Wednesday, July 27, 2011

food

Auoi ka fefe e.
I am eating like a pig, and it is NOT on.
Every morning since being here, I have been eating madeleine cakes for breakfast.
This arvo, I was feeling a bit lethargic, so I went to the kitchen to make a healthy snack and ate ...another 2!
Then danettes for lunch....I LOVE the vanilla flavour and I have been opening it for MM, knowing full well she is not interested...so I inhale it instead.


I know, I'm a pig.

who cares,..

I'm on holiday.

heh

Monday, July 25, 2011

sorry, we've been a bit busy

...exploring, meeting friends and families, eating and forgetting to get on felatusi and to update my poloka.

Being here this long is so cool because we are tooootally laxed out, sleeping in, catching up with friends and family when we feel like it...and best of all, leaving the smalls at home with the TIna O le tamaloa. (Hereby called Tio:)

We spent the day again at an exclusive spot for say, people who are not very poor. Our salaries combined is probably the cost of one lady's handbag (actually, maybe her handbag is handmade by the finest artisans in Milano, so ..hmmm, another compariosn mayb).
Anyhow, we get to go there because of  my husbran's brother and co, not because of us....nooooooo way!
Every time I lay down my book and spread out my towel by the pool, among bronzed fakkas, a voice screams in my head:
"DAMN IT....MONEY CAN TOTALLY BUY HAPPINESS!! Whoever disagrees is a broke as bitch!"
MM is in love with the place, ...hmmm, sister, better enjoy it coz you'll be back in Teorongoniushitol Te Rapa next month!

Tio leaves to go North with her peva tomorrow, leaving the house to us ....to await the grand arrival of the komiti tumama a Sineva, Siufaga ma Moataa, and possibly two more including my bestie from my uni, another coconut from Fiji....5 more sleeps (:

Friday, July 22, 2011

My uncle Lealali

He died when I was in Year 7.
I loved him more than I loved anyone else in the world.
And so did every other child in our world.
Lealali was a Sunday school teacher, a faafafine, a tiakono, a fai pese, a story teller, a florist, an uncle and every child's friend.
Even now, my inner child goes back to the early mornings, watching Lealali sitting faagape vae with his akoako of red, samasama and sometimes pink aute.
His old weathered hands moving slowly to stick three, sometimes four autes into long tuanius until he was surrounded with an array of glorious colours.
He'd placed these into jars of sand.
On some days, we were called over to discover an aute with six petals.
Or two autes that have opened up together.
But the call we all looked forward to, is one where he saved the ripest mangoes for  the earliest riser.
What a reward that was, eating a sweet juicy mango.
It was even more rewarding with a envious audience of CJ,Lan,Mex,Di,Fa'i,Nave,Neil and Lagi.
Who'd all be cursing and hoping that you will choke and die at the first bite.
We were a feaiga'i lot. This much is true. Much to our mother's dismay.
But Lealali had a way with us.
He was quiet. He had a smile on his face.
He understood us in a way no other grown up did.
He had no children of his own, but most of the children in the family became his to raise. And love.
I miss him now.
Now that I have children of my own.
Who will be their childhood heroes?
Who will be the Lealali for them.
He taught me how to make a pale, using the fibres of the auke branch as string.
But he did more, he made me break many a branches so I could see which was the best.
He had a rule about flowers. We had to use every single one we picked.
He taught me about being resourceful with the trees and flowers around us, ...oh the possibilities.
But the evening,
The evening was Lealali's realm,
After the alisi have cried, after the pigs and children were fed and after the hymns were sung.
When all was quiet and calm in the village,
Under our Grandma's roof, we'd be setting up our mattresses in a perfect row,
We would be fighting (again) to be nearest to Lealali and Faleasiu,
But not too close that she would whack you with her ili.
We lived for their shared fagogo,
Like one that started with Leutogitupaitea in Falealupo. When she is banished into Pulotu, the underworld. But when she re-emerges into this world, she finds herself amidst a large expanse of lava, in all directions (Aue).
Just lava all around and a clear blue sky.
Leutogitupaitea stands for a moment... and in the distance, she hears a beat, a drum...
Wait...it is getting closer!
Auoi! There in the distance is a moving object,
Large, square, alien, obscene and strange.
Leutogitupaitea turns to run but she cannot.
She is frozen time, frozen and unable to dodge,
the advance of the Ai Ai Ava.
Bus.


