Business with a Palagi in Samoa often consists of requests for “TWO TALA!” “FIVE TALA!” “TEN TALA!” It seems everywhere you go there is this constant cry, and always that “Palagi price” – a little like when I visited Mexico.
Savaii Island seems to be more remote and untouched than Upolu and the people go about their business indifferent to the Palagi. While driving along the South Coast road I called into see the Alofaaga blowholes. There the pressure of the water being forced through holes in the lava rock shot meters into the air. After paying $5.00 Tala and driving in, I was met by a local who motioned me to follow him while he gathered coconuts.
All the time talking in Samoan till we reached the holes. He then positioned me in the best spot to take photos. Standing over the holes he would wait for the pressure to build, then throw in a coconut and run. The whole act was well rehearsed. After 4 or 5 photos I waved enough and was asked for $30.00 Tala.
I offered him $5.00 Tala. His reply was $20.00 Tala. Again I offered him $5.00. This time his reply was now $10.00 Tala. I offered him $5.00 Tala. He then nodded his head in acceptance and with a grin took the $5.00 Tala.
Another successful deal in his business life,
Mexican Samoan style.