Saturday, February 25, 2006

Herwig and Christiane saw us off at the Bochum train station, it was sad to leave them, because we have become rather 'at home' and spoilt there,...but all good things must come to an end...we waved goodbye as we gather our 8 pieces of luggage onto somewhere near the exit but without obstructing people's acess.
The journey took 3 hours from Bochum to Stuttgart.

Why Stuttgart?
To give you an idea of why i chose Stuttgart, it's like this,.
I know Leutu from Safotu Savaii, she is Aunty Anna's best mate.
Leutu is married to Frank and have one daughter Lagi living in Stuttgart.
When i was informed that I would be taking Matile to Germany, I summoned my travel angels and sent out a mass email to my German contacts. I then called Leutu from Bochum and informed her that we will be coming to Stuttgart to stay, just give me the address to go to.

It so happened that when we boarded the train, I was not certain of our arrangements, nor was i worried.
I have done this before, arriving in a foreign country, opening my adress book and calling someone i knew in the area, a samoan, a university friend, a former guest at Safua, a long lost relative, a family friend, a friend i have not yet met.

Anyhow, we arrive in Stuttgart and Matile asks, 'Who is picking us up?"
I responded "I don't know yet, just look out for a Samoan face"
She asked worriedly, "What if they dont show?"
"They will, if not, i will call someone" at the same time subconsciously realising the Samoan community are expecting their celebrity singer to return safely, and i'm in deep shit if a psycho killer picks us up, nevermind that minor detail.

Stuttgart here we come

The train arrived into Stuttgart, a dull city further depressed by the pathetic winter blues, with pale-faced people minding their own business, unless staring at the two aliens with the 8 peices of luggage and flowers in their hair.
Samoan Census
That night, we met the rest of the close samoan community in stuttgart, made up of ...wait for it....3 samoans.
1. Charles Tobins 2.Leutu Jaschke 3.Siupapa Mapu.

But this population was dramatically increased threefold by Leutu's husband Frank, their beautiful daughter Lagi and some others i can't mention due to unfortunate circumstances.

I meet these people for the first time and i feel at ease as we laugh, joke and converse like old friends meeting again.
One great thing about being in a truly foreign country with other samoans (New Zealand, Aussie and the States aint foreign in that sense) is your freedom to curse in Samoan freely.
Try asking the German waiter "Do you serve pogauas with the fries?"

Our time in Stuttgart was a true learning u-turn for me.

We drove to the Patch Barracks, (the Military base), at which we had to register before entering.
We stopped at the Petrol Station and we hopped out to buy a drink from the shop.

20 minutes later, i re-enter the car, with Doritos, ricies treats, fritos corn chips, oreos and all those american stuff i could only get in american samoa or mainland.

This place is a mini-america, you can't even use your euros in there.

I was rather enlightened about this place and i had a million questions about how and why things are there in the first place.
Either way, thank you uncle sam for the doritos.
God bless America but i still think George Bush is a wanker.

Moving ON...
We had a little get together with a few of the samoans in the military to celebrate charles birthday (and matile's, poor darling, first birthday away from home).
It was a great time had by all and im glad we met all these great people...we danced, ate, swapped addresses, copied music and dvds, sang samoan songs and had a great ol' time.
How is it that all Samoans on this earth start singing the same song when they get toasted? 'Usu ane o le su'e, e tutu lana faapuuuuuuusssssaaaaa'
Samoa, land of musical drunks..

I also understand that for the privilege of staying and being welcomed by these intriquing characters that my phone and email remains open for that random call from auckland airport, when one of them arrives unplanned and i'll be more than happy to return the favour...and long as they bring some doritos!!!!

Why was my suitcase heavy?

I always plan to travel light.

But when you have Samoans on the other end of the flightplan, you must realise that 12 kg will be taken up by pisupos, handbags, fakeflowers and lavalavas.
And because I work for STA, add visitor guides, free maps, calendars and a dvd of samoa to show.

