Sunday, July 25, 2010

Guest Contributor: Jen and Tommy (Part 1)

Hi. I’m Jen. Tommy and I came to Samoa to visit Matt for a few days before heading to Australia. Unfortunate- ly, our trip was cut a bit short when our original flight was canceled, but we did the best with the time we had and enjoyed ourselves. It was good to see Matt, of course, but it was also good to experience the things and meet the people I’ve been reading about for the last year and a half. Today I’m going to review the things that I found to be not awesome about Samoa. Don’t worry, tomorrow I have a much longer list of awesome and very awesome things to discuss.

There are some things that are not awesome about Samoa, and while I don’t want to be a downer, I want to give an accurate picture of my experiences:
  1. Mosquitoes and other bitey bugs. I think my non-tropical blood is especially tasty to these tropical bugs. I have a nice constellation of bites on my legs and ankles. I’m really lucky it’s too sunny for vampires here because clearly my blood is delicious.
  2. Soccer injuries. On Friday evening we went to the Faleata Sports Complex to watch a rousing soccer game between the Peace Corps and one of the local businesses in Apia. Shortly after halftime a dramatic turn of events took place and things got a little heated and raucous—let’s just say Samoan emergency response time could go on the awesome list.
  3. Standing on the bus. I think public transportation is an excellent way to travel, generally. At home when you have to stand on the bus or BART it can be uncomfortable, but not unbearable. Standing on the bus here is entirely different. The roof is about an inch shorter than I am tall and today’s bus had nothing to grab during the bumpier moments. It’s also a lot hotter and stickier in close proximity to others.
  4. The Heat. Let’s face it. I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area. Anything above 75° is pushing my comfort level. Give me 90° and humidity and I feel like I’m cooking in my own juices. I realize that this is “winter” (extremely questionable terminology requires quotation marks) but it’s still very uncomfortable, especially in Apia.
  5. Roosters. I am not a bird lover. I feel the need to be up front about that before I go on to complain about them. Because of the jetlag, I’ve been getting up between 4:30 and 5:30 each morning. The roosters start up about 6:00, it seems. Since I’m already up, that’s neither here nor there. HOWEVER, once they start, they never stop. Right now it’s 4:15 p.m. and roosters are crowing. A normal person may have already tuned them out, but I want to slap a permanent snooze button on their foreheads.
  6. Diesel exhaust. There are a lot of diesel-powered vehicles in Apia. The exhaust they spew doesn’t smog up the beautiful sky, thankfully, but it does add to the heat (blerg) and make the city smell like...diesel.
Just so you don’t think I didn’t enjoy myself here, stay tuned for the list of Samoa awesomeness that includes some of the following: drinking from coconuts, the buses, fire dancers, Seki ā Pizza, Tanu Beach Fales, beach pigs and other animals, breakfast foods, sunsets, and walking.

I hope you’re well! Pictures below.

Here's an action shot of the soccer game pre-confrontation.

Here's the rooster's quieter girlfriend(s?).

It's hot.

Tommy would have liked the ocean to go on the not awesome page. He calls this disdainful respect.

Scout is so cute! She's a lot smaller than I thought she would be.

Decidedly not not awesome. Yeah, I said it. The best fish and chips I've ever had.

A picture of what's to come...beach fales

The view from the pier at Lusia's where the Peace Corps kids hang out. Awesome, right?


Bruce of "Fish r Friends" said...

Fish & Chips in Samoa is about the best that there is ever..

It does help that the fish used are some of the some most expensive anywhere else, but cheaper in Samoa.

Ria P said...

ahhh HOME sweet HOME! hehe excellent observations Jen, you undoubtedly listed the reasons why mom took us home to visit all those years ago - no doubt so we would appreciate what we have right here (Yay for BART & alarm clocks that TURN OFF lol)... missing out on fish & chips and drinking nuts? - not so great lol. Enjoy the rest of your trip. And have fun in Ozzie-land too, watch out for the koalas lol