Samoa, hey? Twenty-seven degrees at five in the morning, which is slightly more comfortable than the 11 degrees Sydney was enjoying when I flew out five hours earlier. I could definitely get used to this over the next three weeks, as I prance around the Pacific on a holiday that will also take in Fiji and Tonga. After picking up my bags I headed out of Faleolo International Airport and into the darkness to pick up my rental car. Despite specifically asking for something that wasn’t a piece of shit, I was taken to a Rav 4.
Alright, so the car wasn’t in bad condition, but it’s hard to look like a cool dude when you’re driving around in something that looks like it belongs in a toy box.
I’ve got history with this particular flavour of not-quite-supercar. Years ago I porked a chick on the Gold Coast and afterwards she was too sick to drive home - either because the cask of goon she’d downed, or because of the experience of having had my penis inside her – and I had to driver her home in her Poor-Wheel-Drive. That day I hit a dog, had to catch a bus home and ended up with an itch in my shorts, so I hoped this experience would be somewhat better.
I fired the beast up and headed into the rising sun, and even though it was earlier than a virgin’s ejaculation, the Samoans were out and about. Kids were waiting for school buses. Dudes were walking around with coconuts in their hands. Women were dancing by the side of the road. And all of it was set against the backdrop of a golden sun peeking out from behind the curtain of a thunder storm.
It was a nice, half-hour drive from the airport, across the island of Upolu, to the capital, Apia. Villages dotted the entire trip, and rarely a kilometre would pass without a giant church leering at me from the side of the road. I know this is a religious country but fuck, but it’s stunning to see these massive monuments standing by the side of the road like giant tombstones. It’s weird to see people living in huts, right next to an intricately-decorated church the size of a football field.
After finally making my way into the city of Apia – which consists of about four streets - I rolled into the hills and into my first place of residence, the Samoan Outrigger Resort. It’s a lovely place with beautifully-manicured gardens, a decent pool, and a traditional fale (basically, a hut) that they let me pass out in three hours before my proper check-in time. Despite the oppressive heat, it would be my last decent sleep at that place.
After waking up, I had a dip and then went out to explore Apia. While small, it has a good feel to it. I picked up a packet of chips and some sort of horrible energy drink, and scoffed them while walking along the harbour. Almost everyone said hello to me and, unlike in Asia, that didn’t mean they wanted to rip me off or stab me in the face. They were just being nice, a concept foreign to most people in developed countries.
I watched kids playing footy, took photos, and wandered down the few streets of the city. I headed out of town and along the waterfront, marveling at how the sound of birds drowns out the sound of cars in this tropical paradise. There’s not much to see or do in Apia, and that’s perfectly fine. I enjoyed just sitting under a palm tree, looking out at the endless ocean, alone on an island in the middle of nowhere.
After a quick swim and change at my fale - a good thing, since my clothes stunk worse than a hooker’s hoochie - I headed out for a beer and a feed… and ended up with a Big Mac and few warm Vailima beers, since pretty much everything here is closed by 9pm. Ah well, the chips were big enough to ensure that I will probably die of a heart attack before my 31st birthday, so I got something out of it.
I had dreams of going for a walking and ending up with a Polynesian princess and they remained that dreams. The joint was empty. Apia really is a village in the middle of the sea, and if you’re looking to party, this isn’t the place. Woe is Row.
The walk back was pretty scary. I’d read about Samoa’s dog problem, and seen a few wandering around, but walking along dark streets alone was a different thing entirely. The flea-bitten fuckwits were all over me, barking and snarling and trying to bite me. It was the biggest collection of bitches wanting to kill me since the last meeting of my ex-girlfriends.
But I made it home with all my limbs, and lay back in my open-air hut for a good night’s sleep… except dogs were fighting and barking and rootin, keeping me awake. When they finally shut up I started drifting off to the sound of bugs and birds… and ten minutes later some absolute fuckwit wandered into the next fale and started snoring his head off. It sounded like he was strangling a gibbon in there.
Finally, fed up and half-mad from not having slept for almost two days, I grabbed a handful of rocks and chucked ’em, at Sleeping Beauty. After peppering his body for five minutes I finally hit him in the head and he shut up. I worried for a moment that I may have killed him, but the guilt lasted about five seconds until I fell asleep…
… and was woken at 3:30am up by one of the chicks from the resort telling me that some other dude was gunna jump in the fale with me. I looked over and saw an obese Samoan bloke wearing nothing but a pair of underpants and a smile, ready to jump in bed with me.
I told them to fuck off, and that I had AIDS, and te bl9oke trundled off to molest someone else.
I woke up shortly after dawn, needing to piss and not willing to put my clothes back on (who would be if they looked this good), so I trotted down to the communal toilets with my doodle out. Just then a big Samoan fella walked out of the main house, took a look at me and said, “Cold morning, eh, bro?”
It was 29 degrees.
I travelled to Samoa, Fiji and Tonga back in May, 2013. I didn’t publish my tales from the Pacific back then, so here they are… so crack a bottle of Vailima, open a tin of corned beef and enjoy!