We declared today a reading day – and this time intended to make it happen. Frank propped himself up in the cockpit with his book and a cup of coffee and said to me, "Barb, let's don't make any plans today; no going out, nothing social. Let's just stay on the boat and eat in tonight." I agreed and removed some chicken breasts from the freezer to thaw in the sink. I worked on a few little projects and then shortly after lunch, Val from Ivory Quays and Leanne from Just In Time invited me to go into town shopping with them. I happily accepted, and off I went with them.
We worked our way through the shops looking for lightweight dresses and skirts because we are finding that those are cooler to wear than even shorts and a tank top. Most of the shops were dusty, dank, dark and looked like their inventory came from my grandmother's garage sale. We did manage to hit paydirt in two of them, however. One was a "souvie" shop that had clothing in the back. Half of the ladies wear were beautiful saris and the other half was pareos and sundresses. I didn't buy anything there, although Leanne picked up two wrap skirts. The other "hit" was actually a grocery store. Off to one side were racks and stacks of clothing. So there we were among the 10-kilo bags of flour browsing through the dresses. We of course are laughing the entire time and wondering how the things were sized. Val, who is very petite, asked if there was a fitting room available. Leanne and I tried to stifle our laughter as the clerk led her through the stacks of flour to a little room that was probably no larger than a broom closet. We heard Val knocking elbows against the wall as she struggled out of her blouse and into the sundress. A few minutes later there came a loud and urgent banging noise from the little room. The clerk lunged for the door and heaved it open as Val tumbled out nearly fainting. She had gotten locked in there and was overcome by the heat. As she stumbled out she declared, "Bloody Hell! I nearly blacked out in there! The floor is piled with rubbish!" Leanne and I tried very hard to look sympathetic as we were doubled over laughing. We decided to forego trying on our dresses. After all they only cost between $7.50 - $13.00 (US). If they didn't fit we'd give them to a poor islander. I picked up a t-shirt for Frank on the way out that I will give him for Father's Day.
We went to the market for some fresh veggies and fruit. Sadly, the two cyclones that hit Fiji a few months back all but wiped out the crops here, but there are a few small pieces of this and that to be found. So sad for these poor folks. They are scraping by as well as they can and doing it with a big smile on their faces. There is such gratitude to be found here.
After our big shopping spree we found the boys firmly planted at the yacht club bar. The girls and I ordered our new favorite thirst quencher – lemon, lime & bitters. As I reminded Frank that we were not supposed to be socializing, and asked him if he had thought to put the chicken breasts into the fridge. The look said it all. Thank goodness they are shrink-wrapped. Apparently after dropping us off to go shopping, Jock and Dave had come straight to the bar. Frank followed not long after. He never gave that chicken a second thought. Apparently everyone else had declared this a "eat on the boat night", but as we sat there we realized cooking on the boat sure would heat up the galley. Hmmm. What to do? Leanne piped up, "Let's do Chinese!" What a brilliant idea! We all returned to our yachts to stow purchases and change for dinner and went back to our favorite (and the only) Chinese restaurant in town. We feasted again for $15.00 (Fijian) per person. Our bank accounts love Fiji.