June 19, 2008
Time just flies these days. We have been in Tahiti for a week now and have seen the marina area and downtown for the most part, trying to get spare parts, get cleared with the Port Captain, get laundry done, and handle repairs. Quite by happenstance we got a spot in the marina and it is a prime location very close to the entrance on the main dock, so the repairmen can just drive their trucks right up to our boat. Of course being on the main drag, there isn't much privacy since everyone who walks by can see everything we are doing. The upside to that is we get to see everyone who comes and goes because they pass right by us. It's great if you want to be a nosey neighbor! Frank's favorite pastime when he has a break is to sit on deck and people watch. Sometimes I call him, "Gladys Cravitz" (did you ever watch Bewitched?), because he spies on people and reports to me what they are doing. So funny!
We have become fast friends with Joe and Adrienne whose boat is named "Syren". We met Joe in Rangiroa. He is sailing with crew, while his wife and son are staying back home in Oregon (long story and not ours to tell). They flew here to meet him for a little vacation. We have gone to dinner a few times and I have so enjoyed having a female friend to talk to and with whom I can relate. We did a fabulous seafood buffet and Polynesian show together one night. The food…Oh My Gosh!...was incredible! One station, for example had platters full of lobsters, Lobster Thermador, sashimi, raw oysters, shrimp, etc. I won't go on and on although I could – it far surpassed the buffet at Rangiroa which is hard to believe. Then the show was world class. The dancers literally blew us away. What a treat it was indeed. After we all waddled out of there we swore we would never eat that much again – oh yeah! Right-on!
I inquired about laundry and found that as in previous places I cannot do my own, although there are coin-op machines here, a lady sits in the laundry room and collects 1,000 CPF (francs) from you per load to wash your stuff. That comes to about $14/load. Then you have to dry your own clothes for 100 CPF per 7 minutes. The trick is that she does laundry for the big yachts (wash AND dry) so you have to get in line for the one dryer that works, which is only available after she gets done with her clients' laundry. The only alternative to this is to bag your things up and take a bus downtown, but I heard they charge by the kilo and it is quite a hassle. Again I say, How dare anyone trash-talk the good old USA! I just hand wash our smaller items and give our heavier and dirtier clothes along with the towels and sheets to the laundry woman. Needless to say we use towels and sheets longer in between washes than we ever did back home, because we aren't always lucky enough to find laundry services. This is only the second time we've had access since leaving Mexico! Do I sound a little bit whiney? A girl's gotta vent somehow!
More 411 – there is a huge grocery store, Carrefour, just a 500 yard walk from here. To use a grocery cart, you deposit 100 francs – like at the airport it is returned to you when you return the cart. I think this is great! You don't have grocery carts sitting all around the parking lot and elsewhere. We can even wheel the cart all the way back to the marina and right up to our boat. There is a cart return at the end of the dock. It is very well organized and efficient. We continue to experience "sticker shock", however. The prices are so over the top that we have to shop carefully. We noticed that lots of people carried bags into the store and thought they were just real eco-friendly. When we got to the check-out line the girl ran our items through and they just sat at the end of the counter. We kept standing there waiting for someone to bag them. Ha! Bag them? Oh no – you buy a bag and put them in yourself. We feel like the Clampetts here! When locals see us coming, they probably mutter to themselves, here come the Tahiti-hillbillies!
We are learning some of the local verbiage, for instance, Io ora na is "hello or good morning". Maruru is "thank you". Nana is "goodbye". Visitors are expected to at least get that much down. The locals use a mixture of Polynesian and French, and they really appreciate that we try our best to use their words.
We got news from back home that my nephew's surgery this past Monday was a large success. The doctor told my sis and bro-in-law that they were able to accomplish much more reconstruction than they had hoped to and things are looking good for Tre. It really is a miracle, and I thank God for that. He is now enduring a very painful and long term recovery. Thank you for your outpouring of prayers for him. They have been felt.
Last night we finally ran into Sandy and Andy from Imagine, and made dinner plans for tonight. Time to say, Nana! And go get ready.
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Friday, June 20, 2008
Ia Orana from Tahiti!
Posted by Barb Gladney at 8:36 PM