June 3, 2015
Moorea, French Polynesia
HAPPY JUNE FIRST!
The Wifi on the ship is crowded now and backed up. I haven’t been able to get online and I have also had several shore days, still to be reported, so there’s a lot to say. At least, I have been doing some more thinking and some more Trivial Pursuit. Also some more drinking. Some new friends (by this time shipboard friendships feel like old friends) have a veranda, and the weather is now very fine, so I taken some of the wine I bought in Australia to share with them “outside.” Last night the view over the water of Bora Bora stunned me with its beauty and serenity – and unbelievable colour.
In fact, Bora Bora delighted us all. Heavenly. Of course, we get the tourist-eye-view through the rose-coloured glasses. Depending on the guide in each of these island paradises that we visit, we get a glimpse of the social and economic problems, or the history, or the educational system. Unless you were Marlon Brando, who married a Tahitian woman and owned 5 or 6 homes, bungalows on stilts over the turquoise water that he gave away to his wife, her family, his lawyer, his long-time best friend and Jack Nicholson, you might have difficulty making ends meet if you were to live there. Or maybe not: A Canadian RRIF or Pension Plan might go far.
The guide in Pago Pago gave us a self-destructive monologue about his personal life with heart-breaking, self-denigrating attempts at humour. He told us he had lost 82 pounds and is now down to 502 pounds. He assured us that if the tour bus had an accident he could supply all the air bag we would need. Similar jokes about his size elicited painful laughter.
Paradise. Really? Even as a retirement plan, living on one of these islands might be difficult. On vacation, we forget how many conveniences we take for granted at home and the cultural amenities that give meaning to our lives. Even the sports buffs and athletes can’t swim with the sharks and kayak forever.
It’s too early in the morning to be so ruminative (chewing my cud?). I still couldn’t get online so I resorted to Word and I’ll paste this strand of thought into my cobweb when I get a line to swing on.
I’m going to swim now…