One day, I ran into a primary school friend.
We sometimes walked home, having both spent our bus fare on sugar donuts on the back of the fat lady's ute.
We reminisced about our catholic school, about our fishing trips in year 3 even though some of our class didn't know how to swim, about the teacher who slept with the bus driver and the priest who...oh nevermind, where was I?
Yes, we exchanged numbers/etc and promised to catch up etc.
we resumed comms and she suggested we go out.
but, ...to the local night club (where pretty much every samoan fundraiser happens round here).
I live about 10 minutes from the place, and if you've grown up in Samoa or in South awkrand or campbelltown haha, you'll be aware of the sort of places I'm referring to,
It's like Evaeva, or RSA or wherever you go where there are 4 toilets, 2 are out of order, one is clogged and the functional one has no lid, cover or door., so you attempt to pee standing/sitting without touching anything and think about the diseases you're contracting while there.
It's a nightclub, the music blasts so loudly that when you walk out, you have physical pain in your eardrums and throat from yelling (talking to your friends) - oh, and you've had your vagina rubbed unexpectedly by a smelly old man at the dance floor,...that sort of place.
As much as I hate the place, when there are fundraisers, we do have to show up and support. I obviously hate the place even more because the previous owner loiters there and he is a sleazebag who looks at women and licks his yellowed teeth with desperation.
Every time I see him at the market I think, yuck - another respectable high chief in broad daylight and a pervert in the shadows.
To cut to the chase, my friend and I did catch up, thankfully at a place down the road before reluctantly venturing onto the place. I couldn't find an excuse to get out of it.
One this specific night, its once again a fundraiser - and a bunch of grown men crowd around the entry, some had attended school with my older siblings. Some are best mates with men who abuse their partners while they look the other way.
...the joys of coming from a big family - it makes people assume that if they were friends with one of the siblings, it makes it okay to say, 'buy me a beer" fefe ia ufakoomz.
I suddenly felt very disgusted.
20 minutes in and a fight breaks out but the burly security are quick to chuck the culprits out.
I did my usual Houdini and went home to cleanse my skin of chlamydia and ebola I got from the toilet visit.
It got me thinking, ........people migrate to new places to get a better life blahblahblah ----and then I looked around and though ---wow, we've come so far ....and yet.
oi aue o le mala ua kele.