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Author Topic: Popcorn!!!  (Read 595 times)

LJRead

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Popcorn!!!
« on: September 27, 2009, 09:25:07 PM »
Picture the scene.  A Sunday school class of little kids, maybe ten in all, the girls with frilly satin dresses, a kind not seen in places like the U.S. for 50 years at least, the children not one of who's father has a job, other than work on his small plantation to grow food for his family, plus a cash crop to buy kerosene for the lamps at night and to pay school fees for his large family.  The clothes likely donated from bundles of 'rags' from the Red Cross or maybe the Salvation Army, and the kids themselves, happy faced and always smiling, sitting through (can you believe it) two hours of church lessons, when their teacher (my Malia) tells them that as a reward, she has a surprise for them.

Out comes a bag of popcorn for each of them.  Total stunned silence in the classroom.  Most of the children may never have heard of popcorn, it being rare in the stores and beyond the means of their folks, and not only that, a bag for each of them. If they ever did have popcorn, it would be shared out from a common bowl, but here was a bit of heaven, a whole, individual bag of popcorn. Eyes big, they reach carefully in their bags, take out a single kernel of corn and plop it into their mouths - total wonderment.  Legs carefully kept together so that not one kernel goes amiss, they happily empty their bags and finally lick the bags themselves.

Just popcorn!

Lawrence J. Read
Vava'u
Tonga Islands
South Pacific

2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base

1Blackwolf1

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Re: Popcorn!!!
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 09:36:12 PM »
  Amazing that you live in a place that hasn't been swept away by convention/modernization.  Cool.  I really need to visit your land some day..sounds like the old days here in central Wisconsin.  Believe me I remember the days of the outhouse and water from the cistern pump for cooking/cleaning.  And waiting for Great Grandmas' homemade apple pie.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
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1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
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LJRead

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Re: Popcorn!!!
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2009, 06:37:19 AM »
The kids here are generally quite unspoiled by modernization.  One disappointment to me has been the advent to first VCRs and then DVDs so a few families have TVs that they can use to watch them (no TV stations here in Vava'u, however).  Before they came here in the mid-eighties, there was no electricity so we would all go to a local meeting hall and watch kung fu and American westerns with a generator chugging away outside  This meant it was another village happening and quite an enjoyable way to spend an evening, even though the movies were highly distorted shown on the stretched out bed sheet.

The kids can make most of their own toys out of natural materials, a ball from a coconut leaf, a doll, etc.  or they just crumple up soda pop cans and kick them around.  Most don't have bicycles or much of anything else.  Since they have so little, they really enjoy going to school and church as places of entertainment.  

We had things when I grew up, balls and bats, gloves etc. but not a lot of toys.  We didn't even have TV and I sure don't miss it here.  But while Malia and I were living there on the West Coast, we were pretty broke all the time and led a pretty simple existence, so I've never really gotten used to anything else.  Here I have little choice and I like it that way.  I am glad, however, to have my R E.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 06:40:16 AM by LJRead »
Lawrence J. Read
Vava'u
Tonga Islands
South Pacific

2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base

redcat

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Re: Popcorn!!!
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2009, 11:26:08 AM »
If I were you I wouldn't be telling anybody about this LJ. Its to good to be true and if word gets around, outsiders will come and ruin the place. It sounds like you have found it all to me.
      Recently here off Chatham, Mass. we had 4 or 5 Great White sharks show up, attracted by the rather large seal population that haul out on the outer beaches. Naturally a t-shirt popped up sporting the big sharks on the front with the town's name underneath. I wanted to make a duplicate shirt, only place the name of a local real estate developer on each one of the sharks.
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PhilJ

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Re: Popcorn!!!
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2009, 11:26:49 AM »
Kind of reminds me, also, of my early years. There wasn't a lot, but certainly more than the children of Vava'u. What you did have, you thoroughly enjoyed, and learned to take care of them. It wasn't the throw away society of today.

1Blackwolf1

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Re: Popcorn!!!
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2009, 11:48:13 AM »
  Thats it in a nutshell, no one knows how to do anything for themselves.  Adults generally don't understand the meaning of the statement bad economy.  And I'm not only talking about the financial fiasco of the present.

  Discipline of children is a thing of the past, I don't mean a beating.  Discipline.  No you can't have whatever, end of statement.  When I was a kid in the 60's any adult could set you straight..and then you still had to go home and face Dad and Mom.

