Friday, June 10, 2011

The Rat and the Pillow

The Rat and the Pillow

I came home from Fiji and Independence Race Weekend exhausted.  I quickly put my things in my room and came out to socialize with my family.  “Did you notice anything with your room?” my mom asked me.

Oh no, I thought.  Did I lose my spare key causing them to try to clean my room while I was gone, or do something different with that little space that I can call my own?  I was really hoping not, so I went back to my room and said “Leai”.

“Really, the rat didn’t come and eat your pillow?  He ate all of ours,” she said as she motioned to a stack of pillows.

I ran back inside and looked on top of my bed. My pillow looked like it had exploded and cotton was everywhere!  I grabbed the pillowcase and showed it to my mom and said he ate mine too.  I was told to clean up the pillow so he does not come back. 

I started unpacking from Fiji, and started with those amazing food (I love Clif Bars!) my brother and sister had given me from America.  I stopped when I was called for dinner.  (Back to my boiled bananas, taro, and chop seuy for meals!)  “Ua uma?”  (Are you finished?) I was asked.

“No,” then I explained how I was putting away food so the isumu (rat) did not eat it. 

My mom explained that I did not have to worry about that.  The rats only eat the seeds from cotton in the pillows.  I tried to counter (very unSamoan, I know) and say that rats also food when they can.   (I have seen the bite marks out of my soap and toothpaste, and have seen a few other pieces of food do a disappearing act.)I was told to go clean up the pillow and my mom would come to check my room to make sure I had gotten rid of the entire mess.

I was too tired, and rolled up my sheets, and put new sheets on, and decided I would just go to sleep and deal with it the next day.

I was caught, even though I slept through an inspection.  The next day I was caught with a loose piece of cotton that had gotten stuck to my puletasi.  Mom told me I needed to clean my room right away and she knows that I hadn’t because the cotton is on my clothes.

Sometimes my interactions with my Samoan family take me back to my own primary school days, and it makes me laugh.  Living with a Samoan family is a completely different dynamic than anything I have experienced before.  I talked to a few people about what my rat did while I was gone, and was asked why I didn’t scream, or throw a tantrum and cry.  Samoa has been full of experiences where I know in the future I will laugh at the stupidity of the situation.  There is no reason to make the situation worse than it really is, because let’s face it, I would have never expected when coming to Samoa I would have a rat causing me so much drama in my life.

(Picture is of my Samoan family)


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