Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Rarotonga: First Night
Greeted by a houseful of lizards, I enjoy the sight of my grown brother chasing them around. Wild chooks roam the lawn - an inordinate proportion of roosters makes for a lot of noise. The lawn is also full of fallen coconuts and more loom in the trees overhead.
On the drive over from the airport, I noted goats unfenced by the main road and also numerous gravestones set in the yards of homes. Mongrel dogs wander in public. The island's central mountains aren't high, but rise almost vertically to their jaggy spikes all covered in the wild green bush like New Zealand on steroids.
After dark we walked to nearby Mr Wu's general store. It was raining, and I had no coat or brolly, so I slung a towel over my head and shoulders to keep dry. Mr Wu sells petrol, canned goods, a small selection of fruit and veg, hot pies, ice cream, and intriguing fried snacks made of breadfruit and manioto.
We follow the barely-lit shoulder, torches bobbing in the black ocean of the island night that is itself but a pinprick in the wide, deep, black Pacific. Back at the house there is one TV channel. For ads, business owners voiceover their homemade slideshows.
Not wanting to leave the laundry outside overnight, we lay two brooms and a mop across the backs of two chairs and call it good.