Speaking of bed, I was still asleep when the taxi showed up at Phil’s house this morning. Though when we made arrangements with the driver last night, he had agreed to be at Phil’s at 5:00 a.m., he woke me up at 4:18 shouting, “Lipo! Lipo!”
When I showed up at the window groggy and confused, he asked in Samoan if I was going to Apia. “Yo!” I shouted as I put on my ’ie faitaga.
The taxi ride seemed short, probably because I came in and out of sleep. Stevie Wonder was on the radio, and the driver’s son sat in the passenger seat. I asked if we could stop at the bank on the way to the wharf. When we reached our final destination, the driver wished me a good trip back, “Manuia le malaga.”
The wharf in Salelologa is surprisingly busy on Monday mornings because so many people spend Sunday resting and rely on that first boat to get them back to Apia in time. The gates were still closed when I arrived, so I decided to head to the satellite Peace Corps office across the street to kill some time.
After a brief fight with the faulty Internet connection, I headed back to the wharf in time to join in the obligatory minor scuffle at the ticket counter. Either I’ve gotten much better at maneuvering this crowd, or people have started to give me space because I’m a palagi; I’m not sure which, but I’ve been getting through that madness a lot faster lately.
When I boarded the boat, I first went for a seat in the air-conditioned cabin, but the pre-dawn air was already cold, and the air conditioning was freezing. So I headed upstairs to the observation deck, where I found Supy. He was headed into town to see the Medical Officer.
We chatted for a bit and watched the sun rise. The girl down the row from me ended up sleeping on the floor, covering herself with an ’ie.
There was more pandemonium getting off the boat, but somehow Supy and I both got seats on one of the buses headed for Apia.
Me and Supy.
A bleary (blurry) sun rises on the horizon just north of Upolu.