Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nadi: The Big Town in Fiji

The temple is very colorful.
One Saturday we hired Ali, our regular taxi driver, to take us to Nadi so we could do a number of errands. We had been near there once before with a rental car and found it challenging to drive, park and figure out where to go. For the same price as renting a car, we could have a driver all day and he knows where to take us. That alone saves a lot of frustration for us.

Paintings on the Temple ceiling
Of course, he also takes us to the places where he gets a little incentive! We don't mind because it doesn't cost us anything, although I think I was taken advantage of in one shop and intend to tell Ali about it next year. I will also warn other cruises.  

He wanted us to be sure to visit the Sri Siva Subrahmaniya Swami Temple before going into the town to shop. It is the largest  and finest of its kind in the South Pacific. Erected by the local Hindus in 1994, it is of colorful South Indian style with sculptures on the towers. The temple is dedicated to Muruga, the mythical general who led the devas (divinities) to victory over the demons.

We had to don sulas and remove our shoes and our shoulders needed to be covered. The worshipers purchased gifts of special foods that they offered at various places within the temple. Photographs are not to be taken inside the temple, although allowed outside. Our guide explained the various parts and symbols throughout the temple. He also said the foods that are left as offerings are used to feed the homeless. The temple also has a large garden where they grown foods to feed the homeless, as well.
We couldn't believe this sign on the property adjacent to
the Hindu Temple. Really!

Of course, we went to the market in Nadi to get fresh produce. Everything if reasonably priced - in fact, it is so inexpensive that I feel guilty paying so little for such fresh good quality! If we had markets like this, I would shop everyday!

The fresh eggplant here is wonderful. We
eat it several times a week just sautéed in
coconut or olive oil.

Everyone has a little bit of something to sell.
Always interesting things for sale. I don't know what they
are, not do I know how to cook some of them.

The market in Nadi (Nandi), Fiji The mandarin
oranges are wonderful, but the season ended
before I was able to stock up on them!

Interesting thins from the sea. I am not eating any of this!
You can find almost anything here in the markets from fruits and vegetables to seafoods and kava. It is just a matter of what is available. The markets seem to have fixed pricing as each stall or table - or mat on the ground - is run by a different person/group and the prices are identical from one to the other. More baby bok choy than we in a week is $1 per bundle! I feel bad when we don't use it all before it is beyond us, but it is so plentiful and cheap. It is easy to overbuy so I have to remind myself of how little refrigerator space I have. It is wonderful eating such fresh and organic produce regularly.

More sea creatures for your dining pleasure!
I find some of the creatures from the sea quite disgusting to look at and would never consider putting them in my mouth! I have seen them in the sea and don't even like them there! Dennis loves anything that swims or crawls on the bottom of the ocean. I don't even like handling some of it so I don't offer to cook. He can order it at a restaurant!

Things are a little pricey here!
And this is the large supermarket.
We do go to the supermarkets as well to buy staples - especially Sunshine powdered milk. We have found that it lasts longer than the boxed milk (fresh milk doesn't last at all!) and we can make it in small quantities. Actually, I wish they sold it in the USA as it would be good to have in the pantry.

Handcarved wooden bowls: Beautiful!

We also went shopping for some Christmas presents and clothing items. I needed to buy a new waterproof camera since the second one has died on this trip. They just seem to stop taking a charge. I have tried to contact the manufacturers by email, but have had no response.

Our one souvenir: a carved and inlayed Kava bowl

Nadi is a larger city and very busy on a Saturday.

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