I also took the video camera to film the auditions, photo camera, chargers, laptop and adpators.

Then comes the warm stuff, and lately, my valued accessories: Boots

April 7: 2007.
Sine posting the above entry, I have had numerous emails about the people i have mentioned above. Mostly unpleasant comments about or regarding people's actions. PLease be adviced that I really don't go into detail and interview whether people are screwing and banging whoever and whenever, BUT, as a favour, i have removed peoples names, so i hope that'll keep your dramas under wraps for now.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Brewery Moritz Fiege Pils

cheers!!!! thats inside the brewery.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bochum mit Christiane und Herwig Niggemann

Guten Tag,

Apologies fot the delayed news my beluvved people, i've been busy (or not, just having a ball here in Bochum Germany.

Just to give you an idea, I cme to accompany Matile Tausili on her trip to visit two music school in Germany.

At the moment, we are staying with the most interesting couple you could think of, Christiane and Herwig Niggemann; theyre charismatic, well-travelled accomodating people who have taken us into their gorgeous home and we truly feel 'smitten! overwhelmed'.

We arrived on the 16th feb, at frankurt after 27 hours from auckland.

Upon arrival, we went to catch the train at the Train station within the airport, so it was rather accessible and easy to reach despite our crazy luggage.

The train arrived, at 8:09 headed for Koln (pronounced Cologne) so we hopped onto the nearest exit, but halfway through, the train officer came to check our tickets.
He looked at me, looked at Matile, back to me, Matile, then the luggage, shook his head and said 'You know youre in first class area and you paid 2nd class?"
Me looking shocked 'Oh is that right? I wasn't aware of that, sorry sir'

'Yes, but we are almost there, and you have too much luggage, by the time you get to 2nd class you'll be in Koln already'.
Then he was asking us, 'Why Bochum, do you two sing?", so we relayed the same story to the train employee, the same story we told the information personnel at FRA airport.

So we remained in the first class area, hopped off at koln, after the same guy helped us unload our excess baggage.

We switched train for Bochum immediately, where we were awaited by the impressionable Christiane and Herwig.

I must admit it was so comforting seeing such a friendly reception!

Upon arrival at their lovely home, we noticed the Samoa flag draping the doorway...!!!

We are definitely at home!

Both Christiane and Herwig have been to Samoa on numerous occasions.
Christiane's great uncle is Otto Tettens was based at the Mulinuu Observatory in 1902-1905.
Today, they hold an amble collage of photography from that era, few are staged, majority are stunning images of samoans at home, at work (weaving, rowing, living life), interactions between the German residents and the locals.

It is fair to say that this collection is the finest i have seen because it truly encapsulates the era in its true state.

I am indeed left yearning for more clues, more facts about what it was like back then?
YOu can't help but feel transformed back in time.

My interest is further fueled by the material wealth in the images.
This includes elaborate tuigas, nifo oti, siapo, mamanu o le siapo that are no longer seen, hair accesories, skirts fashioned with pandanus, in various different styles.
I am inspired!!!!

Back to reality.

Last night, the Niggemanns hosted the Rotarians of the area in a casual get-together to kick start the year 2006.

In preparation, they had various dishes on hand for the evening, hold your breath especially you Gui and MOm hahahaha...
lemme start: cheese from Spain, Italy, France
fresh salmon from Norway
ham from Italy
exotic salads made by Christiane..coucous-like, tasty, yum yum!!
champagne from,...Italy
lobster soup need to ask where...
salami from italy...(Gui, i took a pic for you, and ate heaps for you!)
breads from the nearby bakery, now thats something i truly love here...real bread!! not the mass processed pre-sliced machine generated sorry state of bread we know so well in aotearaw.

It is fair to say i loooooveed it all.

Its strange really when you eat fine foods, you dont feel bloated, but rather pleasantly gratified.

