crime is innocent

A guy I took the sailing course with (Dave) talked about crime in Fiji in a way that I think is very truthful. He said that there is crime in Fiji, yet it’s often innocent. It’s true.. houses get broken into and people can get pickpocketed, but it’s by people that are just trying to help out their family or buy their next case of beer. The crime here is usually not very malicious. Fiji isn’t really dangerous.

Last week the big news of the week was that five prisoners escaped from the big jail a little ways away from Suva. I’m not sure how they escaped (Kat asked me if they dug a tunnel for 5 years using a plastic spoon), but they were ‘on the loose’ for many days. I found it a bit strange because there was added security everywhere and lots of police officers, but none of the prisoners were being caught. You would think that with a country so small, it wouldn’t take that long. In Suva, taxi drivers are the people that really know what’s going on and one taxi driver explained to a bunch of us that the police officers are ‘trying’ to catch the prisoners, but they really aren’t. It’s quite probable they are being bribed with money (since lots of people need money) or that they are friends/family of the prisoners. The taxi driver said that soon enough they would call in the army and then within 24 hours, most or all of them would be caught. Sure enough, less than 24 hours later they had 4 out of 5 captured. (now all five are captured)

Another thing I found out this week is that if a police officer catches you in a speed trap, you can pay the police officer $20 cash, and they will pocket it and they will let you keep going. There are a lot of differences between Canada and here.

This week has been pretty good. Mallory (from Nebraska) cut my hair on the weekend and it’s short again. She did a really good job! Monday night was her birthday and her parents flew over from the States to surprise her. It was really hard keeping it a secret. They had a big dinner at the Novotel in the burbs of Suva and spoiled us with delicious food and drinks. I had fish three different ways in that meal! On Tuesday, the bar/club we always go to had free cocktail hour and it was the most intense hour of my life. It was a lot of fun though!

I have been doing lots of errands lately.. finishing up my New Zealand Working Holiday visa, helping plan Mary Ellen & Paul’s and Helenka’s Fiji trips, applying for grants… lots of things like that. I am looking forward to seeing Mary Ellen and Paul! I am lucky enough to be joining them for almost a week in Savusavu during my study break. Unfortunately Helenka is here at pretty much the EXACT same time, so I might see her the last night she is here, but maybe not. It’ll depend on boat times/flight times back from Savusavu.

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