The Suva Bay Fiji Story
A true story that happened on a trip to Fiji, it was a one in a million chance
In Dec of 1993, I was talking to my good friend Neil Metcalf who was in in Brisbane Australia.
I was in the automotive parts business in Miami and every year I would plan a trip to Taiwan to visit our suppliers there. This year Neil suggested that after my business was done in Taiwan, my wife Katherine and I should come and visit him in Brisbane Australia.
Neil said that if we could come to Australia, he would like us to join him and his wife Roselyn on a side trip to Fiji. As Neil was also in the automotive electric business in Australia, he said that he did a bit of business in Fiji, and he also had honeymooned there when he had married Roselyn. Neil said that he wanted to take us to the very same resort where he was married. It all sounded pretty exciting and we told Neil that we would do it.
Now, in my business office in Miami we had a room where we kept our fax and copy machine.
Every time I went into the room, I noticed that someone had had put up a very pleasant picture that they must have copied out of a travel magazine. The picture was on a standard piece of 8-1/2 X 11 copy paper, and they had attached it to the paneling with four pieces of scotch tape in the corners. It had been there for several years, and I couldn’t help but look at it every time I went in the room to make a copy. I thought the picture was pleasant enough, it was a tropical scene with beautiful windblown palm trees and water in the background. I had always just assumed it was a typical Florida scene.
That office had fake wood paneling, and it always irritated me to see someone had attached the picture to the wall using scotch tape, as it always marred the paneling when you removed the picture. It bothered me so much, that one day I decided to take the picture down. So when I went to do it, it was the first time that I had really looked closely at it. To my surprise it was not a Florida picture it said “Suva Bay Fiji”.
Wow, what a coincidence, here I was, planning a trip to Fiji. So I gently removed the picture, and yes the scotch tape lifted the color right off the paneling, and I had to touch it up with a black magic marker pen.
I showed my wife the picture and we decided to take the picture with us to Fiji, who knows, there was possibly one chance in a million we would recognize the place where the picture was taken.
Our friend Neil was a perfect tour guide, and took us everywhere, and eventually we ended up heading for a hotel in the capital city of Suva. On the way to the hotel we passed Suva bay, so I took out the picture out and held it up, but it was just a big disappointment, it was low tide and Suva bay was like a dump, just loaded with trash, with lots of old and rusty ships at the docks.
It was nothing like the beautiful picture of swaying palm trees that I had in my hand. I got to thinking the picture was a fake, Suva bay didn’t look anything like it.
After checking into the hotel in Suva, I decided to give it one last shot, so when we went downstairs for supper my wife and I walked over to the front desk clerk and I took out the picture and showed it to him. He studied it for about a minute and said, sure, this picture was taken to be published in a magazine. It was taken from the balcony of room 235 upstairs. The room is presently unoccupied, would you like to see it, sure, we said. He took us to the room, and we went out on the balcony with the picture in hand, and sure enough there it was, the swaying palm trees and Suva bay in the background. We had actually found it, one chance in a million, our mission was accomplished.