My friend Sione is one of the most optimistic guys I know. Apart from being an activist and a champion of several projects to help the needy, he is one persistent, nagging wife persona kinda guy.
No he is not gay. He is pretty manly although he talks more than most women.
A walking contradiction (I know). He nags me mostly about writing about my travels!
So here is an answer to his nagging.
In 2011, I was blessed enough to be the winner of the Small Island International Scholarship from the University of Westminster in London, UK. I could brag about being the first Samoan to receive such an award (I checked) but I might be wrong. I did confirm however, that I am the first Samoan to receive the scholarship to study the Master of Science Air Transport Planning and Management (MSc). This might be useful for for those of you who feel inspired to study the same course.
After getting my passport stamped with a UK student visa, off I went. My impression of Heathrow Airport (being the Aviator that I am) was not very high. I landed in the middle of the afternoon with grey clouds after 35 hours in the air, transiting Sydney, Bangkok, LA..Terminal 1 was like an empty vessel. No sparkling Duty Free Stores, no fancy restaurants, just the essentials (perhaps because I was too tired to enjoy it). I took a £70 cab and settled into my new home, overlooking Regent's Park.
I lived in one of the nicest (
most posh-expensive) areas in Central
London. The only other Samoan who stayed
within a 10 mile radius was Leon (RIP) he is another story altogether.
One mid-winter evening, on my way back to my apartment building, a handsome fellow (mid 20s) approached me in front of the train station. I have never met the guy before but he started talking and walking next to me as if we were good friends.
“Im not gonna tell you I have a hungry baby or that he needs diapers.
I wont even say I need a train or bus fare. I will be honest and say that only want 70 pees!”
At first I thought, wth! Is this guy for real? He wants me to pee 70 times!
Then I remembered --70 pees is not 70 piss! it is 70 pence,70 cents (sene)---$$$!'
I chuckled to myself and replied "So 70 pee for what?"
He winked and said "I only want 70 pee to buy some drugs'.
I was a little surprised at the frank reply "For your honesty, I will give you 10 pee but do tell me, where can I find your drug dealer because that's some cheap drugs!"
The druggie was more surprised by my response. He was puzzled and less amused than me.
I gave him 10 pees (that's all I had in my pocket), he hastily thanked me and ran away.
I thought to myself, wow, people can be honest for all the wrong reasons!haha
Moral of the story?
...do keep an open mind when you leave your island paradise, because you will find several colourful characters such as this guy to make your experience memorable.
|A Crow that knocked on my window and a view of Regents Park|
Sione might be an imaginary friend, his name has been changed to protect his real identity as well as preventing any future lawsuits against me. Last I heard, my activist, conspiracy theorist friend was trying out for Law School :)