HE TRIED TO SELL PINEAPPLES, BUT THE GIs IN FIJI WOULDN’T BUY

By Cpl. Irving Johnson

YANK Field Correspondent

fiji

American GI’s in Fiji

FIJI—An old Fijian, who seldom left his village, came to town with a load of pineapples on his shoulder. It was the time of year when pineapples were not too plentiful, and a Fijian policeman advised him to go over by the wharf where several details of American soldiers were working. He told the old man that the Americans had plenty of money and would probably pay a good price for the pineapples.



The old boy took his advice and went over to the wharf. This was the first time he had ever confronted Americans. As he approached the first detail, one of the soldiers asked him, “How much?” This happens to mean “low tide” in Fijian. The old Fijian looked at the ocean, then shook his head and answered, “Sa senga, sake sa senga ‘much’.” (“No sir, it is not low tide”). Seeing the Fijian shake his head, the soldiers took it for granted the pineapples were not for sale and went back to work.

All along the wharf the old man ran into the same difficulty. At last he gave up in disgust, hoarse from trying to convince the United States Army that the tide was not low. He didn’t sell any pineapples.



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