That pink soap at the Eco Lodge is getting to me. I mean, I’ve seen pink soap before, but this stuff is exceptionally pink. Radioactive pink. It glows in the dark. And not just one bar, not two, but three. Three bars of pink soap – one in the hand basin (no water), another in the sink (a dribble), and the third in the shower.
Who needs three bars of pink soap in a country that’s already overloaded with colour? The garish paso buses sporting red, yellow, green, blue – and yes, pink. The schoolchildren wearing two-tone, top-bottom uniforms of red and yellow, blue and white, or purple and turquoise. The buildings brightly painted in the same colours to match their protégés. Then loudly patterned lavalavas, flowers that bloom in every rainbow shade.
And of course, the soap. Not just pink, but electric green too – like the bar in our bathroom back here in Apia. I mean, I’ve seen green soap this colour before too – but usually for washing doorsteps and clothes, not people. Bits of it stick to the bath mat and make it look like the gaps between our toes are shedding mouldy cheese. God knows what the cleaners think. I hope they’re used to it. They probably have red, orange, and purple soaps at home.
If you like your colours subdued, your tastes run to The Artist rather than Finding Nemo, you’ve never invested in a colour printer, then don’t come to Samoa. If the cones in your retina are easily offended, your camera can’t handle more than one million pixels, your socks are all black and blue, then don’t come to Samoa.
But if your bathroom needs brightening, you want to inject some spice into washing day, or give your fingernails the kaleidoscope of their lives, then do come. Forget Skittles and tasting the rainbow, this is the real thing. You’ll never look at M&Ms or Palmolive again. Not once you’ve washed with Joi. They do rose red too.