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I visited the Papeete Market in Tahiti early this morning. I love the vibrant atmosphere. Despite the rain, everyone was in a jovial mood.
The Sunday market is always special as it’s the Farmers’ Market. It connects the people from the many French Polynesian Islands together for a good old chin wag .
There’s a the core of regular stallholders who operate inside the market complex on a daily basis. At 4 am, the rest of the traders set their stalls up in allocated spots along the streets which surround the market building.
Tahiti has a large Chinese population whose presence has been here for a number of generations. There are many stall holders of Chinese and Polynesian descent. The community is interconnected.
I realised as I lugged my cache back to the marina, that I had bought far more fruit and vegetables than I intended. The produce was all so fresh. Everyone was so happy, friendly and connected.
I have just signed up for the 10 day Developing Your Eye photography course. I’m using my Galaxy S8 phone camera. I’m a complete novice and am keen to learn.
Developing Your Eye, Day One, “Home”
I’m from England where we still have a house but some one else lives there, so I don’t think of it as home. In 2010 my husband and I set off in our small yacht to sail around the world and this is our home. We have visited many places so don’t have a permanent address. However we have been in French Polynesia for a long time and consider our yacht in Tahiti home.
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.
Isn’t nature wonderful.
Red torch ginger (phaeomeria magnifica)
Hawaiian golden beehive ginger (zingibar spectabile)
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.