Monday, 2 March 2009

Vanuatu: the continuing saga

Dinner last night was partaken in the Thai restaurant forming part of the Hotel complex. A rather pleasant Green Chicken curry.

Day 2 started with a waddle down through the wharf area, just to continue the rehab of my stuffed hamstring.

The only surprising thing (and this being my third visit to Pot Vila it takes a fair bit to surprise me) was a young lady - of the white persuasion - stopping me to ask if the road was a dead-end. Since she was 1km from the previous turn-off and the cliffs were quite high on one side (and the sea quite deep on the other) I could understand her concern and answered in the positive. She showed me her map of how to get to a guest house and I explained how to get there (other than retracing her steps this involved some crampons and a very sharp panga).

The immediate question that arose was why a very attractive young woman was wandering though the port trying to get to a guest house at 6:15 in the morning. I hope she had enjoyed the previous part of her day, and she certainly didn't seem at all unhappy.

A day at work then happened. As I have said in an email it was the usual developing country mixture of laughter and screams - with the usual Vanuatu emphasis on the laughter.

The missionaries appear to have relented on Prohibition, although our favourite Chinese store -which sells good wine at a nice price -closed for lunch. Fortunately they had seen the light by 5:30pm and a bottle of Cahors '06 rouge acquired. As always with this appellation it was very pleasant. After a sampling of this I wandered off to La Casa to get outside some Fettucini Marianara. Excellent as always.

An interesting sidelight to the above is that the owners of both the Chinese store and the Italian restaurant seemed to be Francophone. I know Vanuatu has a joint English and French colonial past but this mixture I find very strange. I strongly suspect that both owners speak Bislama and their mother-tongue as well as English so they are at least quattroglottic!

On the crappy side of life, as I type this Pauline Hanson is on the ABC Qld news spruiking herself for the Queensland election. I'd really like to see Anna Bligh returned but my real dread is the Australian answer to Jean-Marie le Pen (minus the intellect) holding the balance of power. Not only will daylight saving never get passed, but speaking other than Chaucerian English will be illegal.

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