First night in Apia

An escape from winter to Samoa, and a very welcome chance, too, to escape from work before the next trimester begins. We arrived at our accommodation, a stand-alone Samoan-style tourist bungalow after dark, and with some misgivings. It seemed quite a long way out from the centre of town – away from places to eat – and was reached up a steep, slippery, heavily eroded track. The taxi driver was NOT happy, and we had to walk the last fifty metres or so. Just as well we were travelling light, no heavy suitcases to lug, no hat boxes. But, once we were settled (& the bungalow was very attractive), the hour and the location posed a dilemma. What to do for dinner? I volunteered to negotiate the track – and the dogs! – back to the main road to see what I could get at the nearby store. In vain did I look for anything fresh on the shelves, anything that said ‘romantic Pacific island’. Tinned tuna, tinned sardines, tinned corned beef … I’d forgotten, temporarily, the reliance on canned produce in urban parts. But still, I enjoyed my chat with the woman behind the counter, negotiated the dogs & the slippery path successfully both going & coming, and in the end we managed a scratch picnic supper on our verandah, helped by the bread and fruit that had been left for us in the bungalow for breakfast, washed down with a bottle of chilled Vailima (the local beer), and, for afters, shared an Anzac biscuit that had been handed out on the domestic flight this morning and had sat in my bag all day. Feeling happy to be here.

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