A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random adventures through South America,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

tahiti ... where the french go to speak french and act fancy

i know that i like to get my kvetch on now and again, and i hope that usually it is lovable and charming in a woody allen meets larry david meets phoebe buffet kind of way.  but i know that some of you beloved blog readers will have difficulty with my complaining about being in the island paradise of tahiti.  but i shall do it nonetheless ...

here goes ...

on with the kvetching ...

poolside sunset in tahiti ... do not be seduced by the
beautiful tropic tranquility!
so, we arrived at our free hotel in tahiti and it was just plain gorgeous.  definitely of a fancy caliber beyond our means.  on the grounds was a very chic looking pool overlooking the beach and the mountains and the little floating huts out at sea.  very lovely.

at happy hour we sat on oversized armchairs on the beach and sipped extremely pricey cocktails that were only affordable from 5:30-6:30 pm ... thank goodness for this or we would've spent the entirety of our trip sober!  the shame of it.

in the morning we arrived at the breakfast pavilion and were given warm chocolate croissants and breads, and then we gorged ourselves on a buffet of french cheeses (i must say that the combination of french cuisine and island living is quite nice) ... however we were quite shocked when we found out that said breakfast cost about $30 per person.  to be fair, the bolshevik did eat his weight in brie.

side note:  we were in the rare minority of non-french speakers in tahiti and i have developed the odd problem that when someone speaks to me in a foreign language i cannot help but answer in spanish.  this is not helpful in french polynesia.

it is also interesting to note that the majority of visitors to tahiti had traveled there from france.  if you look on a map and are successfully able to find tahiti, you will see that it is damned far from everything, especially france.  i can only assume that wealthy french people are choosing to fly across the globe in order to have tropical vacations where they can still have the comfort food of home and speak their native language.  odd.

anyway, moving on ...

we tried to save some money by having dinner in town where (i had read in our guidebook) they have a plaza filled with food trucks every night selling "cheap" food.  mmmmm .... food truck food.  when dining in tahiti there are three food truck options ... seafood, chinese, and crepes.

we quickly found that the cheapest dish at the food trucks was about $20 ... seriously?  it's food from a truck, which is then eaten on plastic picnic tables.  this is not to say that i do not love food truck food, however, i think it should come at a discounted rate.

heaps of raw fish deliciousness
anyway, we opted for seafood and i must say that it was deeee-lish ... i got a dish that was pretty much a pound or so of raw tuna in a coconut milk sauce and a side of fries.  it was definitely a good value considering the amount of food i received, however, it would've been nice to get something like a half a pound of raw fish and save myself some cash.

i will not bore you with the rest of my complaints, which all revolve around expensiveness ... but here is a little list, just so you know:
rental car: $150 ish for about 5 hours
polynesian dinner show: $75 per person (we didn't actually go due to pricey-ness)
very short cab rides after the bus stopped running: $35 each
hotel wifi (which was extremely slow, and had the odd habit of continuing to charge us even when we had logged off and left the hotel room) - $6 per hour

anyway ... after a while we kind of felt like we were hemorrhaging money, and all in the period of a three day layover.

okay, enough with the kvetching ... i will now tell you about fun things we did in tahiti:
view from our 4x4 adventure
- we swam in a cave
- we visited a religious site with tiki statues
- we rode in the back of a 4x4 through the mountains and looked at flora, fauna and waterfalls
- we swam in a waterfall
- we drank tropical cocktails (but only from the hours of 5:30-6:30 pm)
 - we ate ridiculous amounts of french cheese

in conclusion ... tahiti is quite beautiful and filled with natural splendor.  however, if you are not independently wealthy i would suggest visiting a different tropical island.  next time we will try fiji.

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