Pick Your Nose

When I was a kid I loved making Plaster Of Paris models. My favourite was Pinocchio but his nose always fell off as I pealed away the mold.
The Tahitians like to make Tiki statues. Many are ancient but more modern ones are springing up in the Papeete Paofai Park .
The Tahitians don’t have a problem with the noses dropping off, they are flat.
Banksy style flat nosed Tiki , recently moulded and spray painted.
Newly finished stone carved flat nosed Tiki in the Paofai Park.
Moulded modern flat nosed Tiki light
No nose, in fact no face. I don’t think that was the intended prominent feature.
Flat faced Tiki in the Paofai Park.
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Ginger

The house of Green Ginger was a coffee shop in my UK home town. Green Ginger sounded exotic when I was a teenager in the 70’s . It was the sort of place where I would rendezvous occasionally with my father on a Saturday morning, knowing that he would pay for the coffee and I would get a lift home. The only other ginger thing in my life at that time was my hair.
Fast forward to present day and I’m retired, living with my husband of 36 years on our yacht in Tahiti. I feel very special because I’m regularly presented with a fabulous bouquet of local flowers from the Papeete market.

These locally grown flowers are totally exotic. My previous assumption of exotic ginger being green in colour, went clean out of the window.

Look at the vibrant colours and look at the stunning textures.

A bright glossy red exotic flower bloom filling the frame, with a few green leaves in the background.
The grand ginger flower

Isn’t nature wonderful.

Red torch ginger (phaeomeria magnifica)

Hawaiian golden beehive ginger (zingibar spectabile)

Wild Crape ginger (costis specious)

Giant spiral ginger.

Also Opuhi rose de Tahiti (alpinia purpurata)

Parrots beak (heliconia psittacorum hurcules )

Bag a baguette 

Today I cycled to the supermarket to purchase my groceries and a baguette.

The trick, is to return with the baguette in one piece. This is difficult when I’m balanced on Green Dragon with a heavy rucksack on my back, a saddle bag bulging on the back rack and hanging over the handlebars is a cloth bag full of fruit and vegetables, amongst which sits the 67cms long baguette.

Today I returned with my baguette intact.

I paid 50 xpf for the baguette in Carrefour. Most baguettes in French Polynesia cost 53 xpf. They are all subsidised and mass produced.

President Macron wants UNESCO world heritage status for French baguettes. I don’t think he eats the supermarket mass produced ones which are pretty tasteless really.

Bougainville, the  good old days. 

Weaving through the crowded streets of Papeete today, armed with my baguette, I cross the Parc Bougainville and head back to the Marina.

Ha, how times have changed since Admiral Louise – Antoine De Bougainville‘s days. He was an interesting French chap. Having battled alongside Napoleon against the Brits, he then took to the sea again and became the first French explorer to circumnavigate the world with naturalists and geographers aboard two ships. A bit of a scandal here. Botanist Philbert Commercon had a valet to look after him on board. She was Jeanne Baret his mistress and fellow botanist, however, she had to disguise as a man. Jeanne became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. The pair of them named a flowering plant which they collected in Rio de Janeiro and called it Bougainvillea after their boss. The vibrant flowers reflect the vibrant past.

Bougainville liked Tahiti. He must have been pretty cross to find that a Brit called Wallis discovered Tahiti first. However, he wrote a travel log and the best bit was Tahitian society, describing it as “an earthly paradise where men and women lived in blissful innocence, far from corruption of civilisation”

I dash across the road at the crossing, dodging the vehicles reluctant to stop. It’s a non stop flow of traffic.

I wonder what the great Admiral’s travel log on Tahitian society would say today for his not so earthly paradise. However, the flowers remain vibrant and so does the modern Tahitian society.