not satisfied with that, I made my way up to their workshop and found the foreman who was filling in.  More phone calls and the missing sand is on a truck and presto the truck goes whizzing by!  So we hitched up the compressor, grabbed the spare gas can and back to Toketie, waiting patiently in the sweltering humidity of an overcast sky, threatening rain any moment.  But the gods were kind and they blasted away while the welder welded away and they all had to work till dark to get the primer on the sandblasted parts.  So lots got done, we dodged the rain bullet again and all I had to do was make my way back to Abdul's house! 

Recalling how pleasant a walk I described only days ago, I set out again!  The security guard said a bus was due about now but having learnt what 'about now' means in Fiji, I did not wait for it.  Half way down the road, with the bugs chasing me and the darkness all around, a car came up and pulled over….this time it was Ali, Abdul's nephew.  Another very pleasant young man and also in the taxi driving business…but apparently for someone renting Abdul's house, all local taxi rides are gratis!  He pulled over near his house to talk to his friend along the road, a burst of East Indian dialect and the only phrase I caught was 'Temple of Gold'….movie night for the guys….a Bollywood special!

Back in my bungalow, the clink of ice cubes and it's a hot shower and Bounty Rum night before diving into 'Lord Jim' that I traded a spy novel for in the general store.

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