In preparation for our five-week reintegration into New Zealand society, we thought we’d better send out a warning and pre-apology for the misunderstandings, questionable behaviour, and social faux-pas we’ll make.
Friends and family.
From the 16th of December, we’ll be back in the country.
Since moving to the Solomon Islands, we’ve lived through five months of life-altering experiences. Our perspectives have shifted, the way we talk has changed, we even smell different. We’re not the same people you once knew.
Our English is not gud
We will refer to ourselves as “me” and append “fala” to the end of all adjectives and numbers. This is how Sunday morning, 17 December at Crave is going to go down: “Me likem tufala flatwhites, wanfala poached egg, wanfala french toast but makem bigfala serving of bacon, and wanfala brownie but me no likem coldfulla wan so makem hot lelebet. Plis.” The rest of this conversation will be conducted all in eyebrows and head nods.
Fifty shades of tan
Hundreds of hours of beaching, diving, and bushwalking have gone into this project. Tans that have taken five, long months to accomplish. Compliment us because we worked hard on them.
We’ve strayed far from our New Zealand morals and are confused about what’s ok and what’s not ok. We throw rocks at mangos from trees that don’t belong to us without asking, sometimes we forget to wear seatbelts, and buying cheese past its expiry date is not beneath us. If we schedule a coffee date with you, expect us to be at least an hour late and we might not have a reason for it either.
Basket around the neck
For easy access to our wallets and so that we always know where our beef biskits are. Sometimes we’ll wear them slightly askew because we like to push the boundaries of traditionalism.
A pleasant but unpleasant aroma
Honiara is currently going through a water mains disaster (well, we classify it as a disaster it may not be) and we haven’t had a proper shower in nearly two weeks. Coconut oil and Jerusalem Holy Oil is abundant so we’ve been using it as a shower substitute. We leave a scenty trail of B.O. and tropicana behind us.
Jandals and going barefoot have become our footwear of choice. Five months of wearing jandals or nothing exclusively have worn down our foot arches and widened our feet making it easier for us to cling to rocks and climb coconut trees. We will not be oppressed by your socks and shoes, society!
We think Hawaiian/Bula/Island shirts are real snazzy
Not only for the beach and BBQ, island shirts are our new all-occasion eventwear. Breezy and comfortable, island shirts will make it easy for all our frens to spot us at da clubs. We’ve also got new dance moves to compliment our cheery outfits that include moshing with big afros and foot-stomping with ankle-maracas.
We can’t wait to talk about our new life skills
The experiences we’ve had here have been life transforming and we promise gripping conversations about the following topics:
⋅ How to toktok Pijin without sounding like you just can’t talk English gud
⋅ The difference between diving and drowning
⋅ Get the most out of your 3 SBD: How to chew betel nut effectively
⋅ 500 ways to eat eggplant
⋅ The miraculous miracles of Jerusalem Apostolic Anointing Oil
⋅ Tone down your professionalism: Solomon Island office etiquette for working professional
⋅ 57 cool things to do in a power cut
⋅ How to make sour cream when the country doesn’t have any and you’re desperate
Driving like your nana is our normal driving style
Anything over 30km will give us whiplash and motion sickness. We won’t notice if you tailgate us, we can’t remember what indicators are for, and we may stop suddenly in the middle of the road just because. Also, what’s a roundabout? We can’t tell by the name. When in doubt, drive over it, right?
Hide your cheese
Similar to leaving valuables in a parked car: Keep it locked, or out of sight.
Friends and family, consider yourselves informed. Our island hardened personas will be there in only three more sleeps!
Lukim iu lo Saturday, New Zealand.