Koa and I just walked home from Italiano Pizza through pouring rain, and I had to acknowledge it was the second time today I had every reason to take a taxi except for the fact that I am proud and cheap. Living in Apia, everything is a walk and taking a taxi is a luxury saved for extreme circumstances. It’s difficult to know what constitutes extreme circumstances though. But as I type this blog, Koa and I are sitting around in our boxers while our clothes drip dry in my bathroom, and I think probably the circumstances of our walk home was extreme enough.
The day actually began with a taxi ride. Max from group 79, the computer teachers’ go-to guy for hardware and software expertise, was helping Blakey with her computer lab today, and I wanted him to look at my sick server. So I packed up the server and rode up the mountain to Blakey’s.
Packing up the server, I gave brief pause to the fact Blakey might not have a keyboard with a USB jack. I called her, but she didn’t answer. Ehhh, thought I foolishly, I’m sure she has a USB keyboard. When I arrived at Blakey’s lab, it was the first question I asked. Blakey was skeptical. And after a thorough search of the lab, it became clear I was going to have to go back down the mountain.
I was able to catch a bus with a route that luckily went right by my school. Blakey’s school is about a quarter mile back from the road, so it was already a hike to get to the road, but the bus pulled up just as I got out there. Score!
I ran into my house, grabbed the things I needed, and I was back out on the road in less than 5 minutes. This time it took a bus much longer to show, and when I gestured for it to stop and pick me up, it turned out to be the wrong bus. It took me about 3 blocks in the right direction, and as it made a turn that I didn’t want, I pulled the cord and got off.
From there I decided to walk. It’s difficult to convey the length of this journey. On one hand, it’s short enough that it was only a 40 minute walk. On the other hand, it is a sweltering, humid heat and a relatively steep grade. It’s not a walk that anyone, palagi or Samoan makes regularly, and telling people this evening that I walked there, people looked at me like screws were coming loose.
It wasn’t all that grueling, but it was the kind of deal where when I tried to dry my sweaty hands, I couldn’t because there was no part of my body or clothes that wasn’t also drenched with sweat. Also, I had no water. Also, there’s no sidewalk. Like I said, I was proud and cheap. I might also add that, in a muni-esque turn of events, the bus showed up just as I arrived at Blakey’s school. I did beat it by about 30 seconds.
This evening’s circumstances were different. Tonight is Briony’s birthday celebration and was also the computer teacher textbook meeting. I figured the meeting would flow into dinner, but it didn’t. The meeting, which happened over dinner, left those of us intending to celebrate the birthday with two hours to kill. So we walked home when the rain showed signs of slowing.
But rain here ebbs and flows without sympathy for umbrella-less pedestrians. And as quickly as the rain had slowed, it picked up again. And here we are, sitting around in our undies waiting for Briony’s birthday party to start.
I hope you’re calling a cab. Pictures below.
Blakey playing hostess.
Blakey's computer lab.
My feet after the walk up the mountain. They looked like the feet of a sandaled chimneysweep.
Silhouettes of Koa and Sara at dinner.
The other offputting part of the day was the power went out in Apia. Power was out for all of our dinner (Italiano uses a gas oven). This picture looks better bigger, I think.
5 months ago