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Being Marika

Fijian Sunset

You’d never know if from looking at me, but I once was betrothed to a Fijian princess.

You’ll probably think the kava was to blame, but I believe it was my crush on Emily. In 1989 I started a round-the-world journey and one of my first ports of call was the island of Viti Levu, in Fiji. It was there that I met Emily.

Emily was a tall, elegant brunette with the most luminous and sad eyes I’d ever seen. But it was probably the warmth of her smile that I found so compelling. Whatever the source of my infatuation — erotic or romantic — I was keen to see what might develop between us. On our second day in Fiji, she discovered that a village on the island of Beqa was taking in travelers to raise money for their church. This sounded like an adventure to Emily, who had just finished a master’s in anthropology, and she wanted us to go. She could have asked me to go bare-assed snorkeling with tiger sharks and I would have said yes.

Read the rest of this short travel fiction here…>

Alltop doesn’t buy into this Valentine’s thing either. Beautiful sunset pic by David Gee.


  1. I really enjoyed this. Your descriptions were very evocative. And I found myself wondering how much of it really happened. Your tags intrigue me, with your “almost true stories” and your “creative non-fiction…”

    Also, I feel compelled to share that I had a great aunt who did marry a Fijian village chief. She went to Fiji in her 60s in the Peace Corps, and returned to the US, to a backwater town in Colorado, with a new husband. I remember first meeting him at the mall. My sister and I, age 10 and 12, were mortified by what he was wearing: a ski jacket on top, and what looked to be a skirt on the bottom.

    He never quite adjusted to American life, and eventually went back to Fiji.

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