Wednesday, March 18, 2009
MISCELLANEOUS DITTY ABOUT TAHITI
The place is really pretty, but no more or less than other mountainous islands in the Pacific or Caribbean. No more so than St. Thomas, or Guadalupe. It has a natural forest that extends from the mountaintops downs to the shore. It really doesn't have beaches, but instead, rock shelves that extend out from the shore. So you don't go to Tahiti if you're looking for a beach vacation..
It is also very expensive. Our first glance at a French Cafe in a strip center outside of Papeete, the capital, showed entrees priced at 2900 xfp (about $30.50 US) with food that Av and Si could eat being 1500 xfp (about $15.00 US). Too rich for the tight Greenwell – Shusterman household (for lunch). In fact, we have talked to several people in the “hospitality” industry who say that tourists just don't come to Tahiti because it is so expensive. I can belive it....the big hotels seem deserted.
The language spoken here is French....duh, “French Polynesia”. Less people understand us here, it seems, than in Thailand. I have gone back to using hand signals to order my food and am still not sure what I will get until the food arrives at our table. lisa had French in high school and it has helped but only so far. If that isn't challenging enough, most of the “places” here use their Tahitian names such as the area our pension was located: Punaauia. They seem to use an incredible amount of vowels here. “Can I buy a vowel please....”. Some words begin with a consonant followed by seven vowels. With my dwindling memory it's hard just to remember English words so it's tough.
We have only been here for three days and it's enough. Not really a fair shake at the place. If we were here longer we would take a ferry to an outlying island and be true vacationers. But our year was never intended to be a vacation. This place has served its purpose...to be a layover between Auckland and Easter Island.