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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Tokelau Tomorrow?

SAMOA | Tuesday, 18 October 2016 | Views [408]

The boat to Tokelau leaves tomorrow. Will I be on it? Robert told me to text him and he’d call the office this afternoon. In a fit of frustration I said that I’d never touch Samoan vodka again! For only the second time in my life I got sick after drinking last night. Why didn’t I stick to wine? Joanne is a really adorable English girl. She yelled out "Oh my God, you’re alive" and I responded rather nonchalantly with "I was up three hours ago, what are you talking about?" and then regarded me as a "trooper." Only then did I learn that I got sick enough that I spewed last night, when I thought she was going to say I was running around naked or whatever. I didn’t feel my best this morning but I had my brekkie and debated whether to have some R&R or go on an adventure. Deciding on the latter, I thought I’d go into town, have some lunch, and perhaps stop at the Tokelau office in person. Apia seems like a million miles away when you’re on the south coast but it’s only about an hour and a half. Tokelau has frustrated me so far, especially since I put forth all that effort to get everything in order in only a half day. Then again, it’s one of the most sought after destinations to experienced travellers; something akin to a Ferrari to a classic car collector. I mustn’t complain, as the next boat leaves in two weeks. With my water bottle full, some sunscreen slopped all over, and my sunnies on, I put my thumb out in the direction of Apia. Locals tend to say "I’m going to town" instead of "Apia." One short lift would get me to a resort but then I was picked up by a nice lady named Lagi. She has invited me to stay with her for about 150 tala per week but she’s leaving for American Samoa tomorrow to go to her uncle’s funeral and won’t return until 31 October. She showed me her home, accompanied by a nice view and a lovely breeze. I told her I’d love to spend a week or so when she returns, and then she dropped me at Robert’s work. Robert called the Tokelau office whilst I was there but Ruby informed him she hasn’t heard anything from Tokelau. Being in town today would have put me into a tough position if I got the approval because I’d have to go all the way back to Saleapaga, collect all my gear, and then get back to Apia tonight. Frustrated, I collapsed in my chair a bit unhappy that my efforts didn’t pay off. The door was still ajar, but the chances are slimmer than human hair that I’ll be on the boat tomorrow! Nobody said getting to Tokelau was going to be easy. However, the nearer to the holidays the higher the risk the boat will be full.

What I needed after last night and today was a really good massage. Robert referred me to a Chinese therapist who uses cupping techniques. I felt absolutely sore everywhere today, so I needed to just relax and let Li do her work. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a massage with cupping, and I felt so much better after an hour and a half. Li advised me not to drink anything cold for five hours afterward. Next up I wanted some pizza for lunch so I ordered one at the Rocks Bar, which is one of Rob’s favourite drinking spots. The pizza would take more than a half hour so I made a B-line for the Sheraton and jumped online to upload some photos. It’s always a good feeling seeing a new country on my list. With the pizza in my hands I made a run for the bus station thinking there’d be one leaving at 4 PM but it turned out it didn’t leave until 5 PM. Being a palagi the locals ensured I had the front seat. The seats are rock-hard and I wasn’t keen on sitting for a half hour so I chatted to some LDS missionaries, curious as to why they’d serve in a country already with a large LDS presence. They said "because there are still a lot of people here who don’t know about it" and that they don’t get to choose the country they serve in. At 5 PM on a packed bus with blasting music, I was ready to get back to Saleapaga. My back was still a bit sore from the massage but otherwise I felt great. Sitting in the front allows me to soak up the breeze and hang my camera out for photos. Two hours later I was home just in time for dinner. Robert advised me to apologize to Koroseta for spewing last night so I did just that. One of the guys here said he helped me get cleaned up and that I brushed my teeth and walked back to my fale under my own steam. Regardless, I will never touch Samoan vodka again, or perhaps any other vodka, for that matter. When it comes to drinking, I prefer wine and wine only. Dinner has been largely the same every night: fish, chicken, rice, stir-fry, and salad, so we all had that tonight. Joanne left earlier today as she is leaving for Fiji in a couple of days; I’ll sure miss her! Not up for drinking tonight, it was a quiet and peaceful evening. The odd sprinkle of rain accompanied by a gentle breeze makes things extremely pleasant. Whilst it’s exceedingly unlikely I’m leaving for Tokelau tomorrow I can’t get too hard on myself. My effort wasn’t all in vain and I have a second opportunity. In all it was a productive day, and Apia is worth the trip for a good lunch, a massage, and free internet.

Having to wait (at least) another two weeks for Tokelau breaks open my options a bit. It’d be wise for me to go to Savai’i between now and then. American Samoa is another option, but I still haven’t found a contact and you have no choice but to pre-book the ferry. Samoa allows 60 days on entry so I still have a lot of time remaining. I have two more nights here at Faofao Fales and then I’m either going to Savai’I or elsewhere on ‘Upolu. On this quiet and peaceful night I had a few cups of koko Samoa and I didn’t go to sleep until well after 1 AM.

Let’s see if some magic happens regarding Tokelau…

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