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.
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.
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.
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.