Hello again from the Big Blue!
I’m giving this week’s Scootie Award to myself. I can’t say I’ve done anything to deserve it but I accidentally burned my leg on the tail pipe a few days ago and, in lieu of sympathy, (everyone here has burns on their legs from their tail pipes), I figured a nice trophy would make me feel better. Ah yes, I’m basking in the fame.
Speaking of fame, our little patch of sand made the news! But not just the news, no, we made CNN, the grand daddy of spin and propaganda!! Remember the Sunday flights controversy? Well, the drama continues as each Sunday, for the past three weeks, locals have flocked to the airport to protest. Why this gathering warranted three entire minutes on the Censored News Network is a mystery to me, however.
Prez and I attended the first protest, as spectators. At least three quarters of the island’s population turned out but the atmosphere was more of a Sunday picnic than a protest. Security consisted of about six police officers who spent most of the time either chatting with the crowd or taking photos. There were some signs with baffling slogans and a bit of singing, as expected, but otherwise the protest consisted of a big bunch of people casually observing the six folks who arrived on the hotly contested flight.
Oh, there was one exciting moment when a camouflage-sporting grandma crossed the rope barrier and struck a kung fu pose. The guard, who was laughing as hard as the rest of us, gently escorted her back behind the rope.
For the past three weeks, the protests have continued in much the same vein. I imagine, as time goes on, and the Sunday airplane continues to land, the protests will eventually wane. Or, it could morph into a weekly gathering with BBQ’s and kite flying. The Lonely Planet excerpt will read, “Don’t miss the Sunday airport celebration, where Aitutakians gather in the field next to the landing strip to welcome visitors!”
Side note: The World Wildlife Fund recently did a thorough survey of the lagoon and reef here. Their report was dismal, to say the least. Page after page of destruction, with notes such as: “should have been addressed at least 20 years ago”, forecasted the inevitable collapse of this wonderful ecosystem. And where were the angry crowds, singing and waving illegible banners? Where was CNN? Nowhere, that’s where. I have to wonder how any god would feel seeing his/her people wasting their time and energy on something as trivial as an airplane while they butcher his/her creations with wanton abandon?
In happier news, I think, I celebrated year number thirty-nine yesterday. We had a couple of hut turn-overs and lots of work to do, so celebrations were muted. I did, however, receive many wonderful emails and Facebook messages full of warm wishes – thank you everyone! One of the guests, having heard about my wheat intolerance and the difficulty of avoiding the evil little grain on this island, wrapped up a package of rice noodles and a couple of wheat/gluten free snack bars and gave it to me as a present. Prez cooked me the Aitutaki version of Eggs Benedict – coconut buns as a substitute for English muffins, and packaged Hollandaise sauce– and that was a nice, tasty treat!
The cats, however, did a little celebrating on their own…
Tonight, Prez is taking me to “Romance Night” at Ultra Fancy Resort Inc. There will be half-naked men dancing with burning sticks but, more importantly, there will be really, really yummy food! (I’ve also booked myself in for a massage this afternoon, at the spa – you’re allowed to give presents to yourself aren’t you??)
To be fair, Prez did try to give me a super-cool gift but nature did not cooperate. It is whale season here. The humpbacks have arrived to give birth to their young and can now be seen breaching and spouting outside the reef. When the new manager of Ultra Fancy Resort Inc, (who I will refer to as Mr. Buff – yes, ladies, he’s a cutie-pie…and single), dropped by yesterday, excitedly reporting that the whales were right out front, Prez instructed me to drop everything. We were taking an hour off for some birthday whale watching! Our ultimate goal is to snorkel with these majestic giants but one step at a time. We picked up Mr. Buff and another couple, en route, and then headed out the channel. This would turn out to be, not a whale watching tour, but a wave watching tour. Somewhere out on the Pacific, there must have been some wild weather, because we found ourselves in the middle of some of the most massive swells I’ve ever seen here. They were so big, they were breaking in the deep water, long before the reef. Yikes! Obviously my whale karma was bad that day so we gave up and headed back in – luckily the swells were running parallel to the island or the ride back up the channel would have been one of roller coaster proportions.
That was it for birthday excitement.
Oh, I almost forgot about the pervert-in-my-shower experience!
My whale karma may have been off but not so with my powers of gecko attraction. (Actually, they are known as mokos in Maori). There are a few mokos who hang out in our bathroom and when I stepped into the shower I found one clinging to the shower curtain. Ordinarily, these critters are very shy and run away the moment a human gets within five feet of them but this little guy seemed quite content where he was, even when I moved the curtain and turned the water on. “Close your eyes, you cheeky lizard!” I scolded him, but he continued staring, tongue occasionally darting from his mouth. Really, so rude!
He stayed there for the entire soapy spectacle and when I exited, he actually climbed up over the bar and re-settled on the outside of the curtain. Well, I flung a towel across my naked flesh, blushing with shame.
Very bad moko!
The Airplane Protest Committee will be hearing about this very devilish moko. I expect hordes of people, singing and waving signs such as “Shame on you moko!” or “Shower power!” or something, at my next cleaning. Keep your TV’s tuned to CNN…you never know!
QUESTION: Was there a point to this Chronicle?
Until next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!
p.s. I know I promised to tell you the name of my…chickens. There are three that have been with us here since they were babies. I call them “The Beak-street Boys”. Of course, they are girls but I don’t care and they haven’t complained. (They’re just happy Prez hasn’t shot them…yet).
p.p.s here is a photo of us with a group of BC guests, the Madills, who we had tons of fun with. (Joe is a Kiwi, actually, but we won’t tease him about that…or his fear of crabs). Greg is a very talented musician; the band he performs with is called "The
Ecclestons" check them out!
(L to R) Prez, Princess, Greg, Lorena, Willow, Joe…the Crab-fearing Kiwi