I’ll be heading back to my village in a couple of hours, after two weeks away. I have mixed feelings about it.
I’ll be leaving restaurants, taxi’s, hot showers, air conditioning, Americans and many others who speak English, a real bed, relatively few mosquitoes, no cockroaches or centipedes, no packs of dogs, grocery stores that are stocked with almost all the foods I enjoy and relative anonymity.
I’ll also be leaving a place where money seems to be sucked out of my wallet by a giant invisible vacuum; “Apia feet”, which is what I call the disgusting filthy state of my feet after walking in town; strangers; cars with pumped up amplifiers blasting music; few children; rude people who aggressively shove me out of their way; a waterfront that is more brown than blue and a place where traffic is the predominant sound.
I’ll be going to my house, filled with bugs of the flying and crawling variety, a bed that is a thin foam mattress on wooden slats, a house where bugs and blowing sad require that I sweep twice a day in a futile attempt to have a clean floor, cold showers and doing laundry in a bucket, grocery stores that don’t have such luxuries as cheese, canned tomatoes or vegetables, no restaurants, sweat and polyester puletasis, early wake up calls from roosters, pigs and church bells and crowded buses.
I’ll also be going home to my beautiful grinning baby Julius, hordes of children who scream my name with delight when they see me, friends who will hug me when I arrive, the sound of the ocean in the background everywhere I go, the voices of the church choirs singing in harmony with the ocean at least twice a day, people who will crowd together so that I can have the best seat on the bus, loud laughter and the yelling of adults and children as they work and play, and a lagoon that is featured in travel magazines.
I’ll be going home.