life in Samoa, sleepless in samoa

Life’s Meaningful Questions.

Why am I here? Where have I come from? Where am I going?

I have officially been resident here in NZ for 7 weeks now. And Im getting a little homesick. So when i stumbled across this complaint i had written a few years back, I knew I had found the perfect antidote for Samoa Homesickness! Next time i get a little teary eyed…or a little wistful for my home in the Islands..i shall read this somewhat hysterical whine…

So we have just gotten back home after spending 3 weeks on holiday in New Zealand. And I am pondering life’s existential eternal questions. As the rickety taxi with no air condition drags itself along the potholed dusty road from the airport and the sweat chokes me I am asking….Why am I here? As we agonize along past a ramshackle collection of shacklike huts ie.the private school that i pay thousands for my offspring to have the privilege to attend…I am asking…Where are we going? As i enter my house after a long absence and gaze upon furniture and fridge encrusted with mildew,moldy sheets,slimy bathrooms and floors I am asking…Where have I come from and why the hell didnt i just stay there!?

Yes i grew up here. Yes I am Samoan. Yes I have made a decent life here with my family. But I ask ( you, me, the cat, the cockroaches scuttling past, the fat lizards that run along my benchtop when the lights go out) I am a New Zealand citizen. So is my husband.I have NZ qualifications. So does my husband. We have family in NZ. We could get decent jobs there. So why oh why, are here?

The heat aggravates my baby’s skin condition. Perfectly smooth over the last 3 weeks she is now fast returning to a pockmarked itchy existence. I have spent the last 3 days washing every item of bedding and clothing that we own. And i still cant get the smell of wet rot out of my hair. My bed. My room. My kitchen. My bathroom. The dog hangs its head sympathetically as i rant and rave about the dead cats he insists on leaving on my doorstep. A gift of love? A threat of what he can do if i dont feed him more?

A visit to the store is a journey to a desolate wasteland of overpriced merchandise. It mocks me as i remember the bounty of PaknSave. I am eating the packet of chocolate Bounty Bars i brought for family in a vain attempt to reignite my passion for life. Its not working. I shall have to start on the peanut slabs next. Sorry family.

Everythin changes when you are hot. And i dont mean in a sexy alluring dont-u-wish-u-were-me kind of hot. I mean so hot you take 3 showers a day.And when u step out of the water, you’re drying sweat already with your moldy towel. I mean so hot you cant breathe properly. Cant think properly. Cant move properly. I mean so hot that it does things to your temper and your tolerance thresholds. You SCREAM yourself silly over the tiniest little thing and small children hide when they see you coming. And heck i dont even work outside on a construction site like HRH does. (but then this is my whiny blog not his so lets just focus on MY self pity shall we!)

You know what annoys me no end? Samoans who live overseas and then come here and tell us how amazing life is here. “its soooooo beautiful” “its sooooooo relaxed” “its sooooooo laid back” “its soooooooo easy here” If its so damn amazing here – then why arent they living it up here? I’ll tell u why. Because its soooooo damn hot here and you get paid peanuts and food and decent medical care is soooooooo expensive and if you really want to live samoan style then guaranteed you’ll be contributing to faalavelaves 24-7. Because they couldnt HACK IT. I wacthed an interview they did with one Kiwi-Samoan rapper who was saying how “amazing it is in the islands…you dont have to work, you just walk outside and pick fruit and dig up a kalo or catch a fish and theres your dinner. Life is sooo easy.” And I wanted to get a kalo and choke him with it – YOU FOOL!

OKay Im willing to concede that there are benefits to being here. I can go about my day and not worry my children are being abducted my psychopathic child molesters. I can afford to pay for a babysitter to help me with my children. I can make decent money with my husband running our own business….which all goes to buy the bare necessities of life which kind of cancels the benefit there. I can drive everywhere important to me within a few minutes. yep, that about sums it up for me.

Leaving me still pndering lifes eternal questions. Why am i here? If youre here too – why are you here? And if you arent – please stop rhapsodizing about how great it is. What the @#$%&* do you know about it?! (At least keep your comments to yourself until youve lived here for a while, picked a few of those free fruits that dangle on every tree and dined on those fat fish that just up and jump into the frying pan. Oh and maybe after you get sick a few times and have to go to national hospital….THEN lets chat.)

2 thoughts on “Life’s Meaningful Questions.”

  1. At 20 I left Samoa for what turned out to be for good 18 years ago, so I had no illusions on how much work it takes to even survive in paradise. That's why what I missed the most on my 7th week away, was at least 1 more hot steamy night partying at Mt Vaea with my friends who stayed behind.

  2. My parents and brother were in Leauva'a this past summer for a family reunion. My brother and his kids and my cousins were all ranting and raving how much they miss it. How they wish they could go back, and it sucks being home. But they stayed at Tofamamao for two weeks, didn't have to do any feaus and were taken to all the beautiful resorts. They don't know how it really is out there. The next time I here them talking about how wonderful it was in Samoa, I'm just going to laugh in their faces. lol My parents on the other hand they knew. My dad always says he couldn't move back to Samoa. He's too accustomed to 24 hours of ESPN and mild CA summers.

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