It is Christmas, my third day here in Tahiti, and I am beginning to feel adjusted. Dad and I spent last night having Christmas dinner with last year's gang: Patrick and Claire, Dido and Marie, Geoff and Celine, Le Conte and Christine, Barbara and Fred, and Christine and Arno, who showed up for 2am drinks. As part of the evenings gift exchange, everyone brought one present to the party to be handed out and I ended up with a fantastic set of penis straws, while dad got a Dracula et les Femmes DVD.
Everyone was incredibly forgiving of my mangled Françoise, always made bolder and more sloppy by alcohol, and people gave me a hand by speaking in English whenever possible. After the past two nights of new introductions and constant revisitations of repetitive conversations, all spoken with an affected air of spontaneity in French, the sight of familiar faces was so entirely wonderful and welcome. I had no need to explain or proclaim myself, no need to smile through jetlag or fatigue. I could just relax, knowing that a few extravagant twirls of my full-length dress with them on the terrace was enough to be understood, to say how happy I was to see them.
It ended up raining last night after all, and the clouds have stuck around to day, bringing with them a nice breeze and natural sun parasol. Everything is shut today, which makes for a nice excuse to do nothing but lounge on the deck and watch bands of rain pass over Moorea. I continue to read Among the Believers and continue to be awed by Naipaul's grace and simple eloquence. His details are never extraneous, his sentences never too long, and his comma use is fascinatingly spare.
With that, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, if you celebrate that sort of thing, and if you don't, then have yourself a good old-fashioned nice day ?