The cheapest piece is of course the plots in Vaitele, behind the anals of factory fumes and chemical gung and the criminal squatter settlements of Rio.
*sigh, our budget will get us just that, squatter paradise neighbours or AOG acoustic screamers*
So....I decided that desperate measures called for desperate action (or whatever the saying is) -
I will do whatever it takes to get me that land with a view in Malololelei which will be 30g or less - already cleared with electricity and water on the 3/4 or half acre, better than Ah Likis and Ah Hims plots.
(I was prepared to do anything that didn't involve bending over or airing my thighs, no thanks - that will be reserved for the 2 acres at Vailima under 90g).
A plan was laid out. In my head.
I walked to the shabby Catholic Lands office opposite the recently revamped Feiloaimauso.
I stopped outside the door.
Removed my Emporio Armani shades..my gold watch from Paris, my necklace from Marion.
Switched off the phone,
Scruffed up my already afro hair,
Removed rings except my wedding and engagement band (holy matrimony is important to me Dear Lord).
I looked proudly at my reflection on the dusty window...Voila!
I think the Director will see a devout Rosary carrying Catholic girl who wants to offer her soul for the taulaga and build a home of worship).
Last thing to do, accentuate my growing belly - to show my state of fragility and distrust in contraception because I want to procreate the earth with my offsprings, Amen).
(I looked at my teeth using the glass window next to me, to make sure theres no mango bits, and a priest peers out from the other side of the glass, smiling. Fuck. Bad start, walk on).
I entered the air conditioned office and there is a queu of equally destitute looking people around.
I;m sure Misa Foni said there was no poverty in Samoa, who are these shets?
I waited, I read my Samoa Observer and pretended there was worthwhile news.
And then, he walked in.
And saw my paper,
And asked me if he can read it. (I thank God for creating Sano Malifa, you're my hero).
"But of course sir!" and proceeded to his desk, and invited myself to sit down.
He read the paper, I sat looking at the engraved letters of my handbag.
"Magaia lau ako suga" he looks up from from page 6.
I looked at him and realised, the one thing I should have hidden is staring at the Director; my mother's Louis Vuitton that I bribed off her for a $100NZD. Fark. so much for looking broke.
Anyhow, our meeting starts.
I tell my sob story, and he listens.
In fact, all the 20 + people in the air conditioned little room listen to my sob story.
This is how it went,
"I'm *insert name here* from Savaii.
I just arrived on the boat (Lie) with my elderly mother (Lie) and we currently live in the favelas of Apia (slightly a lie- half truth), I don't have land (well, I really don't, but my mom does but she has other children who will drag me to land and titles court for building on her land in 60 years time), anyway, about my mother who is elderly (she will crucify me if she hears me call her elderly), I want to build her a house on some land, and since I am Catholic (and my eyes drop to the floor to show humility and poverty) I wish to plead with you for some land (and my desperation makes my shoulders droop with sadness).
"Where are you living now?" asked the Director.
"Well, after I finished my primary schooling in St Theresa Fusi Safotulafai (not a lie- but unnecesary info), I went to Logoipulotu (omit the fact that I went to Samco 5 minutes later), we migrated (emphasis on migration of the poor) to the favellas of Lalovaea, where we currently live now (lie) with my cousins, aunties, uncles and the whole aiga basket".
The foundation has been laid, he chats to me some more and then states that priority goes to those who have been relocated and with a real need (and I thought disquietly, oh! like the rich fakas with the best view up the hill? sure Pedro).
So I stress my desperation some more, like my mother is not getting any younger (she will now hang me at this point for making her an antique) and we have a growing family (and gestures towards my suddenly large belly).
He repeats himself at this point, "...priority is for those who are relocated and those who are in desperate need....radiradirah"
I realised, this guy was not gonna sell me land.
Was it the Louis Vuitton? Was my story too surreal? Was he seeing my manicured nails? Was my pre-marital sex past showing? Was he aware my brothers are key contributors to the marjuana scene? Should I have brought my Rosary along? And a cow and pig for an offering to Virgin Mary?
Our meeting comes to an awkward end and I decided to throw in a spanner to the works.
"Well, please let me know if anything comes available because I came prepared to purchase land immediately and not queu up for a loan and start building for my elderly mother and many family members."
The penny dropped.
"Well," boasted the Director, "you do know those who can afford to purchase land immediately get the priority, right? If you have the money, we can definitely work something out".
Well, in that case, scratch that relocated and needy bit, I have cash sir.
The Word of the day is this:
Sometimes, money is not the root of all evil. Its what you make of it that makes it evil. If you want to buy land from the Pope in Samoa, wear your pretty MENA dress, put on your whore red lippy, borrow your sister's bling and click your stillettos past Pinati to see the Director, coz no sob story can match the value of the TALA. Bless you all my sinful children.