Stop and listen to your elders, they may have a hilarious fagogo to tell.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cuers

Spent the day in Cuers today with the usual suspects,.
Kids had loads of fun climbing trees, playing petangue, dirtying clothes, near drowning each other, watering plants and fighting each other in the dust while playing petangue.
Eh, ka'i kele.
This visit reminded me of my crazy awesome preediful 3 siblings CJ, Mex and Leigh who were here with Hilary last time. Sob, I miss them. For about 30 seconds then I went back to my yummy melon.
I was looking forward to Mex and Tau coming as well this time round but they're now staying back ): ): ):
We'll see each other soon enough I'm sure.

I was selfishly hoping Mex and Tau would come so someone else would be answering the gazillion questions about the members of my family these guys have met before. I have break it to MM in the morning that her fight club cousin isn't coming now ):

so heres some pics of Cuers for you guys who went there last time, and for the others to know what im korero'ing about:



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I have been living a little bit too much reality in the last few days, I was beginning to neglect my alter ego online.
How dare I?!

There are some things that tick me off about this culture, but also others that leaves me exclaiming:
"Why the hell don't we do this at home? or in Samoa?"

1. When we visit friends, family or vice versa, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE embrace and kiss each other. Even. Staunch. Stocky. Blokes. With. Balls.
It is such a humane act, one that I cannot imagine my uncle doing if he was to run into his cousin down the vai kaele. he would rather be shot and be left bleeding to death.

2. After the said embrace, this region kicks off with an apéro of rose, pastis and munchies from the area. This is great because by the time we eat, we'd have been grazing already. Again, I can picture my revered aunty Aniva wondering why there's only decorations on the table and being pissed off about waiting for ages for a real meal. Hah.

3. Carrefour: I want a Carrefour in NZ!!!! It is sooo much better than ANYTHING we have there!

4. Small trusty cars, less carbon in the atmosphere,  better quality, cheaper to run more compact and people don't care that thet don't drive a huge petrol guzzler that they'll spend the next 5 years paying off.

5. Salads are consumed AFTER the meal, Always, so that you have ZERO choice but to swallow what's been dumped on your plate.

6. July Sales: OMG - the sales are out of this world!

But, they could learn from us by doing these things:

7. Add more fasi pua'a to the menu.

8. Marseille drivers are something else. They don't just think they own the road. They actually do! It is utter Anarchy when we are driving. And worse, because if you are the poor sod wanting to stick to the speedlimit and wait at the chaotic intersection for an opening to merge, you will be roasted with angry expressions and horns tooting. Thankfully, they see Frenchy at the wheel and behave because majority of the males are puny skinny mini dudes.

9. Continuing from above, I get so upset at the French sometimes. The men to be exact. I have seen some gorgeous faces and tall builds but they are small fakkas. I am bigger than many of them. Which is quite upsetting. And to make it worse, for those with a slight advantage over the rest, they think they are ultra hot. But I can totally knock their petit lights out. Easily. I wish they would take some mor e...eh, whatever, some taro and more kaleve mamoe to beef them up. For my pervert viewing pleasure.

K, sorry, have run out of things to say,...I keep getting disturbed, 4 blokes playing petangue under the tree and its midnight. crazy fakkas.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Get off the grass!

The celebrations were just as fervent in Auckland, where former Samoa captain Peter Fatialofa said: "I don't usually drink on Sunday, but I think I'm going to have one to celebrate."


well said mate, well said....chi ching!

The red sunset after the rain this evening

guku oso


MM:  I'm really really cross with you mum...you didn't bring my togs and you're not letting me swim.

Me:    ...we'll come after lunch if its sunny (yeah right).
MM:  Huh, I'm cross with daddy too,..and Mamoune too... I dont like you all!"
Me:    Don't forget, I can smack you in France, theres no antismacking law in France my luv.
MM:  But I tell you to my teacher at kindy when we get back to new zealand!huh!"
          ...okay moimimi, you win.

Victory and my faith renewed...auuuuu~!

