What about us?

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Lumepa Hald

Rats are on a decadent journey in the broken walls of an old restaurant. I know. 

I witnessed it. I once joked with my father about a dead rat found stuck between two walls in an old house. I had said of the squashed rat, and to understate the obvious,

 “It must have died of diabetes.” 

My father of course laughed. The trickster of getting an old man to laugh is a bonus for a child as serious as I am. 

But the stench of neglect also reminds of the street of Apia, the children on it, the parents not far behind or if overweight he is the man sitting in front of one of the shops, with a cardboard to fan away the flies. I wonder if he is trying to hide the truth like the moon with its dark side remains hidden all our lives. Or does he think like a mindless spectacle wearer that it is we who cannot see him? Perhaps I jump to my own conclusions because for all we know, he may be sitting there purposefully asking the strangers passing by and on behalf of his child colleagues of the street vendor systems, “What about us?”

But the times are fast and furious like the movie with the bald headed guy, no? We are going places and we need airports for that. Maybe we should build three seater planes so that our airports would be so busy, that other countries would envy the flow of flights coming in daily.

It would take a year for anyone to leave or arrive if you do the math, aye? One seat for the pilot, the other for the co-pilot and you the glory passenger. What a ticket! What a buzz! 

This to say that as a country with the potential to reap where tourism goes, we should be grateful of the opportunity to create and create so that when someone asks for the directions to the beach in the south that is on the list of top seven beaches in the world; who made that list anyway? 

But in answering the bogging question with the sweaty heat all over you, you would nod with retirement to say, “You go, you go, you go…” pointing your hand and moving your body to the end of the stretch till you cannot reach the air anymore without dropping your arm pits. “ Then you go, go, go and you are there.” End of directives. I agree. Pictures speak a thousand words. 

But to return to the rat, we should look at his blessed contentment and clear conscience. The job of the rat is to be filthy and to scrunch up anything. Think of the criminal whose struggle is to live out the potential of the rat without getting caught between walls of an old house, or to be caught up in his own crazy mind, the lunacy world and all those things. What a bottomless ditch to dive in! 

To end this rag, it seems there is a desire to add statistics to crime. The frothing lips of the criminal minded are targeting our shores. 

Well, we are Samoa, the “delicious Polonesians” according to one tour guide. 

Perhaps we should mindfully gasp at the new changes as if they were not coming to begin with? What follows a strange current may I ask? Muck or pearls? 

Do you as I do, suddenly hear the cry of the child on the street in loud fonts, “WHAT ABOUT US?”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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