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 AUTHOR
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 26
A simple life....Page 2 of 2    (1, 2)
LOL one cute cabana man coming up....
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 27
A simple life....
Posted: 3/13/2009 8:15:23 PM
As they rowed back to the Chenoa, Elise studied the many boats anchored in the bay. One stood out from all the others, mainly because it was not a sailboat. It was a motor cruiser, about 65 feet in length and very fancy, at least to Elise’s eyes. The couple on deck waved at them and her parents stopped to chat with them. Introductions were exchanged; the man was Marc and the woman, Lily. They were the crew of the big vessel named Bird of Paradise, which also heralded from California. Marc and Lily however, were Canadian. There was an exotic quality to the lady, a French Canadian, who wore a white bikini , jingling bracelets and a sheer, black sarong around her hips. Elise was facinated by her blue eyes and exotic flair. The Captain of the Bird of Paradise stepped out on deck and the adult conversation continued. Elise sat and listened quietly as was her norm, taking the conversation in. The captain was an old man by 7 year old Elise’s standards; however he could not have been more than 55 years old. His name was Robert and he stood tan and bare-chested with the thickest mat of gray chest hair Elise had ever seen.

From talking to the Captain and crew of the Bird of Paradise, Elise’s family learned that they had left a few days prior to her family, yet had only just arrived that morning. Her Stepfather felt quite proud of that fact. It was testament to his sailing skill and the vessel that he had lovingly handcrafted over a period of five years. He was not a boastful man, but even Elise understood this and gave him credit. She had watched him, over the last three years, come home every evening after work and toil over the Chenoa. Mother said he did this into the early hours every night. The end result was a beautiful concrete hull ketch, 43 feet in length with teak and brass fittings. The Chenoa, the White Dove, painted black was artwork afloat. It was home to her family and in the falling evening light, they headed back her way.
 TerryLicia
Joined: 2/15/2009
Msg: 28
A simple life....
Posted: 3/20/2009 11:42:09 PM
I'm enthralled! This IS like a page-turner you just cannot put down. I am loving every second of the read, and wish wish wish ... wait .. no I don't wish for the ending! I am having far too much fun reading the story as it goes along! I can smell the difference in the sea air of California and that of the Pacific islands ... can feel the swell of the sea in my land legs ... this is an adventure story for girls (ok, you boys can read too but ...).

Have you got an agent, a publisher yet?!

You shall have SUCH a following when this is published!


Terry
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 29
A simple life....
Posted: 3/23/2009 3:32:31 PM
Hello Terry! Thank you! Its wonderful to learn that you are enjoying the story…I truly appreciate your awesome response. Its still rough, but its coming along.

As for the publisher, I haven’t yet pursued….
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 30
A simple life....
Posted: 3/23/2009 3:52:10 PM
When morning arrived, Elise and her family wasted little time in getting back ashore. They found the beach was a busy place that morning. Hustling and bustling with islander men, who were for the most part, bare-chested, wearing either shorts or
pareos, which were rectangular lengths of cloth, wrapped and tied around their waists to thigh level. Their bodies were lean and strong, and shone a dark honey brown. A few of them were adorned with intricate tattoos on either their back or shoulders. The tattoos were quite beautiful to look at, and consisted of fine geometric linear patterns that incorporated dolphins, turtles or manta rays into the artwork. In the hot morning sun, Elise’s Stepfather followed their lead and removed his shirt which was already clinging wetly to his body. Elise wished she could have done the same.

The men’s conversations were peppered throughout with the words ‘bateau’ and ‘aranui’. They carried rough burlap sacks on their shoulders and were efficiently loading them into small boats fitted with outboard motors. Filled with some mysterious product, the sacks emanated a peculiar smell that was slightly sour in the morning heat. Elise couldn’t place the scent and didn’t find it very pleasant, she did her best not to hold her nose, as the scent was strong and wafted thick and heavy around them.

A few of the working men smiled at them at they watched. Some of them smiled and waved in greeting, “Bonjour! Bonjour! ‘Ello!” It was a delightful welcome and gave them opportunity to finally interact.

Conversation was in many ways, an entertaining and hilarious event, for none of them spoke French, let alone Tahitian, the local language. Stepfather and Mother talked to one of the men asking what was in the sacks. Through much pantomiming, laughter and butchered French and English, they learned that the sacks were filled with copra, the island’s main source of income. Copra was the dried flesh of the coconut from which coconut oil was extracted and was to be shipped to Tahiti, via the Aranui, which was the supply boat that came monthly to the island. The men were loading up in preparation for the Aranui’s arrival expected by that afternoon.

