Fiji Time - let the stress of the modern world just evaporate

If you have ever visited Fiji in the past, then you will be familiar with the concept. Once you arrive at the airport, then forget about deadlines, rushing, constantly checking your watch ... you are now on Fiji Time!

If you haven't heard the expression, then it's very simple. Life is to be lived, not rushed.

If you are used to the western world hustle and bustle, then Fiji Time can have one of two effects on you.

  1. Annoyance that not everyone is on time, or that you might have to wait a few minutes to get served
  2. A sense of relaxation - you are on vacation, and things begin to look different

I suspect that some people see Fiji Time as just an excuse to be lazy. But those people are generally the ones that refuse to leave their stress, work and way of life behind them when they get off the plane in Nadi. They expect things to work just the way they did back home.

Perhaps you have to spend more than a few days here, to get a feel for how Fiji Time is really a way of life. It's how Fijians have always lived, and (hopefully) always will. But unfortunately, that is unlikely. The concept of not rushing, living life as it is meant to be lived is refreshing in a world that runs at such a crazy pace. Unfortunately, Fiji time, and international business don't play well together.

Fiji Time and the rest of the world

The Fiji government (and I won't get political or give my views on that here), have something called the eleven pillars peoples charter. What this charter lays out, is the way to bring Fiji out from being basically a 3rd world country, and more in tune with the modern world.

For those that have an interest in such things, here are those eleven pillars .

  • Pillar 1: Ensuring Sustainable Democracy and Good and Just Governance
  • Pillar 2: Developing a Common National Identity and Building Social Cohesion
  • Pillar 3: Ensuring Effective, Enlightened and Accountable Leadership
  • Pillar 4: Enhancing Public Sector Efficiency, Performance Effectiveness and Service Delivery
  • Pillar 5: Achieving Higher Economic Growth While Ensuring Sustainability
  • Pillar 6: Making More Land Available for Productive Purposes
  • Pillar 7: Developing an Integrated Development Structure at the Divisional Level
  • Pillar 8: Reducing Poverty to a Negligible Level by 2015
  • Pillar 9: Making Fiji a Knowledge-based Society
  • Pillar 10: Improving Health Service Delivery
  • Pillar 11: Enhancing Global Integration and International Relations

So what has this got to do with the concept of Fiji Time? Nothing and everything.

It means that to function as part of a global economy, Fiji has to work with the rest of the world. And the rest of the world simply cannot function on "Fiji Time".

Let me give you an example. Last year, I was inquiring about some long term accommodation (3 months) at a Fijian hotel. I emailed them using their website contact form, and waited eight days for a reply. I replied within the hour to say that I had a few more questions before I booked, and I needed to make my booking asap.

They certainly took that to heart - I only waited seven days for their next reply. By that time, I had found alternative accommodation. And they missed out on what could have turned into a lucrative repeat customer.

But that is not unusual for Fiji. Well, perhaps it is...they did actually reply, many don't bother. Which reminds me...if you ever contact a a resort or tour operator that is listed on this site, and don't get a timely reply (within 48hrs), please let me know. I will investigate, and if there is not a very good reason (a tsunami or volcanic eruption would probably be good enough), then I will remove my recommendation of them from the website.

So while "Fiji Time" is great in Fiji, there needs to be an understanding among Fijians that the rest of the world simply doesn't function this way.

But forget the rest of the world while you are here. Live, relax, have fun. Fiji time will last for you until you get back on the plane to return home. And even if you can't take it with you, it will still be here when you return. And return you will, once the magic of the Pacific islands gets hold of you.

Fiji Time is exactly what you need to unwind and rejuvenate!

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