I Like to Watch

Hello again from the Big Blue!


When it rains it does indeed pour. After much planning and preparation to ensure our little resort would run smoothly with only yours truly at the helm, Prez jetted off to Auckland, New Zealand for some much-needed R&R. Of course, shortly after he left the following things happened:


– massive storm rolls in and floods island

– 2×4’s fall off the roof of one of the huts

– washing machine stops working

– guests wipe out on scooter, one ends up with infected wound

– car windows get stuck at half-way point

– storm damage leaves three foot wide ravine down left side of property

– scooter tire goes flat


Before you break out the boxes of tissues – and I do thank you for your sympathy, by the way – there were a few high points. Without Prez’s chemical-sensitive nose around, I was able to get to the long overdue de-anting of the house. They really were getting out of control. One day I was driving to the airport and kept feeling the little suckers crawling on me. “Where the hell are they coming from now??” I asked…um…myself. I scanned the car and found no sign of them. Turns out the little devils had set up shop in my wallet. My wallet??!! I mean, come on, how long did they really think they could get away with that?


Also on the fun side of bachelorhood, I did get lots of writing done – when I wasn’t battling the storm or driving people to the hospital.


Food was interesting. I’m not good at cooking for myself. OK, OK, I’m not good at cooking, period. But cooking for one always seems like such a waste of energy. For this reason, I would like to thank the inventors of canned peaches and frozen French fries. One evening I actually planned a meal…and then my friend Moana showed up for a chat and a glass of wine and we ended up talking until after nine o’clock…so I had a bowl of peanuts instead.


Luckily, I did manage one really good dinner! I think I’ve mentioned that our friend Jason, (aka Mr Buff – I think he’s grown far too fond of that title), was about to leave his post as manager of Ultra Fancy Resorts Inc and move on to a new job in Aussie land. To wish him farewell and to welcome his replacement, a cocktail soiree was arranged for Friday afternoon. As the sole representative of Perfect Beach Resort, I felt it was my duty to attend. Oh, and, hey, free booze! The usual suspects showed up and milled about, making small talk while surreptitiously slurping back bottles of the aforementioned free booze.


I hate to blow my own horn, but I think I should mention that I am hysterically funny when I’m tipsy. No really, I am. But I digress…


After the peripheral guests drifted off, leaving the expat nucleus, we all agreed that we were all feeling much too witty and clever to end the party just yet. This is how we came to The Resort Next Door to Us for dinner and more drinks. And wouldn’t you know it, the more I drank, the funnier I became. What can I say? It’s an unexplainable inverse relationship. I think what I will miss most about Jason’s departure is that he was the only person on the island that recognized my comic greatness, (and I his; we are so misunderstood). In fact, at one point in the evening, Jason suggested – or maybe dared would be more accurate – that I should do a cartwheel, hand stand, and flip flop in the middle of the restaurant. Well, who can resist such a prompt? Not me, definitely not me. And so, there I was, jumping and flipping around the restaurant to much applause and the general appreciation of all present.


I live to entertain.


Prez is, (I’m sure), glad he was hundreds of miles away for that particular display.


And my lover man is now back to fix all the broken stuff and keep his Princess in line, (and feed her, hopefully). He didn’t miss all the fun, however. Last night we went to Jason’s final BBQ and, despite the lack of gymnastics, had a wonderful time wishing our friend well in his new endeavor. (Remember, Mr Buff, in civilized society, calling people “retards” and daring young women to perform acrobatic acts in public places is generally frowned upon and can result in legal action).

The three J’s – Jo-Ann, Jason, and Jim                                                                         


 Ah, at last someone crazier than me!


Look, the wine even made the camera blurry!

It has been a strange few weeks for me. It seemed every time I turned around I faced some new disaster or piece of bad news. I suppose it is a sign of the times that I learned of the death of my ex-husband via a message sent on Facebook. It’s been over a week since his daughter gave me the news and I think I’m still processing it. Maybe there’ll be a Chronicle about that one day but for now all I can do is feel terrible for his kids, who I love very, very much.


Then there was news that my aunt was in the hospital and not expected to last more than a few days.


Then Mom emailed to let us know her partner had suffered a serious stroke. He is doing much better now but it will still be a long road for him. We can only send our healing thoughts and hope.


One of my favorite cats in the world is no more. The demure Miss Wilhelmina, aka “Willy”, passed away a few days ago. She was twenty, a good long life for a cat but I’ll miss seeing her perched so regally on the edge of her pond.

I’ll miss you Willy…


And then there was maybe the strangest incident of all. I was at the airport to pick up some eagerly-awaited guests and noticed an unusually large group of very somber looking locals hanging around. I asked my friend, Sani, what was going on and she told me there was a dead body coming in on the plane. The deceased was a local, coming back to be buried and, because everyone knows and/or is related to everyone here, it was going to be a big deal.


Making my way to the chain link gate to wait, I contemplated just how many deaths and illnesses have touched me in the last six months. As I tip-toe my way to forty, I guess this will become a more common occurrence, hearing about death, about loss. I looked around at the children, dressed in their funeral best, running and laughing, crawling up the fence. In short, doing exactly what they always do at the airport. Death is as distant and foreign to them as “home” is to me. One little girl clamored up beside me and struck up a conversation; she couldn’t have been more than eight years old.


“Are you waiting for the plane?” I asked. Kids here love watching the plane land.


“Yes,” she said, “I’m going to see my mama, she’s dead.”


“Oh,” I said, unsure of how to respond to her candidness.


“Yes, they’ve put her in a box and now she’s on the plane.”


I told her I was so sad for her but she didn’t seem sad at all. The other kids around joined in, all equally as nonplussed about this turn of events as my little friend was.


“In a box!” they cried.


“No, they’re putting her in lots of boxes!” a little boy said.


“And she’s on the plane! On the plane!” They giggled, jumped down, ran around.


I turned my head and saw their various parents sitting on the benches, heads hanging, tears running down their faces. It was as surreal as a moment can be. Young and old, happy and sad, light and dark. And here was I, in the middle, observing. It felt like a metaphor for my life, if that makes any sense.


Every now and then I wonder why I can’t feel more. I am neither the little girl laughing and playing, oblivious to death, nor am I the old woman burdened with tears. Some days, it feels very much like I’m sitting in the center of a cyclone, watching the chaos swirl around me and I feel quite apart from the rest of the world and my fellow humans.


And then I have a martini and do some cartwheels in the middle of a restaurant and life feels good again

Life on the airport fence…


QUESTION: Are you an observer?


Until next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!

The Princess


p.s. Next week I will tell you all about Prez’s big Zorbing adventure.


p.p.s  Gavin and Jo, thanks for taking such good care of the big fella He had a blast!

Is this the Kiwi pizza toture?? Man, I’m hungry!


This entry was posted in Aitutaki - Cook Islands, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I Like to Watch

  1. jason says:

    I miss all my friends on aitutaki…..aka Mr Buff

  2. Kristene says:

    Dude! We miss you too!!!Hugs, hugs, hugs…Princess

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