My Days and Weeks in Port Vila, Vanuatu

11 Jan

Being Social in the Comfort of your Home
13-20 December 2010

I don’t need to get out to be social. Example: 19 December, 2010.

I stayed in bed until 10. Dragged myself to the couch and watched Airbender. Just managed to make myself a smoothie with bread + peanut butter (crunchy of course). Seamus [US friend of Ivan’s who’s been here for a few days in transit between Santo and the US] planted himself on the couch a bit later and watched it with me. Ivan and his girlfriend Desiree went to the airport to pick up a new couchsurfer (Mathilde) and her friend Mark. He brought them home to drop their bags, hear the tourist pitch and they headed out again to explore Vila.

Airbender ended too soon – when are the next two movies coming out?! Seamus put The Castle — an Australian classic from what I understand. It’s very entertaining and Eric Bana’s first movie. The story is set in the 90s: a down-to-earth family fights the government who wants to evict them so the Melbourne airport can expand. They don’t want to leave their piece of land between the runway and the toxic landfill, and under the powerlines because it’s HOME, their castle. I won’t tell you how it ends, but we had a good laugh.

Ivan came back later on as Seamus and I were watching Kenny, another Australian classic that Seamus had seen once and couldn’t wait to see again. He even wants to buy the DVD… I would be happy never to see the actor ever again in my life but it’s important that I familiarize myself with the culture of the region. I am too Americanized anyway, so Australiazation will do me good… I hope. It’s a strange Aussie mock documentary about a guy providing portable toilets for events and making sure they function well. He loves his job and is great at customer service. Think for a second about what that entails: not pretty and quite smelly. I don’t ever want a TV that relays smells.

Crazy Dan was there for a while but got bored. Ivan was asleep on the couch… Seamus wanted to draw the Airbender’s tatoos on Ivan’s bald head. I was supposed to hold him down in case he woke up because “he would never hurt you.” Dan was all for it. Oh yeah, another great idea from the boys! They couldn’t come up with anything fun so Dan left us with Kenny. Ivan woke up for the extras then put a couple of episodes of Father Ted, before going to a BBQ around 5pm. I wasn’t invited to the BBQ, good because the heat was unbearable! I re-heated some leftovers.

I cooked for an army on Friday so I had food for the weekend. I even shared some of my vegetable stir-fry with Ludovic (French couchsurfer from previous week) on Friday. He was just back from Ambrym/Tanna and was going to Fiji the next day so he didn’t have time to go to the market. He was alive when I last saw him on Saturday morning so my secret recipe seems to be harmless.

While Seamus and Ivan were at the BBQ, I watched The Sorcerer’s Apprentice with a few best friends: ice cream with raspberries, peanut butter cookies and a Cadbury’s bar (milk chocolate with almonds). No comment: I have slipped on the slippery slope. Then I put on Despicable Me, which I had already seen but I was cleaning the dishes, clearing this and that (only my stuff though, I refuse to clean after the boys!) so there was no point in putting a movie with a complicated plot (like the other deep deep films I saw that day).

Ivan and Seamus came back and watched the end of the movie with me. It was quiet until Ivan’s girlfriend came with Dan and a girl (I was actually impressed that my name didn’t confuse her and she pronounced it right — so impressed that I forgot her name). They were preparing for a movie night, making popcorn, cooling more beers, etc. Mathilde came back as well. Full house! Five people slept in my house, again! It was about 8:30 so I left to get ready for bed, read a book for a while, and lights out around 9:30 (yes, you read correctly). See, I can be very social without ever leaving the house! 🙂

I pushed myself out of bed at 5:45 on Monday morning though to make up for the laziness. I went for a run (ok a jog… a slow jog… with long periods of walking… ok limping), did some exercises (streeeeeetch), got a good breakfast (raspberry + passion fruit + banana juice – yummy! – and muesli) and left for work around 7:30. What a way to start the week! Let’s see how long the good intention will last… warming up for the New Year’s Disillusion.

Monday at work: We didn’t have leftovers from a party or home-made (slightly burnt) cake like last week. We did have a party at Seru’s on Saturday, but no leftover made their way to the fancy fridge. His house is on the lagoon – aaah! I snorkeled again and had an interesting encounter with a curious fish – making friends under water. Still, I kept expecting a shark to show up! Why oh why did I watch Jaws in the 80s?! I was too young, impressionable and developed into a submarine chicken! I did show some adventurous spirit: I went there in a buggy driven by Nima! Youhouhou the thrill and my life is still a bit too short. I left with Carmine driving the URA truck with proper protection against mud-filled potholes, less noise, less gritted-teeth but less fun as well .

So since we didn’t have leftovers, Maureen and I got some hot meat pies from La Parisienne. She introduced them to me last Wednesday – hot moist savory. We clicked instantly. I also got a sausage roll – not impressive, dry, boring. I am still dreaming of the ones Owen introduced me to in Oxford.

Week 7 was particularly rainy. My road is just a series of potholes. Katharina was back in town but we didn’t manage to go to a yoga class together. She left on Saturday, after another working lunch (I had smoked salmon on a toasted baguette and poached eggs with a few asparagus). We said goodbye to Simon (back to England until February) and Maureen G (back to Australia for good). Carmine spent two nights in Luganville to observe the transition plan between the two utilities – 1st January is coming fast! Then he left for Australia on Sunday. So many people leaving… sigh. Maureen M got a meat pie for Nima as well: now that his friends and carers are gone, someone else has to look after him! Carmine counted on moi… haha!

2 Responses to “My Days and Weeks in Port Vila, Vanuatu”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Home « Traveling Tastebuds - 15 J0000002Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] and never really made an effort to plant roots. I did enjoy my life there, as you can read from my earlier blog entries, in particular diving in Port Vila’s and Luganville’s turquoise […]

  2. Two Sides of Vanuatu « Travelling Tastebuds - 15 J0000006Australia/Sydney 2011

    […] November 2010-January 2011 – My Days and Weeks in Port Vila […]

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