Elise’s mother was the only one with any language advantage. She spoke fluent Spanish and had studied some French in high school. “Existe-t-il un marche” Is there a market? “Acheter du pain? Buy bread?” One of the men, seemed to be the most skilled at understanding their valiant, if awful attempts at conversation. His brown eyes sparkled at them, deep and friendly brown, “Oui! Haut de la colline”, pointing to the road that lead up the hill. With that tidbit of information and plenty of “merci beaucoups”, the three of them started up the hill.
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 31
A simple life....
Posted: 3/23/2009 4:00:49 PM
The dirt road was about one-vehicle width, dusty, rocky and riddled with potholes.
As they walked up, the air was moist and hot, causing the perspiration to trickle in a ticklish meander down the middle of Elise’s back. Within about 10 minutes or so, they crested the top of the hill. There, the road plateaued out, becoming a large flat area that overlooked down into the valley. A huge mango tree grew solid and stately, a giant beast of green and far flung branches. Hundreds of rotted fruit lay at its feet ,and the fruit flies swarmed in thick clouds near the ground.

A few small wooden buildings and open walled, local style shelters, known as “fares”, were clustered together. The open walled “fares” pronounced ‘fa-des’, with the ‘r’ rolled on the tongue, similar to the Spanish ‘r’, were the local style homes of the islanders. Most were empty, with the exception of one. In it, a few of the older folk sat on the floor crossed legged, playing a card game and cackling in laughter.

The purpose of some of the buildings was clearly marked. There was a small post office, signified with a carved ‘bureau de poste’ sign, and another little building that had signs advertising soap and coca cola, which was the ‘Market’ the man on the beach had alerted them to. So inside they went, into the shade of the little shack, for it was nothing much more than that, the dark interior was a welcome relief to the unrelenting heat outside.

The market didn’t have much that they wished to purchase. There were basics, canned butter, canned meats, and canned milk, most of which they already had. However, Mother was on the hunt for real French bread, she wanted it fresh and she was certain she would find it somewhere. “Pain, si vous plait, bread please” mother asked the shop woman who had greeted them when they entered the shop? “Ah! Oui!” the woman rattled off a torrent of words “Vous pouvez y acheter du pain,” she said, pointing to a dilapidated looking shed a few hundred yards away. They went through the usual many merci beaucoups and continued their stroll to the local ‘bakery’.
 *mandrake*
Joined: 9/19/2006
Msg: 32
A simple life....
Posted: 3/23/2009 4:41:27 PM
Well, three more installments to read and enjoy! I could feel the sweat she felt...and could hear the language being spoken. This story is really taking off sweety. I can't wait for the next reading. What's that song again?? ANTICIPATION!

you are doing a beautiful job with this E. Kudos!
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 33
A simple life....
Posted: 3/23/2009 4:57:30 PM
Merci beaucoup Manny!
 *mandrake*
Joined: 9/19/2006
Msg: 34
A simple life....
Posted: 3/23/2009 5:07:34 PM
de rien mademoiselle E.
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 35
A simple life....
Posted: 3/24/2009 8:41:11 AM
Approaching the little ‘bakery’, it didn’t seem as though anyone was inside. Mother called out “bonjour!” hoping to catch the attention of someone. Eventually, a little Chinese man came out. Barefoot, he stood not much taller than her mother, who was a statuesque 4’11”. He wore the usual local male clothing of choice, a pair of shorts with no shirt. His ribs protruded bony out of his small framed chest. He looked ancient and withered, darkly tanned and almost every part of his body, from his arms to his calloused feet, was covered in flour. He grinned at them and immediately started talking.

It was the first time in their day trip that Mother was completely and utterly stumped as to what was said. The old man had no teeth, and every word he spoke was punctuated by flying spittle and the puffing out of his lips. Whether it was French or Tahitian, they had no clue. Finally he spoke the word “pain?” The word emitted past his lips sounding something like an exploded ‘bah’. Mother’s relief was etched all over her face, finally a word she could understand. Stepfather was doing his best not to laugh, as this little Chinese guy was quite the delightful character, even if completely unexpected. “Oui Monsiuer! Pain si vous plait,” Mother replied with a smile. Elise simply stood and watched. Who knew that buying bread would be such an event?