  As far as TV with all the channels we have, it could still go away and we'd probably all be better off fir it.  Maybe living in the middle of Wyoming would be an advantage right now.  Maybe we could get the kids off the flipping gaming console long enough to see it's okay to be outside and have things to do other than rot away staring at the screen in front of them.

  But I have to admit I've always felt like if I wasn't born in the wrong century it was at least the wrong decade.  Will.
Will Morrison
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2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
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The garage is full.

Lahti35

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Re: Popcorn!!!
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2009, 02:02:35 PM »
As far as TV with all the channels we have, it could still go away and we'd probably all be better off fir it.  Maybe living in the middle of Wyoming would be an advantage right now.  Maybe we could get the kids off the flipping gaming console long enough to see it's okay to be outside and have things to do other than rot away staring at the screen in front of them.

Take it from the Cable TV guy...90% of people are addicted to tv. No small wonder, its easy and makes you feel good, in todays less work for more everything TV is king. I am truly disgusted how wrapped up in tv some parents let thier offspring become. "Thank god its the cable guy.....we haven't had cable in 2 weeks!" No doubt they spent the whole time waiting for a dark screen to energize and happiness enter thier lives..........puke.
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: Popcorn!!!
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2009, 03:45:58 PM »
  Exactly, and then the "box" comes back on it's American Idolatry, or American Ain't Got a Lick of Talent.  Or some other meaningless dogma, turn on Science and Nature/PBS/Discovery the kids head right back for the X-my brains out Box.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

UncleErnie

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Re: Popcorn!!!
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2009, 04:19:17 PM »
I vividly recall a moring in the middle of nowhere- maybe Nevada somewhere?
Traveling for quite some time on my old BMW, I finally came to a cafe that was right out of an Edward Hopper painting;  b&w tile floor, an ancient foursome looked like they were havingthier big after-church breakfast date in clothes that fit 10-15 years ago before they lost so much weight, and one woman sitting at a booth with jet-black hair chain smoking Pall Malls. 

I put my jacket on a chair back and went into a clean restroom with machines that proffered various sprays of cologne and coloured "marital aids" sure to delight your co-conspirator.  I went into a stall, turned around, and shut the door.  Written on the back of the door, someone had wrtten in block letters a message from God;

"You do it all to you"

Run what ya brung

LJRead

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Re: Popcorn!!!
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2009, 05:52:35 PM »
If I were you I wouldn't be telling anybody about this LJ. Its to good to be true and if word gets around, outsiders will come and ruin the place. It sounds like you have found it all to me.


It is a little late to keep this place a secret because it is advertised on the internet (google Tonga real estate).  So here is another interesting sideline - the seeming inability to outsiders, mostly white Americans, New Zealanders or Australians, to cope.  Oh they come here all starey eyed thinking that they have finally found their place in the sun only to be quickly disillusioned, and the disillusionment mainly comes from having to tolerate each other!  They are constantly bickering with each other.  some because they are competing with each other, mainly in the restaurant or T-shirt trades, some because they have a fondness fr evening highballs together and can't quite hold their liquor, and so we actually have some fisticuffs and some court cases always pending.

I have only been to one 'happy hour' in the past few years and then it was an eye opener.  One pretty French lady, who had come here several years to work on the whale watching boats, told me that this was her last whale season, that she had had enough of all the back biting .  I knew her because she had spent one season living with her boyfriend in one of our apartments. a gently lady who loved going out on the whale watching boats.  It seems to have continually gotten worse, maybe with the greater influx of ex-pats.

And every business they own is up for sale, usually trying to get more than either they paid for it or it is worth.  We only have a four month tourist season and not many tourists at that, so there tends to be vicious competition for the pocket books of those who visit.

Drinking is called "tropical fever" and many ex-pats succumb to it, or had a case of it before they got here.  Meanwhile the locals go along just as though their paradise hadn't been invaded.  There are a few loose, very pretty young ladies hanging about the bars in the evening, and dancing about with the tourists, but it is all pretty much confined downtown.  I stay away from it so don't normally know what is coming down.

I suppose life has to have some degree of purpose other than that of pleasuring oneself, and there is a great purposefulness to life here (called survival), and a general purposelessness to those coming here, already having padded their nests with retirement in one form or another, and really nothing other than seeking pleasure to look forward to.  And then it is how they choose to seek pleasure...
Lawrence J. Read
Vava'u
Tonga Islands
South Pacific

2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base