Monday, November 21, 2011


Q: You know the one look that I just can't rock? (Ok, so maybe there's more than one, but this is one that I don't think I will ever ever channel).

A: The pulou loku, the hats that are worn by women in Samoan churches. Like this one:

Those hats fascinate me (laugh). I'm sure there must be some kind of religious significance to them. It can't be "cultural", else MENA's fall collection would have a whole range (that I still wouldn't be able to afford).

I recall wearing a similar hat only once. It was during my initiation (is that what it's called?) into the EFKS church as a tween. A lovely lady at church had plonked it on my head as I walked up to the stage with my (gasp) hatless head. I felt like a tree had sprouted out the top of my head. You know that feeling when something feels so unnatural, no matter how hard you try to go with the flow? That's what I felt like. And it wasn't because it was an ugly hat, and most if not all the women in the church at that time were "hatted". I felt like "OMG is everyone staring at this thing on my head?" And of course they weren't, I mean the guys at the back had had their eyes closed hungover and sleeping praying, and the Sunday School teachers were patrolling the children's aisles with sticks / brooms.

To this day it baffles me. And to this day I have never ever worn a hat to church again. Now that I've been living in NZ for a good ten years (eek, has it been that long?), when I see those hats I think of the races or some other type of party-like (possibly boozy) shindig. Also, I think my head is a bit too wide, and I don't have anything to wear that would go with a hat! Maybe I just need to own it, you know? Make it work.

I hope that no hats, fascinators or hat-wearing church-attending ladies were hurt by this post. My goal is not to offend, and if someone out there actually knows why people wear hats to church, I would be interested to know.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Warning: This post contains bad grammar and rude language that will most likely offend and may cause vomiting. Read with caution.

I'm on a bit of a dictionary buzz (in case you couldn't tell). Here are my definitions for a few slang terms/spelling offenses I have seen young folks use on social networking sites.

baby; usually used in reference to an infant child or a gal pal (female friend)
Usage: Waju doin bebe?

a female dog; also used to refer to an unsavoury female character
Usage: OMG she is such a bij!

believe (to be used by those allergic to the letter "E")
Usage: I gant biliv she said that.

can't; can not
Usage: (Refer to biliv above)

church; a place of worship (where there is hopefully fervent praying for forgiveness for such horrendous language sins)
Usage: Me and my bebe are getting ready for jurj.

muj luv
much love. (seriously, if you have any love for humanity, you would stop writing/typing muj luv)
Usage: Muj luv to my gurls, mwah mwah.

a big juicy lip kissy sound, used to convey affection
Usage: (Refer to muj luv above)

Oh My [insert any word starting with G], for example "goofiness", "goodness", "golfballs", etc; used to express disbelief
Usage: (Refer to bij above)

short form of "What are you up to?"; to be used by those who have either lost both thumbs in a shark/dog attack or labour employment accident, or those who have severe ADD (to the point where they lack the mental capability to concentrate on stringing a six word sentence together)
Usage: up2?

What The [insert any word starting with F], for example "fridge", "fudge", "froglegs", etc; used to express complete and utter bewilderment
Usage: WTF is wrong these kids and their spelling???!!

I may regret asking this, but do you have any "favourites" that I've missed out on? *puke*

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Money dictionary

Here is how I, a born-and-bred Samoan now living in New Zealand, understand some terms associated with money, based on my own personal experiences.

This usually occurs due to an event outside the immediate family that requires financial input, also known as a faalavelave. Examples are: funerals, weddings, grandparents' birthdays, unveilings, church openings, milestone birthdays. In this context, no gain or return is expected when the money is given.

Nearly the same as "giving" money to an individual family member, except there is usually some kind of agreement regarding repayment. More often than not though, the loanee's commitment to payment lasts as long as the loaned money in their hand. Something usually comes up that takes higher priority than your payment and you, being the loving understanding family member, are expected to take the forgiveness path, and hopefully before the next need of a loan.

This one is a bit of a toughie. I think I define this differently from other family members (and maybe Samoans in general).
1. If I can afford something, I have enough finances available or to spare after any existing financial obligations. In that context, I can't really afford much. I can afford to live comfortably, and by that I mean pay the bills and debts, fuel the car, and feed the family, but not much else after that.
2. There is another understanding (out there, somewhere) that being able to afford something is being able to raise the finances to do something. Based on that idea, I can afford to go to Samoa for Christmas, and spend a good amount on holiday feasts and generous gifts. I can stop by a Fiji resort on the way for a little RnR. Or maybe I can pay for the next funeral/wedding/birthday myself. Who knew it would be such a bad thing to be in the good books of credit companies?
The two do get confused though, and at times I wonder if I get mistaken for being a Scrooge, but for the record I am not sitting on pots of gold. If you must look at my income, then please also consider my outgoings. Why do I have only one pair of working pants that's taking a hammering? (So much so that Lyla looked at the seams and asked out loud in public "Mummy, what's wrong with your pants? I think it's breaking!") Because I can't afford to buy another.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


It has been about a month since my last post. There was no particular reason for the fast...except laziness. That's a valid reason.

Anyway yesterday afternoon, I promised a dedicated blog fan (ha!) to post an entry within 24 hours. I am fast approaching that deadline, and am now where I work best...adrenaline-pumped at the 11th hour, and working (ok, blogging) at twice the speed I usually do. I did seriously contemplate not blogging. But last night at our life group study, one of the Bible verses we studied was about letting your "Yes" mean "Yes". Note to self: Don't say yes.

So taking it slow on my blog return, I'll do one up-one down. One good thing and one bad about the past 4 weeks.

One Up
Our little family - the man, the kid and I - have decided to spend our first Christmas at home by ourselves, instead of travelling to Auckland (to my family) or to Samoa (to the man's family). This was a bit of a down, because we will miss the gigantic extended family gatherings that we're accustomed to, along with a lot of noise, not enough space, and way too much food. Instead, we'll be decorating our home (first time!), planning our own Christmas meals and activities, and possibly starting our own family traditions. It's exciting times. I think what really nails this as an "up" is the massive financial saving. Lol! Time to get our own copy of the Boney M and Mariah Carey Christmas albums. Ooooh yea...

One Down
Two words - toilet training. How on earth do you toilet train a child? What is more confusing is how I don't know the answer to this, being the eldest of 7 children. Anyhow, the kid is now "of age" to be toilet trained, but she's not co-operating. I've asked friends how they did it and they shrug and say "Dunno, daycare trained them." Maybe I should get their daycare to call my kid's daycare, because they have a strange notion that I somehow have to be involved in the whole process. What? Isn't that what I pay you for? It seems not. Now I will have to read articles / books and parenting forums, for tips on toilet, sorry, that PC term is toilet "learning" because it's about the child taking the lead and blah blah snore snore snore. Help.