Stori time at the office is not only a good chance for gossip, but also a good way for learning the lay of the land, practicing Pijin, and getting to understand the local context in society, law, and politics. It is also an opportunity to hear some quirky stories from my colleagues and a chance for them to impart some local wisdom.
One of these storis takes place in the Rennell Islands here in Solomon Islands.
Be warned, there is romance.
A love stori
Some time ago, it is not sure when, a beautiful tourist lady went to Rennell Island. Rennell Island is far away from the city of Honiara with lots of sights to discover. She employs the help of a local guide to show her around the island by canoe.
As they paddle, the tourist lady sees a dark cloud coming. She turns to the tour guide, “It looks like a storm is coming.”
The tour guide replies, “♩Storms never last do they, baby?♩”
This makes the tourist lady laugh and they continue paddling.
As they paddled the canoe gets stuck on a stone. Or something.
The tide was kind of low so the tourist lady says, “We are stuck here. What are we going to do?”
The tour guide responds, “I think it’ll be alright, no problem”.
“So we’ll have to wait for the high tide then?”
“No. ♩The tide is high but I’m holding on.♩”
The tourist lady is very impressed. “You seem to have a very good memory of songs.”
On hearing the word “memory”, the guide takes off his shirt, turns his back to the tourist and shows the tattoos on his back to share some of his memories.
As he takes off his shirt, the tourist lady wows. “Wow. Look at your body!”
The tour guide hears the tourist and asks her, “♩If I say you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?♩”
And that’s how they ended up getting married.
People ask him, “How come you are just a guy who sits around in the bushes doing nothing, and all these people they go for education to Honiara and overseas to study and you are the one married to the white lady?”
He says, “You don’t need to waste your time going to Honiara or overseas, just stay with your radio learning English songs and you will get a white woman.”
I am still unsure whether this was an actual story, an urban legend, or a joke (in which case I am unsure what the punchline is). I am also unsure how many people actually know these songs, as I only know one.
In any case, when I hear Half-Malaitan Girl come on, it makes me wonder if they are still out there somewhere listening to the same song on the radio.