A little chat with a sensitive monster cyclone

Dear TC Winston, thanks for having changed your track –again.

You are the most inconsistent entity I’ve seen since Sarkozy, when he declared he was

2020520day20track
Winston’s track, when I wrote the draft last night

back in politics to save France after he said he’d be out of politics forever if he was not elected for a second term as President of the French Republic. Yes Winston, your eyes are reading it right: I am comparing you to the most annoying, pretentious and BS-prone French President ever. As much as I’d like to blame his dangerously stupid person on being human and therefore imperfect (especially given his obvious Napoleon complex of the short guy who wants to be bigger than real life), in your case, I can’t find any excuse for you.

Wait, what? Did I hear “climate change”?

Are you insinuating that you were forced to change your track again (!), that it is not just because you wanted to be bigger and more damaging? That, seriously, I could understand. A Category 2 cyclone that goes around half of the South Pacific and doesn’t even kill one or two humans, or destroy for large areas of cultivated land for years to come? That’s a lame outcome. Growing to Category 4 and backtracking, but missing Vava’u anyway, that must have made you angry, so you went ahead to hit Fiji –real bad, too. You nasty attention seeker.

So now, you’re trying to make me believe that you’re not such an evil little cyclone eager for attention, but that global warming made you do it. Are you suggesting that (human) world leaders that don’t give a rat’s ass about environment unless it’s profitable are to be blamed for the likes of you? Continue reading A little chat with a sensitive monster cyclone

Where the most trying moment for my conscience comes every Sunday in Tonga

The inner trials of life abroad: when your adopted culture couldn’t care less about what the first article of your nation’s Constitution reads. And it’s your business to accept it and adapt. No one else’s.

Pictured above, the Royal Tombs – and this sign: “forbidden to eat curry”. In my very first days in Tonga, it taught me two essential words: ‘tapu’ as ‘forbidden’ and ‘kale’ as ‘curry’. For those who wonder: I knew ‘kai’ already. It is the same word across the Polynesian world. Isn’t it beautiful? (hint: check this BBC article). It took me a few more days to discover what the Tongans refer to as “curry”. Definitely not something resembling a South Asian dish. Kale moa (chicken curry) is the cheapest dish available in the kingdom, making it a favourite take away order at nearby 24/6 budget restaurant Talahiva.

One thing leading to another, this sign has always given me the awkward feeling that the poorer eaters were directly targeted by the very particular restriction of this order. This misled feeling likely has everything to do with the excessively specific wording of the prohibition. Needless to say no food at all is permitted on the highly tapu (‘taboo/ sacred’) Royal Tombs ground. Actually, nothing and no one apart from the very few designated caretakers of the tombs is allowed there. A matter of respect to the revered passed kings and queen resting there.

This is but one tiny sample of what is tapu in Tonga. A lot of things are tapu, but let’s stick to what has immediate effects on my experience of what could otherwise be a nice, peaceful Sunday evening in the centre of Nuku’alofa: it is a noisy, boisterous evening. Continue reading Where the most trying moment for my conscience comes every Sunday in Tonga

Where luck is not what took me to the tropics – or what keeps me there

A brief account of how I came to Tonga three years ago, and the effect hearing “I’m so jealous!” has on me -and others who know what it’s like to make choices that are not conventional.

A few of my friends have told me to blog, implying that my life could be so interesting that people could actually want to read about it. I suppose that’s a compliment? So well, I ended up thinking “why not, let’s do this thing” but maybe not for the reasons they thought.

As it turns out, I live in the South Pacific. In Tonga to be less general. In Nuku’alofa, to be specific. That may be a hint as to why people think my life is wonderful… I don’t know, I find it quite normal. But I only assume it’s fair enough I find my own life normal. Right?

People overseas and visitors from overseas alike have told me repeatedly how lucky I was Continue reading Where luck is not what took me to the tropics – or what keeps me there