I realise now that my tastebuds have taken a gastronomical leap which will be lowered considerably upon my return to Pak and Save cuisine, immature NZ cheese, frozen salmon, stubborn ham, and pitiful murderous fush and chups takeaway.

Today, at 2pm, we meet with the Director of Essen Folkwang Academy, Dr Micheal Mills. so Matile is next door with the cd speakers on full blast going through her pre-singing ritual of listening, singing, sipping lemon tea, listening, sipping lemon tea, help us God!!!

I will report back to you after the audition, but for now...

Guten Tag...

Coming soon, tonight, we visit the Brewery....YES!!!! i'm being called home!!!
Broste oh broste!!!!(ahem, bad spelling, but thats how it sounds after a few,..hahah)

Now wipe youre chins people, and let me go,....hehehe

Sunday, February 12, 2006

tuiga, do you like???

Just an update reagrding my tuigas as I am getting a lot of wonderful enquiries about them.
Yes, I do make them now that I have a lot more time on hand.
Please email me at if you are interested.

manuia le aso,

(2012 April) I made this one with one tusk in mind and go given the second boar's tusk, and I love it so much I think I'm going to make the tusk a compulsory part of my tuigas....(errr, unless you don't want?)

With real hair, which i was able to mount onto the tuiga

 Overnight job: Six tuigas for the Lau Delegation all the wa from Samoa to cheer on Samoa vs Wales in Hamilton. They lost, but the tuigas were a hit, so who cares about the game.
 Susana Tuiga
 Close up of Susana's Tuiga, made of afa, ie toga, dyed wooden beads and mother of pearl shell.

 Used the last of the siapo that I have owned since 1999...): so I might not sell this one.

 The most beautiful tuiga I've done, to date (if I should say so meself, heh) for none other than Verenetia herself, Queen of Dubai.

 Fuatino wearing the tuiga I took home for my family to lend around because there is always a need for one....lets see how long it lasts before it 'mysteriously' dissapears. Note, i refeathered this one to this tacky red for CJ's Po Ula red themed hens night, otherwise, i would usually not touch this red for a serious tuiga.

 Taupous at Hong Kong Sevens, Maria of SIN, Mex of MCT and Netia of DXB.

Close up of the my):Netia's baby

Email me at if you are interested.

or like my very scruffy Facebook page where i will (attempt) to update pics of every tuiga I complete)...and please please please, if I have made one for you, can you please email me a photo of it with the taupou wearing it?

The Mount with Jason and Gui

Jason comes out after 2 hours of surfing,...or not

Gui pretending he's actually a pro, but really, he got smashed ...
Meanwhile, i do the sunbaking...ahhh, life is koooooodd

Thursday, February 09, 2006

15th -19th Feb next week

Hi pipol,

Just a note, that my phone will be switched off for 2 wks while im in Germany
I'll be in Bochum, Germany with matile for her auditions starting next Wednesday.

Fleur: your hotmail is full, fool...get gmail.
i'll call you from germany, i hope you still have the old # that ends with 0431.
okay, adios

We plan to go meet the Samoans in Stuttgart while there, from 23-25 or 26th...prolly do a show for them...a lava a le petru e all show faasoloadoa....hehehe

okay, i'll be checking my account on the trip....
luff u all.


Schedule: 15/02/06 Leave AKL-BKK-FRA
16/02/06 Arrive FRA, catch train to BOchum Hbf
Meet and stay with Christiane and Herwig Niggemann
17/02/06 Settle in. prepare for tomorrows meeting
18/02/06 1400: Meet Dr Micheal Mills, Essen Folkwang Academy.
Brewery Invitation
21/02/06 1100:Second Audition with Dr Vogel Musikhochule Detmold
22/02/06 Train to Stuugart to Mapu Siupapa, Charles Tobins, Leutu Jaschke
24/02/06 Charles Birthday in Stuttgart

To include: Visit Maria Weixler, call Ulf Weiss from Orchard Park, Call Fleur, call Jackie and Marion, reconfirm tickets, charge camera,