1 Heap, 2 Heap, Red Heap, Blue Heap

Everyday is a farmers market day in Nadi. Our trip through the marketplace was challenged by having our backpacks with us, but the people of Fiji are so abundantly kind and helpful that our fears of being annoyances were quickly put at ease. We were in transit from Denarau to the Coral Coast, and the bus station is conveniently next door. We couldn’t resist a quick walk through the rows of perfectly stacked vegetables and large bowls of fruit. The market here is packed with vendors selling their crop, and we walked away with more than we thought we could carry.

With tables set up in long rows, each vendor separates individual stacks of each item together in a beautifully artistic way. Every aisle we walked down we heard people speak of a ‘heap’ of this, a ‘heap’ of that…We ignorantly misunderstood the meaning of the term ‘heap’ when we tried to buy 4 chili peppers. I watched as Dave’s eyes grew bigger and bigger as our vendor filled a bag with the entire pile of neatly stacked peppers he had pointed at. Everything here is sold by the heap- not by weight or count, and for the bargain price of F$2 we became the proud owners of a month’s supply of hot peppers. Fresh cut lettuce, Manioc (a staple as much here as in Brazil- also called Cassava or Yuca), eggplant, papaya, cucumbers, and limes presented each in their own design of heap, we stocked up on everything we’d need for the next week.

Heading towards the bus station, we passed through the final room of the market: dedicated almost entirely to Kadavu (known as Kava to us tourists). A vendor called us over to try some of his tea, presented to us from a bucket and served in a small coconut shell bowl. The drink is earthy tasting and the sedative properties instantly make your mouth a bit numb. We thanked him for his kindness, and he smiled widely and happily as all Fijians do, and invited us back for tea whenever we may return to Nadi. Slightly relaxed and ready sleep through our next ride, we loaded our bus for the next adventure.

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