My very first impression when I got out of the airport was colored by what I saw. It was very dark, pretty hot, and the first taxi was an old car. I thought “Wow, I wonder if this is what’s Cuba is like.”
Later, on the ride to the hotel I really thought I could have been anywhere, frankly. The first establishment I saw was a Mobil, and its MobilMart looked about the same as others I’d seen in small towns (despite its large international airport, Nadi has just 30,000 residents.) Of course the place was selling gas in liters and we were driving on the “wrong” side of the road, but still…
At the hotel I got a little more of a sense of the country. I sat by the pool and listened to Fijian radio, which charmingly featured extremely long dedications and an extremely ecclectic mix of songs (Richard Marx lives on!) Though I declined when the friendly bartender/waitress offered to turn on FijiOne, I hear it features Walker, Texas Ranger and Fastlane among its own assortment of programs.
Still, when the server asked what I thought of Fiji, I said I couldn’t answer because I hadn’t seen it yet! That would have to wait until morning.