20 August 2013
We went over to the food market today - the flea market (with mostly fabrics, clothing, tapa cloth, and trinkets) is in a different location. The food market is under a series of awnings and tents, and people have their produce on wooden tables, or in palm frond baskets.
Across the street is what appears to be a lava lava factory. Or maybe the lava lava mall. Just a huge warehouse type building, apparently full of lava lavas. Featuring a Michael Jackson style model on the exterior of the building, doing a moon walk in white glove and lava lava. At least, so it appears.
So there are tables full of papayas, bananas, eggplants in bags, all kinds of pumpkins, and various tubers (cassava or manioc, taro or eddo, depending on which part of the world you come from), as well as the inevitable coconuts.
I found the palm frond baskets endlessly fascinating - people seem to weave a basket or two as needed, or when their old basket falls apart. I would ask if I could photograph the baskets, and inevitably the man at the table would get up and hold the basket for me - so I have a series of Samoan men holding the baskets made of a single palm frond, somehow woven into a sturdy basket capable of holding a whole lot of coconuts!
There were other areas devoted to flowers and flower arrangements, absolutely gorgeous - I liked this bucket full of birds of paradise, orchids, wild ginger, and who knows what else - all ranging from orange to bright red to hot pink to vibrant purple. Just beautiful bright tropical flowers!
Then we went to Farmer Joe's supermarket, which was interesting in its own way. There were some items we'd be used to - but sometimes, things would be displayed in a uniquely Samoan way. I think the brussel sprout display was the best, with a little palm frond weaving to cover the ugly legs of the rack, and a few artificial flowers added to brighten things up. I'm always amazed by people's desire to make things attractive as well as functional, the need to make ourselves and our surroundings pretty - to me, it makes perfect sense, and I love to see the ordinary (like a supermarket display of vegs) dressed up to be pretty.
So, along with the theme of dressing up to be pretty, I discovered that the flowers the women wear in their hair are actually artifical flowers. On a little wire stem, that goes behind the ear. And if one wears the flower on the right side, it means she is taken. A flower on the left means she's available.
Richard bought me a flower at Farmer Joe's, and the lady put it on for me.
All I need are big dark eyes, and I could pass as Samoan, LOL!