After the Manu's victory this Sunday morning, I decided the Lord - who I have  been distant from lately, truly gave a damn. Really. I love you.
And so woke up my sleeping familia to get ready for church.
MM's was like "why are we going to church today mum?"
hah - mauad le le masagi.

Anyhow- it was great because this was the same place we got married, and the old priest is still there. Just.
He's lost his marbles a wee bit but he did remember me.
I mean, hello - how many other gorgeous Samoans has he met? None ov course. (okay, he did think i was Tahitian, but whose checking anyway).
MM was a devil reincarnate in church and I had to sit her next to her great granma, a staunch no bullshit type of mama who lives and breathes the Catholic faith.
But aue Malia e, MM was running circles around her....i was very close to whacking her with the old lady's cane like the trusty Lalomalava ladies.
At least the service was only 45 minutes.
We drove around to faakafao her and then ended up having lunch at the beach.
There I was being fia agelu and asking for lemonade and she ordered the waiter to get her some fine whiskey on the rocks.
I love the woman already....so I switched to something more potent meself.
"Oh what a beautiful moooorning!!!"
Thank you Manu Samoa,...you have renewed my faith...win us the World Cup and I'll truly give up my life of sin and check into a convent. True story.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Body Shock

Coming from the busy metropolitan city of Lalomalava, baring your shoulders in public is a despicable act.
So much that our falekua will stand you up in front of the 300 sunday schoolers and accuse you of having impure thoughts about boys and their ding dongs.
Even before you started thinking about ding dongs.
Then, there's more.
She will use "you" as an example to the 300 sunday schoolers of a girl with impure thoughts about boys and their ding dongs.
"Ia, vaai ia Fotu ua ova le tautalaititi ma le fa'aalialiina o tauau i le falesa! Oka! Ua alu tele lona mafaufau i tama la e feoai solo i le auala...auuuu, Isa!"
Frankly, it didn't bother me.
It made me tick sometimes, especially when church was a wonderful catwalk to showcase ones gorgeous dress (right after the kakalo amaka, when everyone was seated, pugi laia).
It even made me want to rebel because I was a piece of crap like that as a teenager. (moment of truth).
I decided being stood up in front of the aoga asosa was okay (more engaged audience) and being used as an example was fine (setting the fashion standards auuu, ufa!) 
I didn't care then, I dont care now.
At the end of the day, clothes don't define me, ....but my God, doesn't it just lift ones spirit!
...and so, you may ask, why am I talking about this shit now?
well, because i wanted a prelude to my blog entry today, but as usual, I got completely sidetracked.
So let's start afresh.

Tits and All
We're in the South of France. I accept that. Its hot, dry and the beach is a relaxing place to be. But there is no, no, no place for a woman of 72 to bare her leathery wringled remains of breasts for the world to see. No. Way. Jose.
It took me 3 visits to the beach to get used to this again...women freely hanging their homeware like its nothing. I know, I'm a museum artifact like that, I like my breasts covered, hidden, packed and sometimes grilled, but no to boobfest in the sand. Please.
Which brings me to another 'body shock'.
My koa2's momma had a new padu'i. E sau mai le North o Falagi. E fai siga lapo'a o le mayjar.
Well, every mornng since he's been here, e ala a'e i le taeao, savali mai i fafo o le la poku ma le underwear.
WTF....this is NEVER acceptable unless you are really really schexy.
Now I am tempted to say "Isa!"

k, photos to come......this century.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Winning but I can't comment!

I just spent ages commenting on Sleepless' blog...AGAIN, and nothing works!!!! c'mon blogger!
anyhow, just wanted to say,....I won her competition (2 winners but really I'm
 THE real winner, i bet the other was a consolation prize...lol).
Thank you Lani Wendt Young,...i am looking forward to the COCONUT QUEEN INDULGENT SET fit for a Goddess...chooohooooo!!

The only reason I'm looking forward to returning home....Faafetai lava!!!

ps, can you please hold onto it till Aug when I'm back, and please feel free to throw in some cookies lying qround, heh:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First full day in Marseille

Still jetlagged, but slowly getting our A into D (:
And best of all, French found the adaptor for the laptop so I can type with the reassuring presence of exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wohoooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(ahem - sorry).

