Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tongan Requests (and Getting More than They Bargained For)

Any time a Tongan asks for something from a palangi, it always begins with a long spiel. “Pele, I’m so sorry for my request!” “Oh, I apologize for coming to ask this!” And only after apologizing profusely do I find out what they’re actually here for.

A few nights ago, a guy who’s often at my neighbor’s house came over. He began by apologizing for a while, then asked if I had any tea. I always have tea in the morning, so I definitely had tea to share with them. I took the box from the shelf and opened it in offering to him.

He gently pulled out two tea bags, shaking them out a little. I said he should take three; the bags are so small. He declined, thanked me again, and left.

I thought tea sounded nice, so I opened the box again to get myself a bag. I looked in the box and, to my horror, saw a cockroach right there with the tea. Maybe it was dead? Nope. It crawled around.

I saw Finau the next day, and, laughing, I asked him if he saw I had a cockroach in my tea! He said no... and smirked. That didn’t stop him from coming back though. He came over again the next night for cockroach tea.

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