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Across the Magic Line: Growing Up in Fiji by Patricia Page

By Patricia Page

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Sample text

Although both sun-lovers, we had now become reconciled to the weather. After all, we weren’t on a hedonistic holiday, lolling by the water drinking cocktails, acquiring a tan to show our friends. We were on a trip back in time, delving for memories, reliving my diary. We had both read and reread it so much over the years it was worn and tattered. The Fiji volume was made of several Across the Magic Line 39 exercise books sewn and glued together and bound in blue velvet curtain material. The five-day trip around the island was to celebrate a special event.

He found a nutty Indian who raved on about the sluttishness of the Fijian girls as compared with the strictly moral Indians. He unearthed a Fijian religious fanatic who believed the Fijians were God’s chosen people and that God wanted all the Indians to go back to India. But bigots and fanatics can be found anywhere if you dig for them and in other books I found examples of kindness of one race to the other. For instance, a Handbook of the Colony, printed in 1941, says: ‘Relations between the Indian and Fijian people are, generally speaking, very friendly.

Our first experience with Fiji buses. Wonderful vehicles, first introduced in the Fifties, they looked as if they dated from the same era. Rounded and snub-nosed like my old Combi camper van, rippled with dents and scrapes, rattly engined, they had open sides with rolled-up tarpaulins which could be let down when it rained. The bumps and dents were masked with coats of bright paint and decorated with flowers and slogans. Our bus was yellow with orange and red capering capitals proclaiming ‘BULA FM — the best mix of Fijian music’.

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