The little man nodded his head and gestured at them to follow him. He led them behind the shed to a cave like structure where part of the wall appeared to be cut into the side of the mountain. All the way there, he talked to them like her family understood every word he spoke. It was a surreal experience. In the dim light, Elise made out a large oven, it looked like it was made primarily of concrete. It was worn and blackened with many years of use and in the back of it coals glowed fiery red. The floor was hard packed dirt and covered in flour. It smelled delightful inside. The little man picked up a baguette, long, crusty, and covered in flour, slapping it hard against his hands, a shower of flour fell to the ground. “Cinq franc,” he said holding up 5 fingers. This was the purchase price.

It seemed that he was getting ready to make more so mother took the opportunity to watch him work, while stepfather went off to the post office. Throughout the breadmaking, he talked to Elise and her mother, it was a completely one-sided dialogue although it was clear he was trying to explain the process.

The Chinese man was adept. Elise watched him throw flour salt, water and yeast together. No recipe, no measuring, it was literally tossed together in a big bowl. He mixed it in using his hands and kneaded away for a few minutes until the bread formed a glossy and tight. He did not let it rise or rest, simply broke off a sizeable piece of dough which he worked into a baguette. Elise went and stood next to him to get a closer look. The old man laughed and pushed the bowl in front of her, motioning her to knead. She did her best, and found the dough surprisingly stiff and difficult to work. Mother tried too, she was an experienced breadmaker and this was a wonderful learning experience for her. He cackled at them merrily before waving them back so he could finish the job. Placing the baguettes he formed, directly onto the floor of the oven.

What he said, they had no idea, but it really didnt matter. They walked away, bidding farewell to the little man and leaving 5 francs for their bread. He was still talking to them as they walked away.

It would not be the last time they bought bread there, and every time they did, Elise’s family was always treated to the same humorous barrage of unintelligible French and Tahitian language and spittle. She would never forget him, or his bread which was a delicious mix of crusty and chewy freshness. It might have been something to do with the humor or maybe it was the traces of dirt mixed in with the flour, whatever it was, it was memorable and it was delicious.
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 36
A simple life....
Posted: 3/24/2009 12:42:57 PM
With their newly acquired bread from the Chinese man, Elise’s family continued to explore.

Hiva Oa was the resting place of the French artist Gauguin, who spent the last few years of his life living on the island. Known by the locals as quite an alcoholic, surly son of a gun, he was still respected, for he had been an outspoken advocate for these Polynesian people. Of course this caused the French government to come down on him fairly hard. Gauguin was placed in prison for a few months in 1903 due to some disagreement with the French government and the Church. Exactly what, Elise did not know. Ultimately it didn’t matter, for his greatest works were influenced by the beauty of the Marquesas and the Tahitian people, and, at the age of 54, Gauguin was put to rest on the island he had come to love.

The little path that led the way to the little cemetery meandered into the bush which grew slightly thicker, before opening out to a little clearing that preceded the cemetery. It was an idyllic resting place and overlooked the bay of Atuona.

It lay quiet in the shade of an old plumeria tree, lay Gauguin’s grave. It was a humble spot, Roughly hewn in lava rock and marked by a wooden cross and a stone upon which was written his name, and the date of his death. One would have expected color to have been splashed all over the placed in reminiscent memory of his art, but there was none. There were only the rich shades of green of the tropical jungle. In its own way, the jungle reflected the flamboyant colors of Gauguin; just in a more quiet way. They remained there for a few minutes, walking around the little spot and enjoying the pristine views.

Below them, Hiva Oa’s bay of Atuona sparkled; a dappled gem of deep blues and rich turquoises. The supply boat the Aranui was anchored down, and the little boats, full of copra were going back and forth loading up the large ship, exchanging copra for supplies. Things were still bustling at the bay.

It was getting late and Elise’s family made tracks for the Chenoa, anchored and waiting for them below. A welcome cooling tradewind kicked up Elise’s hair as they made their way back down the hill.
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 37
A simple life....
Posted: 3/24/2009 3:05:00 PM
hello everyone,

for those who are reading along, I do apologize for the errors throughout.
I am exploring this and feeling as I go along...sometimes my fingers just dont keep up with my thoughts...

so with that said

onward....

 best kept secret
Joined: 1/15/2006
Msg: 38
A simple life....
Posted: 3/24/2009 3:26:37 PM
More please......lol
I was sooo happy to see more pages added


Can I get some of that french bread????? yummm


edit....Tropical....I don't notice anything but the great story unfolding!
 Tuneitin
Joined: 3/8/2009
Msg: 39
A simple life....
Posted: 3/24/2009 9:36:50 PM
Please. Don't apologize for providing free entertainment.
You have a smooth and readable style that is ........uncommon. I like it.
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 40
A simple life....
Posted: 3/25/2009 4:10:03 PM
They were not prepared for the insects. The mosquitoes were thick and everywhere. The invisible no-see-ums always lying in wait upon the sandy beach. Elise was not good at controlling her scratching and the perspiration on her skin only acted as an attractant to the annoying little bugs. Within a few weeks, compounded by the warm humidity of the islands, Elise’s legs were covered in festered and angry sores. She was quite miserable. They did everything; penicillin taken orally, antibiotic applied topically, careful cleaning of all the infection sites yet still the sores raised red, angry and pus filled.

