I know it sounds a lot like an imaginary friend, but I met a French woman called Francy this week.
I met her at my accidental aerobics class, once I could talk again properly.
She’s an adventurer, a little blond fireball of energy and light, probably 60 I reckon. Lived here for 15 years now, speaks five languages – a skill which has seen her live and teach in a dozen countries all up. Lots of stories Francy has.
Cody and I bumped into her again at Snack Mahana, one of the only lunch spots anyone seems to recommend on the island. She invited me out – for a walk.
The next day, she collected me in her Citroen (of course) and we drove to the foot of the Magic Mountain. Then we walked up it, through the pulsing Tahitian bush.
We talked a lot as we walked, mostly about love. The loves in our lives, in our pasts, in our presents, hopefully in our futures. It binds us all in some way, the need for love, to be loved.
As we talked, we walked through ancient maraes, stone platforms all that are now left. Francy said the old Tahitian people make the trip up there to sit with the stones. The stones have good energy and healing properties apparently. I want to believe all this. I want to believe it very much.
When we got to the top of the mountain ninety minutes had passed. We hitch hiked back to the car in ten. It was fun, and I was there, even though I didn’t have a clue where there was.
Just as I was dropped back to the hotel, a golf cart swung up beside me. Hans the handsome Tahitian (“My grandfather was German. He fell in love with a Tahitian woman and stayed here till he died”) says “I give you a lift to your room” (pause) “Where your husband?”
There are many different answers to this question. And in my experience, they can illicit very different actions as a result.
He’s in the room
He’s out kite surfing
He had to work
No husband (smile)
No husband (bereft)
Don’t need a husband
Looking for a new husband
“I saw your boy,” he said. “He was leaving… with two beautiful young Tahitian girls”
Big smile. A lot of laughter. Pause.
“But you…. I think, if you pick right, you only need one Tahitian man”
People are so friendly over here.