11/25 – Fiji, Viti Levu, Nadi Airport
We were greeted on arrival at the airport by Fijian musicians!
Did we just step into paradise? Well, airport security didn't reinforce that impression, or maybe they were just doing their job. The man checking our passports studied them very closely and had several questions accompanied by a suspicious glance. Then after getting our baggage (a ton by this point) we were put under extra scrutiny. I had to empty my big purple bag filled mostly with music related items and explain them.
The guard to a good long look at a copy of my CD and read the liner notes, as I explained to him that I was doing a lot of performance in Australia, busking, etc. and had this new CD released. Knowing that the culture here is very Christian, I was wondering what he was thinking about the album imagery with witches and skeletons and naked people.
The real scrutiny came when I got to the bottom of the bag where I had stashed the larger of our two new belt-knives. “What's it for? Why do you need such a big knife? What is this a dagger? What do call this knife?” Well, it's not 'such a big knife'. The blade's only about 4 inches long, and it's about the most practical and versatile tool you can have in the situation we'll be in very soon. And according to my research (and limited wilderness survival experience), a high-quality knife can be the difference between life and death. Our land is several kilometers to walk to the nearest settlement and a few more to the nearest small market, so we're going to be on our own in the jungle. So, after explaining all of this to him and him getting word from his superior, I got the knife back and we were on our way.