Friday, February 13, 2009

Apia

Apia is the capital of Samoa and is the only thing resembling a city in all of Samoa. Apia in actuality is nothing more than many villages all put together in a semi-urban setting. Apia is the home to government ministries, embassies, internet cafes, shops, movie rental stores, clubs/bars, and most importantly McDonald’s. I know McDonald’s is an international phenomenon, but I was a little shocked to see it here. The coke floats and new breakfast menu is great though. Speaking of food, Apia is home to some really nice palagi (white people) foods like pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, and ice cream. Those make for a nice break to breadfruit and canned corned beef. There is an alley which we have dubbed “Palagi Alley.” The alley itself looks expensive and not typical of Samoa, almost like a little trip to a real city. The U.S. embassy resides here as well as several of the more expensive shops and restaurants in Samoa. These restaurants serve mochas, lattes, scones, smoothies, muffins, bagels, and other palagi dishes. An abundance of white people are found in this alley on any given day, enjoying the expensive cuisine. You can find lots of fun stuff from all over the world in Apia. They import from America, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, and even United Arab Emirates. Having such a wide diversity of imported goods makes some stores look like they sell stuff which just fallen off the back of a truck. It’s quite amusing to wander the isles of these stores looking for random treasures. At 9 am, you will witness the police band playing and marching towards the government building in order to raise the flag. They march in the street, blocking the whole flow of traffic. I’d like to see this occur every morning in New York, just to see the mayhem it will cause. Even though Apia is the only major city, almost everything closes by 5 pm on weekdays, 12 or 1 on Saturdays, and virtually nothing is open on Sundays. It you want to feel like the last person on Earth, walk around Apia on a Sunday or a holiday, you will be lucky to see another person.

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