Mother had enough when Elise complained of pain upon standing up in the morning.
The pain caused by the blood rushing down to her infected legs, which by then had become marked with oozing sores and scabs; all guaranteed to scar. Stepfather took them ashore in effort to find the local nurse. Hunting for the nurse came up fruitless. There was none, as she came monthly on the supply ship the Aranui, which by then had long departed. Some of the locals told them that soaking Elise’s legs in clean seawater would help. So the decision was made to move on, in effort to find cleaner salt water and fewer bugs; a challenge, but not entirely impossible.

In those weeks, a friendly partnership had struck up between Robert, the captain of the Bird of Paradise and Elise’s Stepfather Pieter. Her mother and the French Canadian Lily had also become friends as they both had the fact in common that they were women traveling with a bunch of men. It gave them instant common ground and they found each others company comforting at times. Sailing, although highly romantic was not always the easiest lifestyle and both had to make accommodation to the difficulty of it at times. Elise’s mother had known nothing of this life prior to her marriage. She had been raised in the city, with subways and skyscrapers. She was used to dressing nicely and never imagined the harsh yet simple reality of boating life. Yet she was an adventurer at heart. Not once did Elise hear her mother complain, at least not until Elise’s legs became a flurry of microscopic organisms wrecking havoc with her blood and skin.
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 41
A simple life....
Posted: 3/25/2009 4:26:24 PM
Hiva Oa

It was a long time ago
Seeing it smelling the land
Cause when out at sea
For 22 days you can
Her mountain beckoning
Hiva Oa

The no-no flies bit me
To a puss ridden angel
Weighing me down
With blood poisoned
By such tiny little things
Those black devils
On the beach
Of Hiva Oa

That black sand so hot
Like the old Chinese man’s bread
Dusted in flour and dirt
We ate it and walked
Down the hill
Of Hiva Oa
 *mandrake*
Joined: 9/19/2006
Msg: 42
A simple life....
Posted: 3/26/2009 4:40:06 PM
Kudos sweety...this just keeps getting better and better! I am loving the reading. Keep up the good work madamoiselle.
 best kept secret
Joined: 1/15/2006
Msg: 43
A simple life....
Posted: 4/16/2009 9:59:32 AM
Still checking in Tropical....no hurry......hurry? lol
 best kept secret
Joined: 1/15/2006
Msg: 44
A simple life....
Posted: 6/4/2009 5:16:14 PM
I keep checking back....one day I hope to read, "The rest of the story..."

 fefifofummmm
Joined: 5/20/2009
Msg: 45
A simple life....
Posted: 6/4/2009 5:36:35 PM
Wish I could write like this! I really enjoyed everything you wrote. Great Job!
 Truthisee
Joined: 9/19/2008
Msg: 46
A simple life....
Posted: 6/5/2009 1:38:57 PM
wow.

There is such a softness to this, as I read it I pictured you looking out a window, sipping a glass of wine, just, remembering.

You have a wonderful gift and it's a pleasure to see you share it with us.

 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 47
A simple life....
Posted: 6/9/2009 12:39:17 PM



you know me too well already.
 sunshineinbottle
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 48
view profile
History
A simple life....
Posted: 9/7/2009 3:14:34 AM
I could use an addition to your story right about now E. Get my mind off myself you know?

Dark clouds creeping in
soon I can't see for the rain
bolt after bolt attacking
I need shelter from the storm
take me away to another land
let me run on pure white sands
let me be reborn again ....

thanks E
 best kept secret
Joined: 1/15/2006
Msg: 49
A simple life....
Posted: 11/12/2009 11:45:07 PM
I hope you don't give up on this gf....I hope to come back one day and see you take it on again ~
:):)
 ~Tropical~
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 50
A simple life....
Posted: 11/13/2009 12:32:04 PM
Gee

I guess it pays to ask...I'll start working on this, this weekend maybe

Thanks ladies, your encouragement means a lot.

~E~
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