Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Two French Words

I have finally got myself together and dusted off my 3 french books to teach myself this incredible hard language! I took classes in St. Martin and I think my teacher there gave me a very good base for the future. I have not practice it since, so I kind of have to re-start again. My first two "classes" was a lot of fun! I listen to short recordings and tried to understand, and I can now greet and say goodbye in different ways as well as introduce myself and other people. However, there is a limit. You need to like sport like tennis and judo and restaurants! =o)

Today was another story though... I thought I would tackle 2 verbs... 2 verbs, that's nothing right? And it's not like I never seen them before.. The verbs are AVOIR (to have) and ETRE (to be) but as soon as I open the grammar book and looked at it, my mind started to wonder off somewhere in wonderland.

I really would like to be able to speak French (although sometimes I do get "anti French" thoughts) but the least to be able to understand when people are talking. I am not a language person at all (it took me what, 7 years through school and 1 year in Canada to learn to speak english. Sure, I understood english before, but speaking was another story). Maybe next stop (read move) will be to Paris where I can't get away with it!

But right now my objective is to understand what people say... Where there is a will, there is a way!

And as I'm sitting on my terrace, thinking about everything else than avoir and etre the neighbors (the one in the house next door that plays music loud like crazy), their boat pulls up. The first sight kind of reminded me of a small boat filled to the top with refuges. And when it docked, kids in all ages kept jumping out. Question is, where do they all live??? All in one house?? There is no way they can all fit in there. Wow! I should pull out my camouflage camera and take a couple of pics for you guys!

Anyway, I really need to get back to my two friends, etre and avoir!

Cheers my friends!


Friday, January 22, 2010


The other day as I was in Vaitape doing some grocery shopping (which works so much better now when I have the routine down!) I decided to check out a small boutique called Bora Home (could be Bora living too.. Not too sure). They have jewelry, handbags, china, and other things for the home. Beautiful things! I saw raps I liked, duvet covers and pillow cases as well as potential curtains and tablecloths with matching napkins. Well, almost everything was matching with the same patterns of a flower. It would look so great at the new place!

But why is it that I need to find the most expensive store in the Bora Bora area?? It was definitely out of reach of my non-existing budget. But those pillows would sure look nice in the new house! The house is sparely furnished as we move in, and it sure will work. Not my pick of furniture though, but I think the lack of stores and the prices in the existing ones will convince me that it’s the best furniture on the island!

That is just one thing, living in a remote place where you don’t have the convenience of going to “normal” furniture stores or “nick nack” store etc. (I loved ACE in St. Martin as an example. The upstairs had all of the home “things” which I did not need but wanted. I was almost as excited to go there as going to IKEA when I lived in the states! Seriously, when I lived in the US, IKEA served the best meatballs ever. Everything sure is relative! LOL!). I have not found my place here yet. And I know there is nothing like that here at all. So far, the grocery store is the most exciting one as their prices are okay, and they have everything from toasters, rice cookers, pots and pans to carpets and other random things. You never know what you will find as the products is constantly changing.

It still rains a lot, but at least I stayed dry while I was out and about in town. I keep drinking my instant coffee and watching CNN which is so depressing with the Haiti earthquake and I wish I could do something more for those poor people. I don’t have anything to compare with (as I only have CNN) but the reporters are sure doing an amazing job. 

Got a 6 pack of Heineken at the store, so I might just open one (only one!) and sit on my terrace and watch the pouring rain for a little bit!

Cheers my friends!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Drinking Bloody Mary at Bloody Mary's

Relief has finally arrived! Arnaud arrived on Friday and I went to the airport to meet him. 

The airport in Bora Bora is tiny. It’s located on it’s own little motu, Motu Mute, and the view when you fly in is amazing. All you see is water and more water, and suddenly a little island pops up with a reef around it and the colors of the water is as turquoise as you can only imagine. The landing strip is small, and you get of the plane and walk in to the main building, which includes waiting and arrival hall at the same time. Before getting on the plane in Papeete in Tahiti, you have to check all your luggage, and right before entering the plane you have to step on the scale to see how much you and your handbag weight! This is because they are so dependent on the total weight of the plane flying and landing on the different islands. So your luggage weight is restricted (although, as a tourist you can bring more luggage than a resident).

