Beez Neez is Ready for Sevusevu
Todays target was to buy kava, after morning chores the Royals of Scott-Free popped over, more giggling as their dinghy fought through the tethering ropes of our neighbour. A bit of French skipping, more laughter and we were set, crossing the road, we got no further than the eatery opposite the Copra Shed. Clearly fortification was needed before we bimbled down the road to Preshand’s, the local Harrods of kava needs. Maj and I had fish fingers and chips and the boys had curry, quite an event for less than five pounds.
A five minute bimble, we were in the shop, the emporium locally known as the purveyor of the freshest yaqona (pronounced yangona) - Fiji's national drink. It is made from the pulverised root of a member of the pepper family. It is believed to have medicinal qualities with the potential to make you feel ‘mellow’. The best description we’ve read is that it has the taste of gritty puddle water, cannot wait...........
Legend has it that the ceremony came from Tonga where the plant sprang from the grave of a Tongan princess who died of a broken heart. In a formal yaqona ceremony authority is given by the village spokesman to begin mixing the kava. When mixed, a server will carry a cup ('bilo') to the chief guest, who must clap ('cobo') cupped hands not flat, once before and three times after completely drinking the first cup. The order of serving depends on the status of those present, from the highest-ranking chief down.
Drinking yaqona has proved to be a great social unifier - it's hard to be angry with someone after sharing kava - and it usually leads to relaxed chat not unlike that in a casual bar. We have been told to expect deep, personal questions that are not meant to shock or embarrass, just fulfil a need to ‘know’ us.
A lovely lady took the boys order for a kilo – our emergency bundle and two kilos divided into six bundles, wrapped in newspaper and bound neatly with raffia, all done at lightening speed with instructions to keep our trophies dry and have forty quid at the ready. Maj pointed to the odd looking roots then we went to explore the shop.
One minute to explore, time to sit and chat, get Maj to pose behind the pool table and wait for our bundles.
Success. Segregation in the back of the shower methinks.
ALL IN ALL BRING IT ON
FASCINATING TO WATCH THE QUICK FINGERS AT WORK