In starting my list of Things I Won't Miss and Things I Will Miss I discovered that there's far more of the latter than the former! But for today, I'm trying to think positive about going home...two weeks today until I leave! So here's the list of Things I Won't Miss About Tonga - stay tuned for all the good stuff that I will miss coming soon!
Things I won’t miss:
*The toilet paper ration in the work toilets...actually, I will not miss ANYTHING to do with the work toilet!
*The tuneless humming of my colleague – who knew that not all Tongans could sing? Also under this category is regular assaults by the musically dubious efforts of Akon, Rhiannon and the like.
*Spraying myself with DEET-riddled repellent to avoid dengue-carrying mosquitoes (as well as the constant Fear of Getting Dengue!)
*Share-housing - can't wait for the days of wet bathmats, dirty dishes, waiting to use the toilet and trying to find enough room in the fridge to be OVER!
*Having to avoid eating in front of my workmates when I don’t have enough to share with them...I really do look forward to being able to eat at my desk once more!
*Clothes going mouldy simply from being in the cupboard
*The dreadful eczema I have had to endure the whole time I have been here
*The otherness that comes with being a Palangi in Tonga, and the fact that everyone pretty much knows who you are, even if you don’t know them; being anonymous can be really liberating!
*Being apart from my partner (though technically this is no longer an issue, as he's here now!)
*The big scary huntsman-style spiders, and the mice and cockroaches that live, shit, and lay eggs in my kitchen
*Having to do my laundry in a twin-tub – this process means you cannot leave the machine for more than 15 minutes at a time, and involves numerous fillings, emptyings, and removals for spinning, drying, etc (though I shouldn't whinge too much, as one of the Peace Corp I know has to wash her clothes on a wash-board!)
*The constant smell of burning plastic...or any of the smells really. The two smells I associate most closely with this place are this sickly sweet orchid that goes in all the leis, and a fecund sort of smell that reminds me too much of human faeces
*Hit-and-miss, unreliable internet (go to the head of the list, you!)
*Random people wandering around in our yard and trying to pick the locks on our doors, as well as all the assholes that kept pissing on our gate lock
*My colleagues screaming at each other across the office coz they’re too lazy to go across the room – not fighting, just communicating! Makes it hard to get work done, on those odd occasions when I need to do work!
*Getting confused at hearing people calling out “Isa”! and not referring to me - it's the common shortening of the name Luisa over here, and something that I am so not used to!
*These awful, awful desk chairs, that have nails/screws sticking into them so that if you shift around on that bit with a bit too much of your bodyweight, you get stabbed through the fabric – ouch!
*The sound of people hocking gollies. Intellectually, I understand that it’s mere enculturation that makes me find this sound (and the act of then spitting them out!) so disgusting, but I can’t help it – it makes my gorge rise!