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.
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