Time to live in a lighter present. I didn’t have to look long before I landed a job in a New Zealand-based jeweler and watchmakers shop in Suva. Okay so it also happened to be the place of my brother’s employment for the last 10 years.
What a perfect position for me at this time. I was scheduled 8a-5p with a very leisurely lunch break, Mondays through Fridays and a half day on Saturdays, closing up shop at 1p. All over the island Fijian natives honored Singa Tambu the holy day or sabbath if you prefer by closing up everything.
My wage was set at £5 – 5 shilling per week and I do say this was higher than the standard. Saturday also happened to be payday. And there was a nice bar next door serving ice cold beers where the guys in my circle of friends would meet up for the afternoon.
The next step was a few steps towards the open air market stalls where I would shop for the good stuff; the weekend feast! I would pick up the seasonal vegetables, what nots and most often fish. I loved the fresh catch, always tasting it on my tongue before it was even cooked up in our kitchen.
If a fish of choice was not available I’d cruise over to the meat vendor and grab some lamb usually. I took these items home for my mother and sister-in-law to whip up something amazing for Saturday night’s feast. It is a good, tasty memory.
Days like these filled my space in that time; work all week and thankfully not really a daunting thing to do. The group that made up our staff were all very wonderful people, including the owner. There was my brother, my uncle and five other sweet, friendly people.
My brother occasionally went fishing with the owner upon his boat and I would sit at the dock with his dog. It was a time for me to take it easy and I was glad of it.
Noori was with me, with all of us most days, usually having to leave in the early evening to report home but always leaving us happy for her presence. I had a great job, money to spend on the family, lots of love and good eats, ice cold beers and good friends.
There was swimming at the Suva Sea Baths. I really enjoyed diving off the high board; yes I had come a long way from the Sweet Water Pool incident.
Oh yes there would always be the cinema. During the week if I felt like seeing a film the choice was usually an American one, which was always fine by me. Apart from entertainment it was a learning tool of sorts. Sundays however were reserved for the Hindi films and that was always special to me.
It would have been even more special if I could have taken Noori with me but all that was not possible. We were only able to enjoy one another’s company at my family home. Gary and Noori still couldn’t display their oneness in public.
1957 had played itself out. One day I got notice in the mail from my legal counsel; it was time for my court appearance.