Monday, August 21, 2006

Eating Wriggling Delicacies

Blessed is the worm that slide through my shivering fingers and into the salty black ocean,

Lament the unlucky worm caught in Uncle Satuu’s home-made mosquito net racket that is immediately devoured.

Chomp on blue, green, red worms while they squirm for their short-lived existence.
Samoan delicacy at its best - Live, wriggling reproductive organs that float to the glassy surface only once on a balmy full moon in November.

The one night when we don’t mind being awake at 2am to sew sweet smelling necklaces and to patch mosquito nets to be used for catching the ellusive worms.

Throw in a dozen bottles of Vailima and the night stretches out into the dark shadows of sleeping Itu-o-Tane shorelines.

Only to be disrupted by coconut lit fires and disgruntled pigs as humans take their place under leafy fuafua trees.

We wait and wait and wait and wait.

In the shadows.

While able bodied men paddle their flimsy canoes in search for where the palolo will choose to rise.

“It’s going be a good year, I can feel it” says the toothless man from Fagamalo.

“I doubt it, there were no thunders and worst of all, no lightning in October, it’s a waste of time” mumbled the old lady from Avao. In the darkness, I see the shine of her two gold teeth and the pink of her round plastic hoop earrings.

I think to myself, If I was a palolo, I would swim away as fast as I could from her.
The early morning air is a pungent fusion of Impulse perfumes mixed with fragipanis, mosoois and pig shit.

Depending where you’re stepping in the dark, the latter can be unpleasant.

Women gather their children, chiefs chat near the fires, young lovers hold hands in the pleasant darkness, young girls gaze at half undressed boys and dogs bark into the darkness because they can. Until someone throws a rock unto their emaciated ribs and quietens them momentarily.

As we wait, we worry.

The sun rises not too far away, yet the palolo refuses to surface.

And just when the fires started to die out, the voices of the men fill the air, and a sea of bodies rush to the sea, with buckets and nets and Goodyear tyre floaters and little children in tow.

Nevermind the dangerous undercurrent

Nevermind the rising tide

Nevermind the sharp corals

Nevermind the reef’s treacherous edge looming close

Nevermind the hungry sharks.

Nevermind the bodies swept out to the unforgiving deep, still holding onto their buckets of worms, never to be recovered.

“Make laia, it just wasn’t their year” says the toothless old woman, while she chows wriggling palolo between her two gold teeth.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

'Showtime' has left the building.

A blog entry ago, I was laughing about my aunty's question whether Hirene has died, my response was "It's prebably one of his jokes"
But now I realise it is true, Hirene has actually,

I won’t sugar-coat my recollection of Hirene.
Although he would have loved that, even brag about it later, saying that ‘That Jody, she thinks I’m hot!”

Hirene is first and foremost, a ‘performer’

An ‘entertainer’ born for the limelight.

He shines, he smiles, he cheers people up and he makes the most of a situation.

While the 79 dancers were bitching and whining about being in a stressful situation in Germany, Hirene was making friends with the barmaids, construction workers, management and the children that watched the shows.

When I think of Hirene I smile, because he always always has something cheeky to say.
In his time as the ‘mascot’ faaluma for the Samoa show, he was determined to make people laugh, even breaking his arm in the process.

But that did not stop him.

In his own words “The show must go on”.

I am certain most Peacecorps and Australian ambassadors know or have seen/met Hirene because he worked at Lighthouse/BadBillys and other bars in town. It is hard not to miss someone who is eager to strike a conversation with every stranger the comes thru the door.

When we were at Paddles beginning of this year, he came over and kissed us twice on the cheek, and said “Halo, Mein name is Hirene, Wie heist du? Or some German shite like that.

He was wearing a long sleeved Spanish style shirt, very tight white jeans and a majurity that didn’t suit him. “I’m engaged” he said,
“NO f^c1(@^ way!” we exclaimed.

“Ya, to my darling in Germany” he proudly informed us.

