We’ve been in Samoa over four weeks now. A third of our allocated time here. The days no longer stretch like railway lines to a distant horizon, but slowly and surely begin to converge.
We’ve established a routine of sorts. Monday and Tuesday, Kate teaches at Samoa College. I write and visit various island settings to act as scenes in a book. I’ve finished the first jar of coffee I brought over (Robert Harris Colombian) and started on the second (Nescafé Classic). The cask wine from NZ ran out weeks ago. But we still have Mainland mature cheddar cheese.
Every day, the dollar shop opposite blasts music from dawn to dusk, their tape unchanged in a month. Bruno Mars at midday, Adele at two, the national anthem at four.
We’ve found places we like to go back to: the Gourmet Seafood Restaurant with its fish ‘n chips and Doris Plum cheesecake; the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve where peace reigns and blue fishies swim; the Toana Tusitala hotel where beer is cheap from five to seven.
Other chores we don’t like so much but still have to do: cash withdrawals at ANZ where the ATM charges fifteen NZ dollars for the privilege; filling up at the petrol station with its honky-honk yellow buses and mow-you-over taxis; the daily boiling of water for drinking, and the daily straining of water for dead ants. Oh, and walking through the market without being sold a million yellow bananas.
Each day slips by, sometimes a repeat of the day before, other times brand new.
Don’t think we’re living a perfect day over and over again. The reality is different. Sometimes we feel like characters in a sequel to Groundhog Day, dreaming of Pennsylvania.
We’ve two months to go. Plenty of time to revise the forecast, learn Samoan, and redefine perfection. This winter ain’t over yet.