|“Oh no we can’t sell you half of
these,” the Bora Bora|
proprietor insisted. As a result, I bought nothing.
One oddity common among most Polynesians – they don’t like to bargain.
In my case, the issue is usually not about price, but quantity. Much as I love starfruit (“carambole” in French Polynesia), the two of us can eat only a few each a day. If it ripens faster than that – and everything ripens quickly in this tropical climate -- it will rot. When I ask if it’s possible to buy a less than a dozen or so at once, usually the proprietor instead slips me a few more and asks if I can buy 5-10 papayas or mangoes, too.
|Red bananas are best cooked in a fire pit, so I|
don’t buy them. These were for sale in Bora Bora.
Sometimes here I feel like Jack Nicholson trying to order a sandwich in “Five Easy Pieces.”
When I can, I split my purchases with other cruisers, sometimes simply give them whatever I know we can’t eat in time. Usually though, we find we’re frequently more adventurous incorporating local fruit and veg into our diet than our fellow cruisers.
|Fresh starfruit, canned hearts of palm, chopped dry salami, |
kalamata olives, scallions and home-made vinaigrette.
Affordable fruit, good use.
Much as fresh and local appeals, sometimes, when “family sized*” portions are required, I just have to walk away.
*It’s not usual for Polynesian families to number around 25 members.
For families who buy meter-long baguettes by the dozen, I suspect my desire to purchase such meager portions seems a little crazy. But there’s just the two of us, and I hate waste.
|These bananas and mangoes ripened too quick for us to consider|
a repeat purchase for passage food in Maupiti.
Written in Maupiti, our last stop in French Polynesia (S16.26.838 W152.14.690) and set to post while we’re underway on an 1,100+ mile passage to Pago Pago, American Samoa. We hope to stop for some R&R at Suwarrow in the Cook Islands along the way, though we expect no wifi in that remote location.