Anyhow, its our first 24 hours - and already, we are getting our days planned with military precision by Nani Jacqui.
I must be ready jetlagged because I'm not fighting it.
Yesterday, Luccio and co came for dinner.
Luccio is Frenchy's bestie from their rugby days. He is with Audre, and they have son MM's age named Gabin.  We spent a summer in Corsica with these three, so it was great to reconnect and watch MM attempt to speak in her unique french (chuck in a few samoan words and english, and top it off with a maori karakia) with the poor boy.
 I forget that my family have met all these people too, so the questions about their welfare is neverending:
"hows Omega? Is Alex still flying a plane in ...where is it? Dubai? Jordan? Does Omega wear a burka(sic)"
"Is Alex still a BIIG fakka?"
"Cherelle is married?? NO! She should marry a boy from Marseille!"
"Is your friend from Rome married? No, Good!!! Bring her back!"
 the funniest of all "Is Samoa stillokay after ze Big wave?"
Yes - it is still standing.

sorry, end here, Tuifiti wants a feed, inconsiderate child!

Monday, July 11, 2011

2 Days later

Ill try keep this qs brief qs possible because i am nodding off, qnd ,more so, becquse I am not qble to find the qpostrophe qnd exclqmqtion mqrk on this fecking keyboqrd....qnd God knows I cqnt exist without my exclqmqtions: argh:(
oh; qnd why the feck is the letter A in the arong plqce, fecking shats.
phew;

We left home on Friday, slept at Aunty Lucys, then hopped on Korean Air from Aucklqnd to Seoul; Both MM and Tuifiti were good, highlight was getting the bqssinet right thru to Paris...I pulled the oldest trick in the travel consultant bible and pretended I was besties with the KE rep qt check in; nothing like flattery to woo the overworked buggers.

In Seoul, we got spoilt again by KE (did i mention how brilliant they are?:) when we got not only the usual room at the Hyatt Incheon, but also dinner, breakfast and lunch. I ate until I felt sick, then, because MM tends to graze during the night, I packed some in my hqndbag like a self respecting woman of the Tuisafua familia (tiau faasoloakoa, not that i give a care). Frenchy was about to die from embqrrasment but he was the first to stomach the camembert and the panacotta 2 hours later.

Seoul to Paris was AMAZING. Tuifiti only woke up for a short while but the rest of the time, I put him on the boob and he slept through the feed. The trip to Samoa was definitely good pratice, so this time round, I knew not to force him to feed at take off and landing.

MM simply watched cqrtoons. The only time she fqltered was screaming hystericqlly when the tiger was about to eat baby Tarzan, but I quickly reqssure her that a cqrtoon is fake (and she looked qt me with disdain) and I told her Tarzan is the reason for the cartoon, so he cqnt die, hes the kama o le aka...doh::

Now, this is the part of the voyage when the dream goes tits up. And shall I contiue with the milk adage and insert here that Frenchy planning a trip is as effective as tits on a bull?
Yup - he booked our TGV train from the Airport so that we only had 2 hours between touch down qnd the train leaving. (provided thqt the flight was on time).
In Seoul, we were parked on the runway due to some China air space dramas; i;e we were screwed before takeoff. Upon arrival, luggage was slow. We still attempted to make a dash for the train...yes, 2 adults, a ' year old princessa, a jetlagged baby and our gazillion bags.
2 hours later, a train ride and a shuttle to the air france hotel near CDG - we were absolutely knackered and I was very close to strangling Frenchy, but I realise I didnt want the inconvenience of looking after 2 weary under 5s; so his life was spared...plus, I forgot my credit card and I need his for the trip.

Today, Tuifiti and I had a sleep in, and Frenchy was up from 4am thqnks to MM, make ai);

11am left for CDG again, bound for Marseille, this time, the flight is a lousy 1 hour...too easy. MM is sick of the journey at this point. When I showed her the ill fated Concorde, she responded "When am I ever getting to my Nani?"
We arrived into the crazy but relieving 34 degrees heat of Marseille; We heard Jules, Antoine, Victor, Jacqui and Marion long before we got out. MM was running all over the show with her cousins. Children never cease to amaze me with their adaptability and ability to revel in the moment, without prejudice or fear or reservqtions or judgement. Right from AKL, MM has found many a playmate to amuse herself, at waiting lounges, plane aisles, hotel lobbies and now, at least these children are her own cousins.
The first thing I did when I got here?
I checked my fqcebook I had a glass of rosé. Gave the baby to his doting grandmother. Beastfeed (oops, not in that order of course). Then crashed.
Viia le Alii ua kauguu maguia legei malaga, ua kau masofa kauau i le amoga o gei kamaiki.



