Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Going to the city is not as glamorous as it sounds. A lot of time, patience and seasickness has to be taken into account before deciding if it will be worth the journey.
During the school year, it is difficult to come to Apia, unless school is dismissed early since the last bus to Salelologa, where the wharf is, is at 10:30 AM.
When I arrive at Salelologa, it is now a waiting game for the ferry. The boat is supposed to leave every 2 hours from 6 AM to 4 PM. However, if I try to show up early, I know that the 8, 10 or 12 o’clock boat will not be there. It is always a guessing game as to which boat will not show up. Twice a day the new boat, the Lady Samoa III makes the trip. The rest of the time you are stuck with one of the little boats.
If you can sleep on a boat, it is a peaceful trip on any boat, but if not the 1-2 ½ hour trip can seem endless. Because of this, I often look for people I know with vehicles for me to roll up into a ball in the bed of their pickup truck to make the trip more enjoyable. However this is not always possible.
The big new boat is nice because it always seems to make the trip in about an hour. You know what to expect. Stale, cool air conditioning with a movie inside and an awesome snack cart is always welcoming. Outside there is a nice ocean breeze and you can actually relax on the floor on the chairs.
There are two little boats, one has a few seats, and the other has practically no seats. The one with a few seats is usually the one I end up with. I really don’t like this boat because I feel seasick when I sit on a chair, and my only savoir is being able to sit on the floor. Lately, the water has been so rough that it has been impossible to sit on the floor. The boat is rocking horribly, as every five second huge waves crash aboard the ship. Unless I want to be soaked, it is not the place to be.
However, when the water is that bad, and I forget to take Dramamine, on the floor, leaning over the edge is my only option.
This is not fun, but has to be done.
The unknown of what I can expect on the open water makes me hope I can always find a good place to take a nap on the ship, before I notice the rocky water.
Besides the fun boat ride, I have to take busses on each end of the ferry trip. Making my trip to the capital take anywhere from 4 to 7 hours.
There is merit with staying put in village life in Savai’i.