Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tiny geckos and a Swiss Family Robinson-like getaway

Talofa! I thought I would start you out with a little Samoan remix...remember that blog where I talked about the version of "I Gotta Feeling" (by the Black Eyed Peas)? Well, my roomie Amber finally found it! Here it is...
Isn't it fantastic? You might not appreciate it as much as I do...but I bet if you come here, hop on an 'aiga bus and cruise along the island, you'll love it just as much as me!

This cute little guy was on my ceiling the other night. I had to stand on my tippy toes and stretch my arms as far as they could go to get this picture. I wish I had something to put by it to show you how TINY it was. And the gecko seems to be hovering in mid-air. Magic!

Friday night was a big night for Pago Pago. A cruise ship was in town! Myself, my roomies, and one of our teacher friends, Danielle, went into Utulei (about a 45 minute drive from Leone) to visit the Friday night market. As we drove past the shipyard, this big old thing popped up. This could only mean one thing: palagi overload. Remember palagi (pa-la-ng-ee) is the word for white person. Suprisingly, we didn't see many palagi's but as we walked through the market all the Samoans clearly thought we were fresh off the boat. I got charged an extra dollar for a bunch of bananas! Darn it! And just about everyone stared at me, which they normally do, but this was more of a "HEY TOURIST, COME BUY MY PALUSAMI!" look. Ahh. Even as we walked along the harbor to get closer to the cruise ship, a group of teenagers shouted out "Thanks for visiting Samoa!" I yelled back, "I LIVE HERE!" It was funny. Later on as we walked back toward the market, I did notice three women that were obvious tourists. One had on a short dress which was way above her knees (scandalous!), the second one looked extremely uncomfortable, and the third one was walking and eating at the same time! TSK TSK!

I think I have failed to mention on here (or maybe I have and I've just forgotten?) that in the Samoan culture, it is not okay to stand or walk while eating or drinking. This was really hard to get used to during my first couple weeks here. If you go out to get food, you find a spot and sit. In the fa'asamoa (the Samoan way of life), eating is an important part of their culture, and to them, it is something that deserves respect, therefore you sit and eat. I'm a pro now. Even after a visit to the gas station for some ice cream (I know, I know...weird, right?), we go right outside and sit on a bench, watching the gas attendants fill up cars. This is perfectly normal!

On Saturday, Abby and I, as well as two other WTers, Kasey and Lauren, headed out to Tisa's Barefoot Bar. From Leone, you can make it there by taking two buses. First you must ride to the market: 50-60 minute ride. Second, you hop on a bus that is headed toward Tula (a village on the very far east side) which will take you right by Tisa's. Shortly after you get on this bus, you drive by the Starkist tuna cannery...aka the nastiest smell you have EVER smelled in your entire life. This bus ride was about 15 minutes. Having never been there before, Abby and I watched for Tisa's, only to completely pass it. We got off the bus and walked back. At least we now know where it is!

Candyman, a New Zealander and his wife own the bar. Yes, he goes by Candyman. He whipped us up some fresh, homemade pina coladas and we soaked in the beauty of the white, sandy beach below us.  

The whole place was very Swiss Family Robinsony. It's a tourist trap for palagi's. During our few hours there, we spoke to some "yacht-ies" - a husband and wife from Portland that were yachting around the South Pacific. Tough life. As we watched the tide roll in, we feasted on some fresh banana fries, aka fries made out of bananas. Delicious!

Kasey and I with our sweet sunglasses

After we had gotten a little sun, we headed back to Pago for lunch (Tisa's had run out of all their food!) and after a little of a wait, a bus finally came by and picked us up. The thing about this bus was that it was PACKED. People were piled high - sitting on laps, on the floor, etc. 4 more people had to pile on...however would we do it?? Kasey and I ended up sitting on the floor of the bus facing everyone. I sat right next to the driver. Sweet. Fa'asamoa! My friend Lauren took a picture so I'll try to get a copy of it so you can see!

Now it is time for me to bake some cookies and enjoy the beautiful day. Malo!


Mom said...

tsk tsk! Funny story about the cruise ship, Quinn. I liked the video and it reminded me how much you liked riding the school bus when you were little. So many adventures!

Kristine said...

Quinn - it's been chilly and rainy and dark by 7PM here in Chicagoland, but your video and gorgeous beach/drink photos have me in a virtual paradise.