The flip flop nickers

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Lumepa Hald

It is a swampy situation when two headed dragons get cross eyed and hit each other as a result. But Samoans do not have dragons or even celebrate to that effect, as the Chinese do, so I guess we could think of two headed stray tom cats to make a point with governance, in the church and in the political arena.

Those complexities aside, it seems there is a forgetful-ness amidst us. It is as if we do not know where we come from, what we used to eat, what we wore and how we survived years without too much stuff. 

For my own sanity and fear of an oversized ego, when comparing to the outside world and their fancy things, I like to remember my island as one filled with flip flop nickers. 

The villagers as many of you know, like to borrow, not steal flip flops from each other, and sorry to say here, guests of the country included. Today, as a proud citizen, I am writing this without my cheap Chinese flip flops because someone in the White Sunday commotion had a ghost whispering experience for my now publicized short lived property. 

I still giggle at the declaration my poor father had to make to several guests of the beach fales, when their flip flops went missing overnight. According to the old man, flip flops in Samoa suddenly grow tentacles and walk off. But there is a surprise catch. When such a thing happens, the ghost replaces the new pair of flip flops with a worn out pair that has walked the island for years. 

But the topic of flip flops is making me think of tourism and why not? 

One of the most prevalent challenges so far is getting a good team of hosts and hostesses in the sector, from the experience I have gathered and learned. So after conducting several interviews lately and finding zilch in a needle hole kind of lens, I want to recommend the following for hiring. 

Brace yourselves. If you are interviewing to hire good hosts and hostesses for Samoa, I would recommend that while you are questioning the applicant with your formally designed questionnaire, you reach out without warning to touch the eye lid of the applicant. If he does not blink on the first touch then don’t hire him. You may politely stamp imbecile on his file and put it right in the back with all the worn out flip flops from the good humored guests of the country.

That all to say that we are cursing under our breaths with the kind of things we have to deal with when we just want to eat well and laugh in the evenings.

So to end this rag, I would direct your eyes on the tom cats and their cross eyes in the governance of our beloved nation from the side of Jesus and that of the historical Westminster system. 

Would you say from the looks of the children on the street, the corroding sea walls, the lost youth in the villages, that some of our tom cats are sleeping beauties? 

But if we are having trouble waking them up, then maybe it is time to introduce the three alarm story. One man who still lives remembers his late wife. He had kept three alarm clocks to wake him. 

One alarm was on his bed side, the other on his late wife’s bedside and the third in the kitchen. All three alarms went on each morning at 6am. None of the alarms woke him except his wakeful wife who would be tormented by the incidences. Upon missing his wife, he credits his suffering in the mornings, to the three alarm clocks. 

Perhaps it is a bit far-fetched to hand out alarms to our sleeping beauties considering the irony of flip flop nickers. But we are only simple people. And simple people do not hold grudges. We tend to forgive despite the hardship. What I would give to be a prayer on someone’s earnest lips so that when I take off with angels, I will remember to say, 

 “Dear Lord, please bless the flip flop nickers too.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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