„…and how is the life on the island“? – is a questions we’ve heard very often in the last weeks. So…, after now about 100 days (!) living on the island, we thought that we share some major insights about island life, experiences, habits and circumstances with you. What did we find out so far…
- „Island time“: is the most important topic to be understood and to cope with. Everybody on the island has an own interpretation of the factor time. Basically it is about doing things in a relaxed and convenient way. But – it can also become really tricky regarding appointments… People simply do not show up.
- We are the “Papaa”, the white / European people or expats.
- Maori is a really challenging language…. The words have incredibly many syllables and each vowel is pronounced separatly… We are doing our best to learn it – and we have great neighbours that help us with it.
- And of course: the people on this island are amazing!!!
- „Go local“: local products are the best, e.g. fish and fruits/ vegetables – and of course the local crafts , tikis, drums, tapas, tattoos etc. What we definitely buy from overseas is cheese & chocolate (Nutella etc. :-))
- …. and you’ll find a great choice of New Zealand and Australian wines on Raro. Paradise for wine lovers: New Zealand white wines are the best of the world.
- There is no need to look up the weather forecast for Raro. The weather doesn’t follow any rules or predictings anyway. It is only important to know about low tide and hight tide times – for swimming, snorkeling or surfing.
- Pigs, dogs and roosters… are „components“ of every garden. They always disturb you at the wrong time. But they compensate for the compost heap, just throw the remaining breakfast toast over the balcony railing.
- Internet is a desaster, slow and expensive… And you can be sure that it dissappears completely while you are in the middle of an internet banking activity.
- Our closed shoes are too small. We are not sure if our feet are growing (too much barfoot…) or we just react more sensitively.
- Coconuts are cracked with a machete. Even small local kids can handle that properly – which is scary!! Pietro nearly cut off his small finger while doing this 🙁 But we also had a learning out of it: the first aid kits here are much better than in Germany (3M Technology…)
- The colours of the island are extraordinary & amazing. I’ve never seen such an intense green, blue and turquoise – this is definitely paradise!!!
- Bread is an even bigger desaster than the internet… No no, as a Bavarian I do not really want to talk about that…
- There are still bank cheques on the island – and they are used!
- There is no lime scaling at all! No need to descale the coffee machine or the washing machine. This is really cool…
- Many Cook Islanders wear shoe size 16 (would be about size 52 in Europe, if to be found…)
- There is not one traffic light on the island – and only two roundabouts (in town…)
- With so much „traffic“ you’ll get lazy… Maximum distance to any goal on the island is about 20km – but this does not mean that you are always in the mood to drive sooo far (e.g far > 5km) 🙂
- We have a visitor score board. After the Kiwis, followed by the Wallabies, it is a close run between Germans and South Africans for the third position 🙂
We hope that this first “island life findings summary” answers at least a few of your questions and give you a better insight in daily life on Rarotonga…
Rainy greetings from THE island