Thursday, July 07, 2011

OMG - I got my first ever virtual infringement

Sorry, whoever was offended by the contents of this entry,
OMG - of all of the vulgar, rude, insulting things I've said, this one got pinged. lol.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

hmmm...fast moves

so MM hops in the cot to cheer up Tuifiti,
she sings, pinches his cheeks and makes him laugh.
Great entertainment, and buys me time to get MM's change of clothes.
I turn my back and realise these a dummy in his mouth
"where did u get that?"
MM casually responds "on the floor, duh!"

oopsie!

The things that go pasae in the night....spoooky!

I'm reading a book called Her Perfect Symmetry.
It is a dark aitu type of novel about weird twin sisters, an ancient cemetery, a woman who dies but then remains in her flat, as a ghost.

Oka oka e, I was absolutely scared - enough for me to turn the bedside lamp on at 2:35am, ...palaai much? Yessir~!
So I decided I was NOT going to continue because my thoughts are now consumed with spirits lingering in our hallway and ghosts touching my face in my sleep...arghhh!
Stop it! Sorry Jesus, I believe in you!!! Always!

So my fear of ghosts/spirits is nothing new. I have always been ghost-sensitive from an early age...because I have seen one!
The first time was sleeping in my Gramna's house in Safua and then seeing silouhettes of people walking past our house .....except, there is a fence and people can't walk through, even in broad daylight.
So I laid there, frozen with fear until daylight.
My Grandma said ua ova lo'u kaukalaikiki thus the ghosts, gee thanks much!

Then at Lalovaea, we always hear footsteps downstairs - but no one else is in the house...bear in mind, that house is old and our family have been born, conceived, and passed through those doorways for decades. Spooky!

Of course, my fears are not eased by our village dramas...like the occasional ma'i aitu where (always a woman!) a woman shakes and seems 'pocessed' and then a traditional healer is called.
This healer then brings fuefue saiga leaves for the pocessed woman to drink and be massaged with.
The first time I saw this was Eteline, our neighbour.
She was shaking violently and the whole village and their dog were surrounding her from all sides of their fale oo (yessir - there was no TV, whose gonna miss the thrill of the month!).
Of course as kids, we were scared shitless.
No one wanted to be alone and no one wanted to misbehave for a whole hour thereafter.

With Eteline's case, 'apparently' some dead ancestor entered her body (ahem - can you tell I'm struggling to translate the samowen version?) and was speaking through her, demanding that she is returned to her family home. After the episode, when the aitu leaves a woman's body, she is usually spent, tired and extremely famished, so pisupo is usually pried open for this occasion.
The only perk of being pocessed: pisupo.
Eeeek! I'm getting goosebumps just writing about aikus....Jesus I love you!!!

Anyhow, now that I'm older, I'm beginning to suspect that maybe some of these ma'iaikus are a form of outlet for some people? ...maybe that woman has had enough of her marriage that she explodes with anger and becomes delusional? Multiple personality maybe?

Eh - I really don't know but on the lighter side, another woman named Moata had a crush on a man named Siliki.
One sunny day, she suddenly dropped, rolled and is in pocessed rage.
When she was questioned and taunted by the 'ghost whisperer' she screamed back:
"Amai le kama e faagogofo ma le keige lea!" (Bring that boy to marry with this girl).
The ghost whispered then yelled back:
"Who are you, you alelo? @^*#&#(#((#....Who are you to disturb the peace @*^*&## Tell us your identity!"
And the ghost yelled back "O Moata".
Oops!
Slap in her face and her illness was gone.
No boy and no pisupo that day for poor Moata.

