Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Few Noticeable Differences Between Life Tua and Big City Life

As to be expected, life here in Apia is not the same as in rural Samoa. I lived with a family for 3 months of training, then on my own tua for 13 months, then with a family tua for 5 months, and now I’ve been on my own in Apia for 1 month now. I had very much gotten used to life in rural Samoa. Here are some observations:

1) It rains a lot less here on the north side of the island than on the south.

2) There are a lot of cars and they are all in need of a repair/I need to break into the car and liberate their subwoofers. I knew this before, but it is even more apparent when they drive past me while I’m running and I inhale so much exhaust fumes I know I just took 2 years off my life (I miss running in clean, fresh air) or they drive past my windows at all hours of the night with ridiculous bass one would not expect here in Samoa. It is kind of like the bus, you hear it before you can see it. Ear plugs are amazing!

3) I haven’t stepped in pig nor chicken feces in a month now – brilliant!

4) I haven’t eaten breadfruit/taro/ufi in a month now – I liked breadfruit, but don’t miss the others (a little dense on the starches for me).

5) I can buy steak in various forms (stir fry, sirloin, etc), ground beef (called ground mince here), and even boneless…yes, you read correctly, boneless…chicken breast from the grocery store. Best part is…the cuts are not 80% fat nor salted way beyond anyone’s sodium intake needs for at least a week like the meat you get tua…I’m amazed and enjoying adding flavor into my diet!

6) I bought lettuce! I think that says enough right there.

7) All I need to say is MEXICAN FIESTA NIGHT! Super excited for that!!!!!

8) Now that I work for the Football Federation, I have computer and internet access from 8-5 M-F. Pretty sweet!

9) I haven’t eaten Ramen noodles for breakfast in a month (nor rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for that matter). I’m a big fan of breakfast so Ramen for breakfast was slowly killing me I think, just not a breakfast food to me.

10) Sadly, I haven’t eaten papaya in a month either. I need to make a trip to the market and buy some.

11) I haven’t worn a puletasi in a month. Being a soccer office, dress code is relaxed. No need to wear a puletasi when casual clothes will do.

12) I have AC from 8-5 as well and ceiling fans are amazing.

13) Even though I’m in Apia, since I’m on a sports compound (no houses), I don’t hear dogs at night. I’m so glad to not have to yell at the dogs at 3 am for making too much noise fighting and…etc.

14) Unfortunately, I don’t speak Samoan quite as often as I used to so I’m pretty sure I will lose much of the language I’d picked up over the past 22 months. That truly is a shame.

15) Power still goes out at least once a week, but doesn’t stay out for hours and hours like tua.

16) I have not had issues with no water in a month…and it comes out of the tap clear, definitely not used to that (and it is warm!).

17) Running isn’t viewed as weird as it is tua. But then again, I do live on a sports compound so that might have something to do with it. People run in town on the seawall too, so it isn’t just that I live on a sports compound, people actually understand the benefits of exercise. People (soles & kids) are still cheeky about it though, disturbing me while I run with obnoxious comments. Oh well, just have to get used to that; I do stand out being a white girl after all.

18) I used a hole puncher today…haven’t used one of those since pre-PC.

19) In the month I’ve been here, I’ve had more centipedes than in my time tua. I have had 3 to deal with compared to just 2 tua: one fell on my while I was reading in bed, I stepped on another (lucky it didn’t bite me), and the third was monstrous and even though I sprayed it with Mortein, it still wasn’t paralyzed and crawled off to where I couldn’t get to it.

20) I read the paper everyday (the Federation gets the Samoan Observer delivered everyday). At least I look through it since most of the articles aren’t really worth reading.

That’s all I can think of for now; I know there are more differences. At some point I will get pictures of the new site up.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you're finding your feet in Apia. Your PCV life in Samoa has taken quite dramatic turns going from the village settings to a more urban like environment.

    I wonder, if you feel like you've experienced a disconnect from 'faasamoa' as you cross the line from being in 'tua' to living in the bright lights.

    Or is it all in the mind.

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