Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Tale of Lua Samoas, Part Three

Where was I? Oh yes, it was a month ago, and we were in Samoa, on our way to Sene's wedding. Kolio and I met up with Lupe and Joey. We were headed straight for the wedding!

But first we decided to stop and look at the Baha'i temple. If I've got this blog set up right, you can click it to see a bigger image.

I think it was actually bigger than that.

From there we went directly to the resort where the wedding would be held. It had been hit really hard by the tsunami, and was in the middle of being rebuilt.

But it was still a very nice place.

Looks like a goo place for a wedding.

It is.Did I mention that Joey performed the ceremony? Yep, apparently my boss is a preacher in the Universal Life Church, AKA That Preacher Thing With the Ads In Rolling Stone. I didn't know this until the ceremony began. You learn something every day, I suppose.

A lot of family members are there. All the pictures during and after the ceremony, by the way, are transferred from the video that I took and will edit into their wedding video.

There is cake.
And dancing.

And a beautiful sunset, none of which tranfered to stills that well.

There is also a great seafood buffet, about a dozen more guests, Lupe singing "The Rose," and a belly dancer. None of which I have good stills of anyway.

Congratulations to Sene and Angie! I'll have your video done
sooner or later!



Yes, there
was REALLY a belly dancer after the reception!


...Yes, she was kind of hot. But, like nearly every other woman I've met since moving down here, she was soon telling me about her husband and kids. But her story was interesting, as she's an American citizen who just went to on vacation to Samoa a few years back and decided to stay. And by stay, I mean move back several years later when she got the chance.

...I wouldn't.

Anyhow, it was a great wedding. But I had a whole 'nother half-day on the island, which there will be a whole 'nother entry for, along with a lot of general observations that I made.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Tale of Lua Samoas, Part Two

Before I get back to talking about the wedding, I have more exciting Internet-related news!

I came home from work about two weeks ago to discover that my Internet wasn't working again, even though it had been a few days since I had had any problems. I called up my ISP and found out that it was intentionally turned off. According to them, I had called a few days ago and told them to turn off my Internet connection because I was leaving the island permanently.

Yeah. I wasn't.

So they switched it back on within a few minutes, and everything was fine until about a week later when one of my coworkers called me and told me that he had just learned that a BlueSkynet crew would be headed to my apartment later that day to de-install my Internet antenna, 'cause, you know, I was moving off the island and stuff. Another call to Customer Service put a stop to that. They said they didn't know anything about who had called or anything like that.

So now I know that BlueSkynet is not only self-aware, it's apparently gained the ability to make phone calls.


Anyhow, my second day in Samoa started with a big Samoan breakfast and a drive along the shoreline back into town.

Once in Apia, we drove past the Magik Theater of Copyright Infringement.

Click for a bigger version that shows you how bad it really is. And I'm not talking about the shakiness of my camera.

Then we drove around that part of the island a bit.
Samoa's Parliamentary building, or something like that.


A future government building that is being paid for by the Chinese Government.
I'm sure they expect nothing in return.

The Faleata Sports Complex, home of the 2007 South Pacific Games.
Did you know they had South Pacific Games? You do now.

The other Maliu Mai. Just in case you thought it was the one in American Samoa.

Then we had lunch. And Kolio told me that the story everyone on the radio was talking excitedly about was that an emu had been captured on the island, and they were trying to figure out where it had come from. Actually, I think that part had happened the day before, but I forgot to mention it.

When I start telling things out of order like that, I'm either trying a new video editing technique or it's time for bed. More next time, including the actual wedding.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Tale of Lua Samoas, Part One

So my Internet appears to be finally fixed for good and now I can get back to writing without interru+++CARRIER LOST+++


...Okay, we can't be totally certain that it's back for good yet, but I think it's usable for now. Anyhow, I was preparing for my trip to Independent Samoa. I had locked the doors, turned off the A/C, and was all ready to go. I did one final check of my apartment, patted my pockets to feel the reassuring shapes of my wallet, keys, and passport, and went off. I was going to be right on time, arriving exactly when the airline had told me to be there. I hopped in my car and drove to the airport. I pulled into the parking lot, said hey to the guy that you pay for parking, and reached into my pocket for my wallet to grab a dollar

...and found my camera, which happens to be almost the exact size, shape and weight of my wallet. My wallet was nowhere to be found.

Oh great.

Long story short, I found my wallet within the hour and managed to get onto the very next flight with very little trouble. And because of a far less amusing story, I was only able to take camera phone pictures during the flight, but they came out OK enough.

Due to the camera's shutter speed or something, the propeller blades came out looking really cool. Either that or the plane was breaking down very quickly. More on that last theory in a bit.

The American Samoa Golf Course and the village of Ill'ili.


I landed at Fagali'i Airport, a place so obscure that Wikipedia doesn't even know it's been back in operation since last July. And as we land, a very loud buzzer goes off in the cockpit. We weren't ever told exactly what that was all about, except that it's not a normal part of the landing process, which I presume is bad. Anyway, I believe that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing, so I didn't dwell on it too much.

I proceed to go through customs, pick up my checked luggage from the baggage claim area (a spot on the floor where it was unceremoniously thrown, and I mean literally thrown), and meet Kolio, my friend and co-worker who is originally from this island and whom I've co-rented a car with. We give a ride to two people I met on the flight; one from Switzerland and another from some less exotic country. We drive around the island for a bit, which is beautiful. Also much more spacious than the cramped island I've been living on.

Also, the car has the driver's side on the right because, as you may recall, the nation switched to lefthand-side driving back in September. We stop at a small roadside stand that happens to be run by Mickey Mouse's creepy cousin.

What he's saying translates to "I will devour your soul just as I devour this ice cream!"

Inside a different store, they are selling pigs' feet. Not pickled or anything, just pigs' feet.

I'm sure they're delicious, if you happen to be a wolf.

The stereo of our rental car. Notice the ChineseormaybeJapanese writing in the bottom-left corner.
Wait, there's got to be more to it than that...

BAM! It's also DVD Player! Bet you didn't see that coming!

I'm sure "BAM!" and "Didn't see that coming!" are phrases someone who uses it while driving will become very familiar with.

We arrived at Kolio's sister's house, where we'll both be staying for the weekend. They were very gracious hosts, and I had a very nice time staying there. But I'm sure you're all worn out from having your face rocked by that Transformer stereo, so I'll just end it for tonight with a nice picture of Kolio, his niece and our rental car. Aww, what a cute rental car!

It's like the offspring of an SUV and a teensy Eurotrash car.