Posts Tagged ‘Tahiti’

The Big City

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

The city was both a relief and a stress after a couple of months in the back of beyond. Papeete is a very unique place. We already made our point that the people are the most interesting thing in town but we did experience some uniquely Tahitian scenery and food.

It turns out we were only 2 degrees of separation from some very friendly staff at the Intercontinental. So we anchored in front of the infinity pool…

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and sort of experienced what its like to hang around in a luxury hotel with a great view of Moorea.

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We got some great help from our friends there and are convinced that the rainbow over the Intercontinental is just part of the service.

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French Polynesia is widely condemned as unreasonably expensive due to vague influences of French socialism, European style entitlements, Polynesian socioeconomic customs, guilt money for nuclear test and a whole litany of bad influences for the fixed income traveler. We were more confused by the economy than horrified at the prices. Some things are nearly free, like bread and flour. Some things that should be free are quite expensive, like local fruit. New Zealand lamb neck chops are cheap and plentiful. Fuel is duty free for visiting boats and as cheap as anywhere we’ve been.

Prices for eating out were all over the chart. We tried a bit of the bistro lifestyle and left some Poly Francs in our wake.

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Then we found these mobile truck restaurants. We call them Truckstaurants.

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They set up tables in a vacant lot and have identical menus revolving around steak, stirfry and Russian potato salad (!?!) with beets. The heart of the operation is a butane fired wok, a cooler full of drinks and a grill for steak frites.

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We had some great steak frites and the price was what you’d spend for a sweet, sweet brewpub cheeseburger in Seattle.

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Tahitians are primarily defined by their beauty…

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and the sea…

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which sounds great until you win the Miss Tahiti competition and have to judge tuna cleaning competitions.

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We spent long enough in Papeete but wished we were back as soon as we left.

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17°32.62’S 149°34.22’W   02-Jul-10 01:49 UTC

Candid Papeete

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Papeete is a place where grit meets paradise and the story is in the faces.

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Bus Stop Girl…

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and her mom.

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The city is full of young romantics and some of them are disgusted that they have to wait for a bus on their honeymoon.

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The end of a long day at the building supply warehouse.

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Burning off the product of cheese product.

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The Manfish

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Young Menfish

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Bus Girl

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Packing up the fruit

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Bus Stop Boy

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Sweet shoulders!

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Sweet face!

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The finger of accusation.

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She sells cucumbers by the seashore

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Granny

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A map of the mind

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The daughter will probably remain single all the way through high school. The son can’t wait to get his coconut engraved.

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Southern winter fashion

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Planthead ladies

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Modern Polynesia

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Classical Polynesia (with friend)

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Coolest guy in the fish market

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Manta Mom

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Mademoiselle

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He’s going back some day… come what may…

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A loaf of bread, a jug of Coke, and thou

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The chic French family

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Purple Mango Man

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Dress Seller (with goggles)

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Big Dog

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The Cafe Lifestyle (with strong Gallic nose and scooter)

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Little Boy Blue (with blue wedgie)

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The Phases of Island Manhood

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17°34.35’S 149°37.26’W   01-Jul-10 01:49 UTC