Tonga 'n' Stuff
Here I am in sunny Tonga, sitting here trying to make my letter as impressive as possible.
We arrived this morning, Monday the 25th or Sunday the 24th depending on which side of the date line your on, in the Kingdom of Tonga. I am currently confused as to which day it is and which day it is in England, or Sweden for that matter. This is a lousy attempt at HTMLing a letter. Htmling is probably not a proper English word but who gives! Tonga appears to have a population of 50% officials who speak English in such an appalling accent that I cannot describe it let alone understand it the Skipper and Börje (both Swedish ) seem to be having even more trouble. As officials go I suppose there not to bad..... they came to the boat, all 4 of them, we didn't have to got too them, something I suppose we should be thankful for. We are at the main ship wharf in Nuka Loafa or some such place. All the names in the pacific islands are spelt in English as they sound, usually they either don't sound like they're spelt or they're spelt several different ways just to confuse you average cixelsyd (dyslexic) ocean hippie. The reason for this is thought the names have existed for a long time the Local language didn't have writing until the arrival of the English, usually captain cook. Obviously I can't spell very well anyhoo I mean anyhow. At least the English did better here than they did in Fiji, the first Westerner to actually live there was an English missionary. He was Rev. Thomas Baker, he converted much of Fiji to Christianity, before he was put in a big pot and devoured by cannibals from a near by island in 1867. Apparently his shoes are still on show in the Fiji museum in Suva, our next port of call.
We were planning to stop at some more islands in Tonga, that doesn't look possible however, mostly because the quarantine people want to kill the cat, poor old Abba. Now they have allowed the cat to live which is against the rules. Since its against the rules they want to keep an eye on us and, more likely, they don't want any other officials to find out they didn't kill the cat . It isn't an ex cat it hasn't ceased to be (Yet).
Unfortunately for me it looks like my old job will be available when I get home..... to spend my life as an under paid lab tech or not to spend my life as an under paid lab tech that is the question. The answers obvious, don't even think about it. I'll never make my fortune as a LRA (learning resource assistant, lab tech in English).
Tomorrow we are going to rent Scooters again, 20 Tonga dollars (pa'angas or something) a day, I already have a valid UK driving licence and a cook Islands driving licence. Which was copied off my UK one, my UK one doesn't allow motorbikes... My cook islands one does, I'm sure I can make some sort of deal with the 2 of them! Tonga has been clever, they are about 176° West longitude, they should therefore be the last place in the world to celebrate the new millennium, but they had some clever person who decided to run the date line to the east of them so they are 13 hours ahead of GMT, when they should be 11 behind. This means that they stand to make an absolute fortune out of the Idiotic Americans who want to be the first people to celebrate the millennium.
The fact that the millennium should logically be celebrated at the beginning of 2001 is a silly idea that no one cares about, not only that but the real millennium should be celebrated at midnight in Israel if one was exact, certainly not in Tonga who's deliberately moved the date line to make money. I hope the hotels computers have the millennium bug it will serve them right!
Time is relative! This is easily proved by Börje playing chess, he takes all week to make his move and then complains when I take more than a minute. Score 1 game all, boredom stopped play OK well that's all I have time for right now, see you sometime!
all right that's not all..... After Tonga we've reached Suva in Fuji and Port Villa in Vanuatu and this whole page was updated in Honiara, Guadacanal the Solomon islands, we leave the 15th for Ghizo Island also in the Solomon's. Its nice here but these a bit of a war going on like.........
Have a nice night (its day round this side of the planet)