I think paradise is the most often used word to describe where you have arrived. The guy awaiting us with a coconut drink and a flower garment at arrival welcomed us to “paradise” and so did any of the hotel staff at first encounter. Yes, the water is magically blue, the weather – when it shares its sunny side with you – is perfect. But you as well can get the blowjob of your life time when the wind is coming on. It does very regularly increase in strengths and then it is a dangerous island with all these falling coconuts under the palm trees! Paradise can actually leave you with a huge headache. Not only from the coconuts, but as well induced by the cocktails, when your feeling of relaxation reaches its high point and you drift off in the mellowness of another Mai Tai or Mojito.
People here are proud of their Island and will show this everywhere. The easy going lifestyle will be explained to you and the fact that you obviously have packed your suitcase way too heavy. The only thing you really need is a Sarong or Pareu, to be always dressed appropriately as a woman or even as a man. Well I have not seen the locals following this dress code too much, but they show you neat tricks, how to use a pareu in may different ways making the knots at the right points.
The island probably sees per week some 500 to 1.000 tourists and boutique is reality here, as you will share your resort only with few people. It is easy to feel like Robinson Crusoe as it is never too crowded. The island cuisine is based on local ingredients and it is not surprising that there is a limit to the variety it offers. Breakfast though was delicious and the great coconut smoothie in the morning always a delight. We have learnt to appreciate the local fish even for breakie! Do like the islanders do and you will experience something new. Here they are really dependent on the supplies which arrive by boat. The stores on the island will advertise heavily if they have new greens, veggies or fruits outside the normal routine. Again we notice that local people seem to love their food and it shows in their average size. As there is not too much other distraction you can understand a bit why they indulge themselves heavily in food.
Island life needs you to adjust to it. Even for us having been on holiday for some time now, life is quite slow paced, not to say too slow paced. We learnt this morning that the supply boat this time will be delayed. Let’s see what that means. Yesterday they ran out of the shampoo bottles in the hotel. There are more serious issues I guess in the world and there are enough chicken on this island to keep us from starving for quite a while. Spatzl already pointed out in her quite direct way that she was fed up with Island life and if that was paradise, leading a really naughty life seemed an increasingly attractive option. The risk of being bored to death all over again in paradise made her feel very uncomfortable. I partially understand that feeling, while I do not mind reading a book, writing a bit, taking a swim, going for a run, enjoying the sun and go snorkelling for a week or two. She is not so into that. Fortunately, we discovered Scopa, an italian card game for us. Really funny and the competition keeps the spirits up. I am seriously getting more competitive now as I think I have understood the inner rules of the game better. Let’s see how this will develop. New balls please Spatzl to serve! 15: love all over again.
The other day we went on a lagoon cruise and visited one foot island. While snorkelling you could see the famous giant clams and giant local trivali fishes, which were eating tuna out of your hand, if you fancied. Their teeth were quite impressive and you started to wonder, if a little nibble on one of your fingers might not be equally tempting to them. We survived it and listened to the story of one foot island, that was originating from a quite violent incident. A father and son were out for a day fishing. As they were enjoying the fun of catching game fish, war broke out and they found themselves being attacked by a group of hostile warriors. They approached the nearest Island to them to hide. The father quickly decided to carry the son on his shoulder so that there was only one pair of footprints to be seen in the sand. He urged his boy after carrying him for a while, to climb up a coconut tree and to hide up there. They did not find the boy, but killed his father brutally in front of his eyes. As they only saw the father’s footprints, they thought their job was done. As he had grown up, he took revenge, killed all the warriors who had murdered his father. In memory of this incident till this day the Island is called one foot island. The father will always be remembered for his bravery and his wittiness saving his son’s life.
In summary I think a local put it the best way, in case you ask yourself if you are prepared to live on this Island. In Aitutaki it is about to be, not about to do something. So are you still doing something or have you started to be?