Adventure-tourism for free on Fiji roads
A reader writes of her first experience on Fiji roads. After a wonderful fishing trip off Denarau, we started our three-hour drive from Nadi to Suva via The Queens Road, the main open road. Leaving Nadi at dusk I was a little unnerved by the numerous fires blazing randomly across the countryside (I was told this is the post-sugar-cane-harvest burn off, to clear the fields for the next planting and that there was little or no control over the fires and sometimes they got a little out of hand). But that wasnt the most disconcerting thing I experienced. The roads were a patchwork of poorly repaired potholes and were like riding on cobblestones. There were drivers who had been taught fuel economy tricks, like driving well under the speed limit. There was the occasional car without headlights and some with illegal coloured flashing lights on pimped up taxis with decals like Lazy Lover and Westside emblazoned on the back windscreen to impress the ladies, plus fog lights and spot lights blinding the oncoming traffic. Then theres extreme tail-gating (as close as a caravan), overtaking on blind corners - and if you do overtake an impending driver going 30km in a 80km zone, chances are theyll speed up and try and pass you back. It was an adrenalin-filled ride, topped off by our driver slamming on the brakes to avoid - just by the hair of his chinny, chin, chin - a huge pig being coaxed across the road by his owner in the pitch blackness.
A different point of view around gun control
With each mass shooting in the US, social media has a tendency to discuss the ongoing gun debate. This spread around social media after 49 people were killed and 58 injured at Orlando Nightclub just last year: How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion - mandatory 48-hr waiting period, parental permission, a note from his doctor proving he understands what hes about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence, and an ultrasound wand up the ass (just because). Lets close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, and people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun. It makes more sense to do this with young men and guns than with women and health care, right? I mean, no woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right? - unknown