Looks like I’m heading back to the States! My seven weeks have come and gone, now it’s time to emerge from one jungle and return, warily, into another. Today I lost my wheels. I had to return my car to the kind folks at Pacific Products. It kind of made me laugh inside when I returned the car today. When I returned it I saw the two people that were waiting for the rental to come in. They looked a little grumpy at the fact they had to wait for 5 minutes to get their car (that I had washed and detailed and filled with gas). I smiled to myself about the fact that I had put 1,500 miles on a car in seven weeks on a 30 mile-long island and used it as my traveling office/labratory/bed/disaster-mobile. It came back in fine shape, just as long as they don’t hypnotize it and ask any probing questions about chugging up and down mountains or driving across moderately intimidating bodies of water.
Nevertheless, the car is uma; that means finished. As in...uma lau malaga? finished with your trip? To that I would say: “Ioe, ua ou uma mo le malaga, ua uma i le aso!” (yeah I’m done with the trip, I finished it today!). It’s fun learning Samoan. It’s a beautiful language full of references to nature, obligatory laughter, nonsensical substitution of sounds and awkward contractions that sound like swear words. When hearing pure Samoan dialect, no slang, it’s like watching someone blow bubbles from a wand and understanding what each one means, making sense of floating, nimble and content words. It’s a wonderful string of sound. It’s a hopeful language, and I want to understand more.
On another note, my flight leaves the Island at about 11 pm on Sunday. I’ll get to Hawai’i at 5:30 am and leave for Los Angeles at 8:30. That will put me in LA around 4 or 5 local time, from there I’ll head to DFW and arrive at 9:30 on Monday night central time. Central time is 5 hours ahead of Samoa during the winter and 6 in summer due to daylight savings. Time changes are fun, especially when you realize how meaningless they are when traveling. I am able supersede time and space, zipping across our lonely planet to see the ones I love in the ribcage of an expensive metal albatross.
I love flying. It’s the best people watching opportunity I’ve ever come across, seriously. Just think, when you hit a serious rough patch, not the fun stuff now but true-blue bolt-rattling turbulence... you get to see how people react. Are they worried about their kids? spouses? laptop? unfinished bloody mary? Or are they happy to see they whole mess plunge into the sea! It’s a little fatalistic, perhaps a little morbid but it’s better than sudoku for 16 hours. Take a look around during a flight sometime. Sometimes I learn more during my journey than I do at my destination that’s all I’m saying.
I’ll keep this blog going during artifacts analysis at Texas A&M University so you can see the boring side of things! That’s a prevarication, the artifacts are my ticket, the analysis is my journey.
malo leva (thanks for hanging in there)