Passive Sunday, productive Monday!
Aute II, Pape’ete Sunday 12th of July 2009
On Sunday we went to the market in Pape’ete (again! – but there’s nothing like Pape’ete on a Sunday morning – well I guess it is vaguely similar to the “Fischmarkt” in Hamburg (my hometown)… mountebanks, colourful stalls with fruit, veggies, clothes, flowers, fish and other seafood). It was good to go there with Manuel and his wife – she pointed at all the different veggies which I didn’t know and explained some regular dishes they regularly eat. When I asked about a local breakfast Manuel suggested baguette and croissants (which wasn’t quite what I meant)… We should really cook an uru (breadfruit) sometime soon – hope the tree in the garden has some ripe ones before we leave – on the other hand we’re both hoping to move out in the near future – we’re quite far away from the ocean (haven’t been swimming for at least five days now – and we’re on an island… and I love swimming) and we both can’t say that we’re particularly fond of this upper class neighbourhood…
We met Rudolf (I think he was a bit disappointed that we aren’t staying with him) on the market and gave him one of our rare copies of the French edition of the Tahiti Projekt – now we only have 2 left… well actually just one, because the other one already has a dedication to Eric’s friends in it. We need more copies!
Today I was quite grumpy (due to a lack of sleep), passive and still restless today (no internet and no word from a certain person I left back in Hamburg for almost two weeks) so I cycled up the hill, took some pictures, cycled back down (a bit) and then tried to be disciplined and read or write while Raphael was productive and read (about hemp – there are so many things you can make out of hemp: even car parts!) at least for the time I wasn’t distracting him whining about the ants in my pants.
Later we climbed up the crooked palm tree in “our” garden about half way and then resorted to picking up two coconuts from the ground which still sounded fresh. One of them actually was still really fresh so we added some chopped coconut to our tomato sauce (added some crunchiness) and I made an “Eumel” (“kultigen” cup scouts use) out of the other one – I sometimes feel like working with my hands to have something tangible to show for.
Final thought of the day: I could do with some more concentration and productivity! I admire Raphael’s patience if I were in his shoes I would have already torn out my hair!
Aute II, Pape’ete, Monday 13th of July 2009
After a quick breakfast in front of my laptop (Raphael helped me with my writing and a technical question) we went downtown with Manuel (who told us that he’d ordered the Tahiti Projekt (in German) and that there was someone from Germany in Tahiti at the moment who worked on making a town energy self-sufficient (if I understood him correctly) – he remarked that Tahitians don’t like theory, they need to see and touch things in order to understand them (sounds a bit like me), so with an exemplary town like that, they’d immediately embrace renewables as a valid solution). Oh and Nuihau’s publisher called – he didn’t have time to meet us today but we should ring him up the next time we’re in Pape’ete (we’ll probably do that on Wednesday).
In Pape’ete we wanted to buy a 10-hour “Manacard” (card with a code and password on it to access the internet via “Manaspots” which are installed in certain spots of high population density across French Polynesia… might come in handy once we go to work on other islands – the communication infrastructure is quite a bit “behind” here) but discovered that we both hadn’t really taken enough money – perfect example of anarchic organization… it had worked quite well up until now – so we opted for the 3-hour one.
I must admit the McDonalds-hotspot next to the noisy road didn’t really appeal to me very much so we went to the Assemblee (Parliament building) next door where we’d found that art exhibition by coincidence about two weeks ago. It’s really nice and quiet there. We found an unsecured network and were thrilled (free internet?!) – Somehow we couldn’t get it to work so I went over to one of the security people to solve the mystery. He sent us to someone else who took us to a nice computer nerd (who might be working there). That someone might have done something to help us a bit… on the other hand he might not have.
We spent a few hours solving technical problems and reading e-mails: Pierre Blanchard and Terii Vallaux both responded (Mauruuru Nuihau 🙂 – we’ll meet both of them next week – and Paula sent us her suggestions for our questionnaire which Raphael refined and put online while I worked on the blog at snail-velocity. Raphael accidently deleted the online survey – so he had to do the whole thing again (he called it “bloody” for the first time – I guess his patience is not infinite after all… apart from that he’s almost always perfect just a little bit too modest 😉 fortunately the internet mysteriously got faster at around 16:00 which strangely coincided with employees leaving the building. At about 17:45 the security guys were done locking up the building and kindly reminded us that the rear exit was still open.
The questionnaire was finished but we still had to put the blog entry online and carry out a fight with the software. So we sat down in the parking lot outside – I know it’s not very energy efficient and I think the radiation from WiFi is not particularly healthy but I must admit I was quite happy that they’d left it switched on…
On our way home – we were hungry and found out that the last “truck” in our direction had already left – so we started walking “home”. After just a few meters we spotted a happening across the road (on the big square next to the tourist information) and remembered it was Heiva! We went a little closer and watched fruit-carrier-race (possibly a traditional sport – quite a useful one I find). First a bunch of men got to race with 50kg (?!) bamboo stems with taro, bananas and other local fruit and veg on them. The females followed with 15kg – I felt like such a weakling watching them – amazing what kind of loads they can carry and still run!
We left the festivities after about half an hour and put up our thumbs by a pedestrian crossing (very effective since the cars get slower there). We only had to wait about 5 minutes before we were picked up by a 23-year old Tahitian party-girl who offered to give us a lift up the hill (although it wasn’t exactly on her way). She was very keen on giving us her number – so we could come and party with her… hmmm… I asked for her e-mail address so we could send her our questionnaire (instead – thought it was more diplomatic avoiding to mention that I’m not a party animal).
After dinner (fortunately we still had enough leftovers from yesterday) we hunted six of our flat mates (five cockroaches and a really loud grasshopper who had positioned himself acoustically sound right underneath a copper pipe in the dining room) with a plastic container and some paper and made them move out since we were not getting along with them very well and they never paid their share of the bills.
Manuel just came by and gave us loads of bananas from his mother-in-law’s garden 🙂
Final thoughts of the day:
I feel like we’re always receiving… I want to make some mini-paper wind turbines and bake a banana-coconut cake for the people at l’Assemblee and I think we should invite Manuel and his wife (I didn’t quite catch her name – it’s something Tahitian – and I find it embarrassing to ask again) over for dinner sometime this week.
I must say I’m pretty happy with today – we finally got something finished!
Tuesday 14th of July 2009
Today we sent lots of e-mails with the link to the questionnaire to all our contacts. Unfortunately we won’t be able to print it – all the shops are closed because it’s a public holiday – I guess we’ll have to go swimming and lie in the shade and read a bit 🙂