Last night, being a Friday night, was one of only two nights during the week when it is worth checking out the nightlife here. Savu Savu is a pretty slow town. There are three different venues and I opted for the one I was warned to stay away from by the very polite Fijian staff at the posh Copra Shed marina. "It is unsafe for yachties." I think the truth is that is unsafe for anybody as I witnessed at least three fights and two persons who had gone way over their limit passed out in front of the club on the lawn. Fijians like to party in that rowdy sort of way.
The other two options were the club for Indians and the bar/restaurant for the yachties. I also spent a good portion of the evening with the Fijian staff at the Waitui Marina. Copra Shed gets all the business so the small bar at Waitui was empty and the workers do a kava circle every evening right on the dock where I tie my dinghy up. It attracts locals who live nearby so it was a good group. Kava circles have elements of plain old peer pressure traditionalized into a ceremony. They pass the bowl full of drink around, there is hand clapping and a few other gestures but mostly it feels like a strange game of trying to out last one another and/or maintaining some composure despite being completely subdued by the drug. It is a bit lively in the beginning with a guitar, songs, "bullshit" stories. I even got to hold the floor with that liberal shtick of commiserating with them about how unfair it is to have expats come and slowly buy up beautiful pieces of property that they couldn't afford in their own country which ends up making it unaffordable for the Fijians(no law about foreigners owning land here). My shtick usually includes the waring to not lust after an opportunity to live in America making big bucks. Complete trap... "You think you'll have time to hang out and do a kava circle???", Most people who have never been to American don't realize just how bad the neighborhoods for the non white working class really are... After a couple of hours of drinking kava, the drug starts to take effect and there isn't any conversation anymore. I left and by the time I came back from the club the ones still there looked stoned and incapable of moving. At some point you have to rouse yourself up and go home. It is considered bad taste to sneak off and when your turn comes you have to announce your departure. It is part of the ceremony. Everyone wakes up momentarily, partially self conscious of the fact they spend every evening drinking themselves into a stupor, but it seemed barely conscious and buried by the ceremonial gesture of saying goodnight.