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Samoa

It is impossibly hot.

I have nothing to do. Nothing. Yesterday already I had nothing to do, it makes me sleep too much. Today I have a headache dancing at the edge of my consciousness. I know it is there but it hasn't decided to really hurt yet. Will it?

When the sun is not hidden by clouds it is unbearable for us to stay longer than a few minutes under it. We make our way from one shadow to another, crossing and re-crossing the street. Today is Sunday, everything is closed, the town is dead. I'm alive but I have nothing to do, it would be easier if I were dead. There is not even a hint of wind. Samoans cook their food on wooden fires and stoves, Samoans burn their trash, Samoans drive smelly cars and busses. The smoke lingers unmoved above the streets, in the bay. The air hurts my throat, 3 times last night the bad air woke me. Now there's a cat in my throat, I hope the cat has no lice, I hope the cat has no wounds.

Sunday is a dead day. There are no busses, no bars, no restaurants. No people, no markets, no shops. All is hidden behind dusty doors and we are stuck in the towns empty streets.

Samoa used to be good though. The first days we were here we were delighted. The people were so friendly, so warm, so calm and happy. Men are wearing skirts, even businessmen or police officers. We were bathing our souls in this very nice atmosphere but now we have walked the streets, we have nosed around the markets, went up the hill, down the sliding rocks, strolled along the waterfront and drank the world's best cappuccino. There's nothing left for us to do, not walking distance, not with no bus.

Hakans passport is in the Australian embassy. Waiting for a visa. We're stuck here, breathing poisonous smokes. The air only gets worse. There's no other anchorage where we could avoid asphyxiation, where we could bath our bodies in clear water.

Read you say? Well yes, that's what I do and then I fall asleep, in an agitated unnecessary nap that leaves me utterly disgusted about myself when I wake up. My head thick with unneeded dreams and sleep. My headache finally decides to show its real nastiness. My head thumping, my throat full of gravel. I fill up with uneasiness and anger. Is it your dream to sail around the world? Think again, and think hard.

It is Monday now, we first wanted to take the ferry to the other island, Savaii, where you can swim with turtles. We already tried to go there on Saturday but we found out about Sunday difficulties that made us opt for Monday, today. We should be taking the 10 o'clock ferry, so we should take the 8 30 bus to the harbor. At 7 we wake up. Should we go today? Should we take the 12 o'clock ferry? Should we ask permission to go with Mardek and then leave Samoa from there? Yes, that's what we'll do. And today, now the busses are running, we'll go to the waterfalls.

'Go to the first floor, ask for the harbormaster' a fat uniformed lady tells us. The master is not in yet, but will be any moment now' another fat uniformed lady says. We sit down and wait. Some fat uniformed man in a skirt comes limping in. ' Aaah, you want to go to Savaii? Have you got the permission from foreign affairs??

We go back to the Australian embassy, maybe the passport will be ready by now. Then we go for internet, a cappuccino, find some plumbing gear for the leaking toilet, a knife to cut off fish heads. Then we go for lunch. At one o'clock local time all is done. And what now? 6 more hours before sunset, 9 before bedtime. We don't want to be on Mardek doing nothing, it is too late to go to the waterfalls, too hot to take a walk, the movies showing are crap, the water in the anchorage is black. What now?

What now? What is our action plan for the afternoon? We stare blankly at each other. What now? Let's take a bus, any bus, and spend the afternoon on it ' Hakan wisely suggests. 'Cool' I say and off we go, under the blazing sun. Before reaching a bus stop I say ' wouldn't it be better if we got our Savaii authorization today, it would be a little more constructive than taking a blind bus up to god knows where in the burning sun' Hakan looks at me, ' yeah, I suppose it is a better plan.' We turn back and walk to the unique 5 story building of the town. Fifth floor the harbor master has told us. Foreign affairs. Hakan presses the nr 5 button from the capacity 15 people 1000kg elevator. The tiny cabin can definitely not take 15 Samoans. 110 would be the average weight of a healthy Samoan. Ok, up to 9 Samoans then. Hakan and I reach the fifth flour. Posters for the pacific Olympics greet us, under them a fat uniformed man tells us we should go to foreign affairs, third floor. We ask for the stairs, 2 floors down. A fat uniformed lady looks blankly at us, you should go to the fourth floor, prime minister's office. "Prime minister's office" For a Savaii authorization?' 'Ok.' Hakan tells me 'This is the last office we go to, if they send us elsewhere we just forget the authorization and go to Savaii without it.' On the fourth floor, at the prime minister?s office a fat uniformed man, in a skirt, asks us sweetly what he can do for us. I tell him with my gravel filled voice we need an authorization for anchoring in Savaii. "Aaah," he tells us with a smile, his finger is pointing upwards, 'go to the fifth floor.' I smile at him, thank him warmly. Hakan and I smile our way back to the stairs. No authorization to Savaii then... we start down the stairs, the fat skirted man reaches the door before we have descended the first flight, his finger still pointing upwards. 'Fifth floor is up' he says. In unison, although with slight different rhythms Hakan and I blurt out 'we give up, we have already been to the fifth floor, we don't want an authorization after all, they'll send us back to the third floor, we've read books about these stories, we don't fall for them any longer, it's ok though, thank you so much.' We say goodbye and run down the steps.

It is 2 o'clock, we stay in the government building's shadow. What now? What's our action plan for this afternoon? 'I really don't feel like riding a bus' I tell Hakan. We sit on a windowsill, we hug each other for a little while, not too long, it is too damn hot. Finally we go back on board Mardek, my gravel filled throat is hurting me a little while I write this, Hakan is fixing things, we'll go out later, when the sun will lower and maybe chase some images.




01.08.2006/Samao

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