“My condolences to your wife to be” was our response.

“Whatever, youre jealous coz you can’t have me!” he laughs and hits the dance floor.

And that was the last we saw of Hirene.

It seems strange that the flamboyant lively character will no longer grace a stage, be under a limelight anymore. Strangely enough, it feels like the show has come to an end.

My heart goes out to his girlfriend, his family and friends, its tragic to lose a loved one but reassuring to have shared a life with "Showtime" the star of the show.

Is Hirene = "Showtime" alive?

I'm wondering if my information is a bit rusty but somebody please confirm if Hirene is alive or not.

I'm talking about Hirene from Lighthouse/Bad Billys who went with the Germany with the STA dance group.

Hirene if youre reading this, ARe you alive (uh, no shet, thats why you'll respond hehehe)...unless you have internet connection beyond the grave.

Any real information would be appreciated.

Knowing how much of a joker he is, i'm hoping this is one of his's hoping.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What comes first? The cocoa or the rice?

This week, I mumbled a silent prayer at work because I almost punched a work colleague in the face during a meeting.

And (bless me Father) I didn’t.

Instead, I just imagined her eyes getting poked in by a huge Alaskan bear.
The kind that Salty saw outside his window, or maybe I’m imagining that too.
My disappointment was so intense that I actually got up, calmly excused myself, walked to the coffee corner and downed two shots without sugar or milk.
I was angry.

Furry Logic is the one thing that calmed my anger.

“Be Yourself, No one is better qualified”

“Life is full of challenges, eventually you’ll find a hairstyle you like”

At the week’s end, I had recovered my ‘cool’ and reminded myself that I get more wrinkles from being pissed off.

Plus, after all, its just work and frankly, I won’t let that mortgage-paying aspect of my life ruin my mascara.

I drove home to our new happy house in the quiet St Andrew suburb to find the Maori neighbours drunk for the fifth night in a row, singing “No Woman No Cry”.
Sometimes, I wish Bob Marley wasn’t born at all.

So that I could sleep peacefully without “ Emancipating yourself from antislavery” ringing in my eardrums in slurred Maori vocals on a frosty winter night, in a supposedly quiet neighbourhood.

Still, I am convinced that I will not let these minor mishaps dampen my day/night, so I started painting flowers on canvas, then a little splash of black as a background, a wave breaking, no, a tsunami looks better, with some sharks and maybe a few Maoris fishing on the reef, eating pipis and mussels and puha and kumara and fish and chips.


Picasso would have been pleased.

Delighted even.

Tonight, I decided to make use of the samoan cocoa I got from mom when she came from Samoa two months ago.

It is wrapped in clear plastic and inserted into another white plastic foam cup.
I open these covers and feel the smooth but hard cocoa between my hands.
“How the #%& do I break this?”

I grab a bread knife and saw away, small bits fall off and land on the newly cleaned floor.

I pick up the bigger pieces from the floor and leave them on the sink (Note to self, dispose of these later”.

Frenchy walks in, sees the cocoa bits and tastes one.

“Youre making a mess, you vasti”

“None of your business kio”

“Hah, a Samoan who can’t make cocoa, vasti”


Frenchy gets the message and pisses off to the garage to pretend he’s doing constructive DIY work that he really doesn’t know.

I return to my cocoa chipping, picked out a pot, filled it with water and dropped in the cocoa bits.

Halfway though, I decided to do koko alaisa, rice cocoa, cocoa rice, rice in cocoa whateva.

I pick up the phone and call Delphina.

Shane comes to the phone with instructions,

“Cut off half of the cocoa bits, microwave that in a cup, before you put it into the pot.”

I look at the already boiling pot and realize the advice came 5 minutes too late.
“What comes first Shane, the cocoa or the rice?

“The rice, the coconut cream and then the cocoa.”

“Oh, coconut cream too? Forget it, I don’t have that”

Dilmah tea it will be.