View of Bora Bora as you fly in

Friday it was lunch and dinner at the hotel, and yesterday we took the boat in to Vaitape to show Arnaud where things are. Then we took the car and drove around the island, which takes about 1 hour or so. For lunch we stopped at Bloody Mary’s, which is a famous spot here in Bora Bora. Several stars has been guests at this little charming bar and restaurant. Actually, Jimmy Buffet was there playing on Friday night.

Bloody Mary’s is located between Vaitape and Matira Beach next to the ocean but on the other side of the road. The floor is sand, so no point using high heels (yea, I don’t use my heels very much these days, where before I would NOT go out without them… and I feel so short). Anyway, you get a very local feel to it as you enter a traditional Bora Bora hut with a wood bar and wood seats.

The entrance to Bloody Mary's

Lunch was great! I had a burger and I have to say it was one of the better ones I have had in a long time! And of course, had to try the Bloody Mary, which was excellent!

Very low key and cool hangout and I will definitely be back!  

Cheers my friends!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Resident of Bora Bora

Today I was in Vaitape (it rained as usual), got my papers stamped and are now officially a resident of Bora Bora! This means I’m not illegal (which I would be after Feb) I can stay on the island and I don’t have to leave and spend my birthday (Feb. 28) at the airport in Paris! Yay!  It did cost me 30 XPF which is equivalent to about 0.25 Euros, 0.36 Dollars and 2.55 SEK for the processing fee!

So, I think I have the most annoying neighbors in the world, the one upstairs! What a torture it is. They are so incredible loud and annoy me so much! They walk back and forth all day, digging their heels in the floor as they walk, and daily they seems to re-arrange the furniture in the apartment. I’m ready to scream at them! Thank god we are moving soon (but not soon enough!). We decided to take the house behind Vaitape, up on the hill. 2 bedroom house with huge yard, nice terrace and gorgeous views. We are moving in on February 1st! Now we just need a car to take us from A to B. Pictures will be loaded up eventually… I really need to get on with fixing my computer so I can upload new pics when I write… Anyone that can do it remotely?

My hubby is finally getting relieve at work, which arrives tomorrow, Friday. Two guys were fired before New Year for drunk driving the golf cart (and you can probably imagine the mess after being caught), and I have barely seen him since then, as he has not had any days off. But soon, very soon!

It sure is different living on islands that are not quite up to standards that most of us are familiar with. I already have the experience from St. Martin in the Caribbean and now I learn about French Polynesia. The other day my hubby had the mother of one of his staff calling to tell him, the daughter would not make it, as she was too drunk to work. Well, I’m glad they are honest! But seriously?? Where else would you get a call like that?! And this was not the first time a relative called to tell him the employee could not make it due to drunkenness! I think it is hilarious! And there are so many more little stories like this.

Lastly but absolutely not least, I would like to mention that my thought are going out to everyone in Haiti and anyone with friends and family there. It is absolutely terrible what happened and watching the news makes my heart break.

Time to do some cooking, now when I have been to the grocery store and got the fridge full! Small things can really make you excited! Just like the new electrical toothbrush we got in Sweden. So exciting!

Cheers my friends!


Friday, January 8, 2010

My "over all dinner experience" review - St. Regis

Yesterday I finally got to go out and eat something more sophisticated that pasta and sauce, as we went to St. Regis resort here in Bora Bora.

It was the GM, the F&B manager, and my hubby (Executive Chef) who took the big boat (private transfer of course!) over to St. Regis. It rained and rained so we had to rush in to the restaurant and I could not snoop around to see the some of the property.

The restaurant, Lagoon Restaurant by Jean-Georgesis located over the water and it was glassed in (luckily, because with the thunder and rain it would not have been fun with "open air") and probably amazing views if there is no monsoon rain! Club music was playing as you walked in to the bar area where we sat down for a pre cocktail. The bar and restaurant is very nice but you don't get a local feel to it. It is more "hip" but basic. But to my excitement they had wasabi peanuts!!! Soooo good!!
Lagoon Restaurant at St. Regis

We were seated and I have to say that the service was very good, like the service I would expect in the US where they always would be a step ahead and you never needed to ask for anything. But, question is, is this the service you want on vacation, or would you like a more local approach?? Living here it was nice for a change (made me feel like I was back in the states, which I miss!), but the local, more personal service (I still expect good service) which not always do things right is charming too. I think this is a very crucial point for travelers to think about before they go anywhere, really...

