Lunch in Vaitape
The thing about wearing a flimsy poncho in the rain while walking down the street in Vaitape is not that people look at you funny and laugh, which they do; it’s that the poncho sticks to your skin and makes you sweat. Profusely. Even though you may be a woman and you don’t sweat. Women perspire. Men sweat. But my husband is not sweating because he is soaking wet and is not wearing a poncho. He might even feel a bit morally superior but his passport is soaking wet and mine is not.
However, if I cared what people thought about me, I would not run around scaring them half to death by letting my hair do whatever it feels likes doing. In the rain, it feels like frizzing out. I’m sort of a cross between Bride of Frankenstein and Lyle Lovett. But do I care? No, I do not. I also do not care because I put up with enough abuse in my other life as a Sacramento short sale agent.
What I care about today is the enormous mosquito bite that appeared out of nowhere just slightly above where Ecuador would be if Peru was my naval. I did not put insect repellent on my stomach. And this is what I get for that oversight. A huge honkin’ mosquito bite that is causing me to want to rip the flesh off of my belly by grabbing the closest sharp object and scraping it off me.
We are having a wonderful time, regardless. Looking for lunch in Vaitape. Rain dripping down my nose as I tighten the strings around my little hoodie. We stop to admire a banana plant. Some 10-year-old boy with hair swinging down his back rode by on a bicycle and yelled “banana” at us, just in case we were too stupid to figure out that we were looking at a banana tree. We did not know where we were headed exactly, but figured sooner or later we would come upon the restaurant we were looking for, which would be Le St. James on the bay in Vaitape. How hard could it be to find a restaurant in a city with fewer than 5,000 people? Not very hard.
I include a photo I shot here for you. The prices are incredibly cheap for a $75 lunch as compared to dinners at St. Regis. All prices are quoted in Franc-er-roos. You can spend 20,000 Franc-er-roos quite easily for lunch. Maybe 30,000 Franc-er-roos for dinner. We split a dish of curried shrimp on angel hair pasta, downed 2 Coke Lights and I ordered the beef prepared four ways. Tartare, grilled rare, carpaccio and something called half-cooked that was actually half-cooked. The Le St. James Restaurant seems like a pretty decent place for dinner, too. It’s just that it takes a golf cart ride, then passenger ferryboat, then shuttle bus, then walking 8 or 10 blocks by taking your life in your hands though the center of Vaitape to get there.
But how often do you get to Bora Bora? And when you do, stop for lunch in Vaitape.