But tonight, I trust in the Lord Almighty and I will say my prayers because ghosts don't exist!
No, really!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Preparing

PackingFour more sleeps before Europe and we have not packed a thing,
In fact, we have not even unpacked properly from Samoa.
Frenchy thinks we are taking one large suitcase.
I am planning to take just three.
We have already argued over this issue,
...simply because of our cultural differences; He wants to travel light, minimum hassle.
I want to take banana chips, koko samoa (for the fobsicles in the Provence) and throw in the kitchen sink if it fits.
Then the argument ended and we were back to square one: No packing.
In the meantime, MM's kindy have agreed to adopt her fishies.

Trusty Neighbours
The Golden Oldies across the road are looking after the place and watering the frangipanis (2 now).
This is the lovely ol Bev who knows EVERYTHING that happens on our street, last decade, yesterday and can predetermine who will move out, in, under, be born and who will die in the next year.
She is a darling, she comes over with whatever grows in her garden, knowing that MM loves it...so much that she took MM across last year and when her back was turned, MM ate all the tomatoes from her the tomato patch. (and that was the last invitation, haha).
She looked after our house before, and when we returned, she gave me a detailed account of who drove into the driveway, the hat they wore and the time and date.
It's moments like these I am grateful for nosey and lovely neighbours.
We do have a cop across the road too, but I'm sure it's Bev who will scare away any potential thieves.

Baby Travel
The Samoa trip was good practice for Tuifiti.
So I am now armed with the Pamol, soothers, Weleda teething powder, Farex rusks, sieve for fruits, vicks, etc etc. You name it, I got it.
Thanks to my travel gurus, we got the bassinet booked and confirmed and the accommodation in SEL all done.
Now I just have to make sure I don't forget the baby, hah.
 
So yeah - anyone needing a place to crash in the next 7 weeks here, lemme know - and please mow the lawns while you're at it  (-:...and don't do the dirty on my bed, stick to the guest room!

Now I need to go "and think about" packing.

gosh - that was one ass of a blog entry -can u tell i can't b bothered being 'readable'? sorry - better one next (:

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Fuatino showing us how its done.....

video

My fav. images of the month...some of em anyway.









Saturday, July 02, 2011

wow - 6 years feels like a lifetime

This saturday marks 6 years since I was married to my husband,
In sickness and in health, for better or forget it worse.
So I want to blog before I forget about it, like last year, when we both remembered it, a day after the date.
That's how long we've been married, long enough to forget about it,
Long enough that we were not even dissapointed, coz we are so in love anyway.
hahahah - spew now - you know you want to!
Anyhow, recap time,
There is much to be joyful for, we are still together (Shania Twain who?) we can still tolerate each other and thank the Lord Almightly, I haven't killed the fakka yet. So we might be doing something right.
What have I learnt about marriage thus far?
Simply put, it has its good days and bad months, and every once in a while, some fabulous moments.
We are not the same people we married in 2005.
We've changed to accommodate each other but doing so did not happen smoothly, hell no,...it took a lot of arguments, tears, anger, disagreement and near world war fives.
All in all, we are in it for the long haul and we will do what it take to make it work:
Highlights:
- Finding our first flat at Galloway Street, and buying our very first couch!
- Travelling through HKG-France (got hitched)-Spain-Italy-Scotland before settling back in Htown
- Buying our first house (wow, amazing feeling...and then the rates bill arrived haha).
- The arrival of Miss Maeva Moelagi Becerra. (MM)
- Taking MM to Samoa - priceless, especially when she was passed from chest to breast and back in  Lalomalava while Momma had a break.
- Frenchy getting his dream job.
- Me getting my dream job and then decided to make life tricky by going back to uni (:
- Surviving the rough patch of work, baby, study, work,.. a testament of our craziness commitment.
- The unexpected but welcome arrival of Sebastien Tuifiti this year.
 ...and so on and so forth.

I am not to forget that among these highs are problems galore, shouting matches, and the odd - "YOU RUINED MY LIFE AND MY HIPS! YOU PRICK" but nothing we couldn't handle.
We are four now, and it feels just right, congratulations us, ...we made it to 6 years, may we live to see 16 years, or 26, even better if its 50.
Viia pea le Alii i faamanuiaga ua maua e lenei aiga fa'atauva'a.
E le fa'agaloina fo'i o ma aiga i le lagolago mai i talosaga fa'apea le faatasi ma'i matou i le tele o taimi.