After being in the Caribbean and here you meet people who expect that things will be the same as at home, but people need to understand that it is a completely different culture. Food will be different and people will be different. Traveling is about being open to these new cultures and experiences and learn new things.

Dinner was good as well, and I went for shrimp as a starter and angus beef for main course, but the menu was rather small and they did not offer any specials... Not sure how often they update the menu but if I would stay at the resort, I would only eat once, maybe twice... We tried all the desserts! Yum!! It was chocolate, banana cake, apple and mixed fruit, all accompanied with different ice creams! I do recommend the mixed fruit with coconut ice cream, which was light and "fluffy" after all the food.

Over all I would say that the restaurant had good food, wine and service and I would definitely recommend it, but with no local/Bora Bora feel to it (if that's what you are looking for).

So, this is my review of the Lagoon restaurant just in case you are coming to Bora Bora!

Cheers my friends!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monsoon Rain

When it rains it really rains....

Yesterday I managed to get my hubby out from work to head over to the main island, yet for only a few hours. It rained almost non stop... We drove around to look at 2 houses which we were interested in renting, but with no luck! We could not even find the houses (no street signs and house numbers here exactly)!

However, we did see a third one which is located right behind Vaitape, up in the mountain. Very nice villa, with security gate, big yard and a view over the lagoon in the front, and the mountain top in the back.  Fairly new as well, and felt "clean". It was a 2 bedroom house (yes, that means we will have an extra bed for you when you visit!) with a living room with open kitchen and a nice terrace. I still would like to see another one we heard about which is located half way towards Matira Beach (that beautiful beech we love!). We have to make a decision soon so we finally can get settled!

Back to the rain... Rainy season, or Monsoon season, in Bora Bora is November through March, so I guess I have more rainy days to look forward to. I heard about 3 quarters of the island's rain will come during these months... 2 done, 3 to go!

Today it has been raining on and off (let me re-frase that, pouring down!) and yesterday it was more on than off. I don't even think rain jacket/umbrella/etc. would help. And try walking in your Havaianas flip flops! Impossible!!! Slip and slide is all I can say about that! Ended up walking barefoot (again) up the hill and down the stairs back home (well, you know the routine).

As someone once said "Better with rainy weather than no weather at all"!

Cheers my friends!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Polynesia's version of Dirty Dancing?!

Dancing has a long history of cultural significance in the Polynesian tradition. And wow, the shows I saw at Christmas and New Year was both moving and vibrant, and so cool!

They have different dances for different occasions and events and the dance dates back to the ancient Tahitian people. The dances range from greeting visitors, prayer, seduction to the worship to ancient gods and story telling. The rhythm is both fast and slow, with or without fire and is accompanied by drums, conch shells and ukulele.

It's kind of funny actually... I used to play ukulele (and I owned a red one!) when I was around 8 years old. It was the instrument my school chose to teach us to play while other schools would go with the more regular flute. I'm a little rusty on the playing though, but maybe I should start back playing! Who knew I would end up in the part of the world where they actually play that instrument when I was 8 and thought that the ukulele was a distinct instrument!

My favorite is the fast rhythm with the drums which is so powerful while the beautiful girls do their incredible hip movements (seriously, I have never seen anyone move their hips like this and I am sure every woman walks away from the show, wishing they could shake it like that, and I'm sure every man wishes that too!) and their gracious arm and hand movements. And then you have the guys with their warrior looks, doing their incredible foot/leg moves. Their dances are amazing and gives me goose bumps!

The polynesian dance actually got banned over here in the 1820's by the British colonists as they thought the dancing had too sensual movements and the costumes were too revealing, and it was illegal until the early 20th century. Kind of crazy if you ask me, but during this time the dance was partly lost although it was done in secret.

I'm so happy to see that the Tahitians keep this tradition and take pride in it, because it is really amazing.

I was going to add a clip from YouTube, just so you can get a glimpse on what I'm talking about but it didn't work so I added the link. Check it out! I have to say though, a video clip does not give justice to actually being there and hearing the beat of the drum! But I hope you enjoy it!


Cheers my friends!