Update on my research in Tahiti: Visited Punaauia yesterday to sit down with some people at the Service de la Culture et du Patrimoine! Snapped this photo on the way back to the bus stop.
Other news: A baby cyclone cruising through French Polynesia is dumping truckloads of rain on Tahiti. It poured rain most of last night and today, it continues under a blanket of low, dark clouds. Ick. The one good thing about it is all the cool air!
I arrived last night in Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, and checked into my favorite pension (bed and breakfast) in town, Pension Fare Suisse. A quiet little oasis on the edge of downtown, within easy walking distance of everything a working visitor could need.
Tahiti’s gotten a lot of rain lately and it was pouring when we landed last night, to the chagrin of many an eager honey-mooner. It’s not all bad, though: it’s the middle of summer here and the rain helps to break some of the heat and humidity.
Paid a visit to the Haut Commissariat of French Polynesia this morning to dutifully apply for my temporary residency card, or Carte de Sejour (a requirement if you’re an American staying longer than 3 months). Best to take full advantage of waking up spontaneously at 7 am, alert and still on East Coast time! I’m sure it won’t last.
That said, I have a feeling I may be doing a lot of early rising this year. Perhaps I can cultivate it as a new good habit? Most Marquesans thrive on early mornings, unless they’ve been out late on a fishing trip the night before. Guess we’ll have to see just how “Marquesan” I become, in the coming months!
Back to my morning adventures: everyone at the Haut Commissariat and other administrative offices was super friendly, which made it a lot easier to deal with having to scamper around town assembling another slew of documents, copies, photos, more copies, etc. for my application (evidently, Boston’s French Consulate was supposed to have sent these materials on ahead of me…but hadn’t. Sigh). In the end it was infinitely less painful than I was expecting, though, given some of my previous experiences in the government offices of Tahiti and elsewhere. Hope that’s a good omen!
Air France is struggling to make the Paris – Papeete line stay alive by making cuts. Service to French Polynesia may be seriously threatened if they can’t make some gains.
What a change this would make in traffic to and from Tahiti!