Monday, August 01, 2005

Rolling with the detectives

I got up early, before sunrise, and took some random photos around the Raintree. I'm remembering that I'm not a natural photographer, and I have to think about it to take pictures at all. Checked out and caught the bus down to Suva with a Korean dive instructor I met there. He wanted me to spell out math problems like

15 + 60 = 75 "Fifteen plus Sixty equals Seventy Five"
25 * 25 = 65 "That's not right, it's Six Hundred Twenty Five"


At least I think that's what he wanted.

Breakfast at the Raintree sounded good, lots of fried or mashed bananas, but expensive. The bus driver overcharged me as usual, but I don't argue. Once I get into downtown Suva, I look for the Drua (a phone booth.) The detective wants me to call him -- presumably to make sure I'm okay. I call, but he's not at the office.

I buy a donut, meet a sword seller (in Nadi they're drug dealers, people that want to be your friend), look for flip flops, go to the bank to try to get my money situation straightened out. The ATM ends up working though, giving me $400 in mostly 10s. I change the 10s for 50s at the teller and wait in the New Accounts line reading the paper. Then at 11, I give up and head to the Vodaphone (mobile phone company) for an appointment about opening an account.

Outside Vodaphone, I meet the cop (he had arranged to meet me there if I didn't call.) So I sign up and we go looking for black market phones. A four door 4x4 and I hop in with three non-uniform cops and cruise the back streets for a phone.

Turns out it's almost as expensive to buy a new one. I think when he originally offered to find me a black market phone, he meant one with a SIM chip already in it (i.e., the calls would be free for me.) Little does he know I'm the Serpico of bumbling palangi's.

So I get a new phone, email me for my number if you want it, and the cop's buddies show up and they roll off.


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