I was tired and in spite of almost 15 hours sleep in the last 24, my head was telling me that it was 2 A.M. as it was in Boston. I headed back to the hotel wobbly walking on the edges of my feet so as not to put pressure on my growing blisters. Just as I turned up Gladstone Street, about a block from the U.S. embassy, a charming young lady, a Fijian, walked up to me and asked in a very proper (and disarming) British accent, “Sir, would you like some company tonight?” My immediate response was to feel flattered and apparently it showed for the young lady immediately grasped that I did not understand the nature of her proposition and added, “I could be yours for the evening for $50,” she said with a lascivious wink. “Oh,” I think I blurted out, “I’m sorry but I need to get a good night’s sleep.” I realized at that point exactly what I had said and its implication and must have blushed. The young lady laughed, and looked at me in an “I’m really sorry to have bothered you” kind of look, gently patted me on the back and said, “Well have a good night then Sir. Perhaps when you’re feeling a bit more frisky you’ll remember me.”
It was still early Saturday night. The more enterprising streetwalkers hire cabs and troll the area looking for johns, leaning out of the window yelling, “Would you like some companyyyyyy” as they pass by. I had made it as far as the U.S. Embassy gate when I ran into a heard of the young ladies (and a few who were not). If I wasn’t tired and a block from a bed and if I hadn’t had a small bottle of sake in me I might have turned around and hailed a cab but I was tired and didn’t really feel like breaking my stride so I pushed on. Almost immediately two young women took me by the arm asking if I’d like company. My brain was on autopilot. I didn’t think, “How am I going to get out of this?” I didn’t think “Oh no I might get robbed!” I didn’t panic, as perhaps I should have being accosted by streetwalkers in a third world country. I think I smiled and grinned and said, “Do you take credit cards because none of the ATM’s here seem to work?” Which was the truth.
One young lady immediately let go of my arm with a, “have a good evening Sir,” but the other held on. She told me her name was something like “Lakota” and that I should be careful because many of the “girls” on the corner were “puftas,” but that she was real. “What’s that,” I asked? “They are boys who think they are girls.” She answered. She was still on my arm and I was beginning to think I might have a problem, “What do I do if she does take credit cards,” I wondered? She walked me past the last of the “ladies” then patted me on the back and said, “Have a good night Sir, and remember me.” How could I forget you? I doubt many streetwalkers anywhere are as polite or as entrepreneurial.
I had now been in Fiji about 12 hours. I was both tired and wired but If I was going to teach on Monday, which is why I was in Fiji, I needed to get my body and head into the Fiji time zone. I was in bed by 10:00 P.M. Fiji time. I put in a wakeup call for 6:30.