Time Bandit

14 November 2017 | Blackwattle Bay, Sydney
11 November 2017 | Bimbadgen Winery, Hunter Valley
08 November 2017
06 November 2017 | Calm Before The Storm, Port Stephens
03 November 2017
01 November 2017
25 October 2017
20 October 2017
17 October 2017 | Slag heap horizons
16 October 2017
10 October 2017 | Rivergate Marina, Brisbane
06 October 2017
04 October 2017
02 October 2017
29 September 2017
19 September 2017 | See the likeness?
15 September 2017
11 September 2017
03 September 2017 | Cornwall, just after the war.
30 August 2017

Economic Indicators

03 August 2017
East Meets West

So, after four weeks in a "Barefoot" economy we were suddenly thrust back into the full throttle, "Trainer" economy of Savusavu with its bustling shops, cars and boats and planes.

Savusavu, pop, < 5,000, is the smaller of the two main towns on the island and today we visited Labasa, clearly a "Corfam" economy. 24,000 folk live here. Mostly school kids from what I can see.

In the absence of any other economic indicators I've developed this theory, wot I have composed, wot is mine and mine alone (for full text refer my dear brother or, was it Monty Python?). My theory is that footwear, or indeed absence of, is a pretty good indicator of an area's economic status.

I've developed five levels:-
- Barefoot
- Flip-flop (Thong for Australian readers)
- Trainers
- Corfam (remember "living, breathing (all plastic) Corfam shoes?)
- Gucci Loafer

A little bit like the British Working Class, Middle Class and just like that, while fundamentally in one "class" individuals can accessorize, perhaps with a Manchester United, an All-Blacks T-shirt or perhaps a Smart Phone, to indicate that while, yes, they may be a Flii-Flopper, but, personally, they are an upper level Flip- Flopper.

The Lau Group is clearly a barefoot economy where the population live off the land and some income from trading coconuts and fish, while Savusavu is definitely more, "Flip-Flop".

Flip-Flippers are more service oriented providing a non mall shopping experience, diving, taxi tours and bars.

Today we're in Trainer territory, Labasa, but here the model is distorted by an over representation of Corfam as it seems such footwear is mandatory school wear.

A two and a half hour trip across the mountains in a rickety bus took us through the cane fields and copra plantations to the main town of Fiji's northern island Vanua Levi pop. 120,000

Chaos seems to be the modus operandi, perhaps showing some traits from the local populations Asian roots. Way back on the late 1800's to early 1900's, when the good ol' Upper Class Twi-- sorry Brits needed cheap, or better, free labour to cut the sugar cane and as slavery was abolished, they cunningly developed a new "class", the "Indentured Servant" and shipped some 60,000 Indians over from "the Colony" to get cutting.

Consequently Fiji today is very much an island of two cultures living what's appears happy but separate lives, although the PR says everyone's Fijian.

The Indo Fijians seem to own and run all the enterprises in town. The native Fijians seem happy in their roots; fruit and veg trading in the open market.

One Group is is Barefoot or Flip-flopped, the other, Trainer or Corfam. You guess.
Comments
Vessel Name: Time Bandit
Vessel Make/Model: Island Packet 45
Hailing Port: Largs, Scotland
Crew: Anne and Stuart Letton
About: ex dinghy and keelboat racers now tooled up with an ocean going boat and cruising around aimlessly, destination Nirvana...
Extra: 2017/18 Left NZ in May '17 cruising Fiji, Lau Group, Yasawas, Vanuatu and New Caledonia before heading for Australia to land cruise and sit out cyclone season down Sydney way.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/timebandit/profile
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