Before we start, a public service warning: If you are squeamish about men dressing/living as women and violating other men's personal space for fun, you should probably just skip this post. Without further ado...
I would be feeling down about our sailing friends leaving, but I didn't have time. On October 19th, our friends from Las Vegas, Coffee and Brian, were flying across the world to join us for their ten day vacation. They originally won the award for being the first friends to meet us somewhere along the way (Ensenada) and they are determined to up their medal count by adding the first people to visit us twice.
Knowing how rare it is for a US citizen to get a good long vacation like this, I take my responsibility to make sure they have a good time seriously. So, we picked them up at the Aquarium Restaurant, where they enjoyed a post 24-hour flight pizza and their first island beverage. Grin, sitting a bit low in the water, escorts all four of us and C&B's duffle bags back to Sonrisa. We relax on deck, Brian takes a nap, and Coffee and I catch up. They need to refill the gas tanks because we have a big night planned.
For dinner, we try a restaurant all the sailors have been raving about. We are served cold, old fried meat in a gelatinous goop. My dinner included a bonus fly. After I refuse to eat, we pay and relocate to the Basque Tavern for tapas. I enjoyed lovely meatballs and stuffed eggplant while my friends watched me eat because they filled up on goop. This is off to a bang.
At each destination, Andrew pays a bit extra and requests $2 Pa'anga for change. When we leave the tavern, his pocket is stuffed full with bills. We escort C&B through town, past the church with Tongans singing in a little building next door. We pass a gang of roving pigs, then hang a left to the Bounty Bar. The Pelangis (that is Tongan for white people) have already started a karaoke night, and it is every bit as high bar as you might expect for a gathering of X-Pats and sailors. We order rum punches and beer, then settle in to wait for the main show.
Soon, our ears begin to bleed from the karaoke and it's time. Announcements are made creating much anticipation in the crowd. C&B still don't know what they are in for. We move into the tiny bar room with a makeshift stage and gather round. Club lights swirl, making colorful dots cross our faces.
Then, a 6'5" woman dressed in a long, sparkling sheath dress and size 15 three inch heels emerges. She introduces herself as Brianna the "Old Queen" and welcomes us to the Fakaletti show. She explains that while they generally love to dance for us, they really want some money. Tuck it into their costumes, please. And be generous. The more generous you are, the more generous the Fakalettis will be.
We are just four of a generally boisterous crowd. Our friend Alistair from Star Charger (recall late night English lessons over rum in Moorea) has clearly enjoyed some approximation of this performance before. He tucks money in between his toes, sits back in his chair and crosses his hands behind his head. Before long, the whole room is hooting and laughing, and all tucking money into various places on Alistair's body for dramatic effect.
Andrew, with a mischievous glint in his eye, tucks a bill behind Brian's left ear. The dancing Fakaletti spies it immediately and heads over to place her giant man hands on Brian's shoulders and remove the money from behind his ear with her teeth.
Then, Andrew thinks he is funny and he puts a bill behind my ear. But, see, the Fakalettis prefer the gents. So, as Brianna spies my bill, I pluck it from behind my ear, dangle it tantalizingly over the stage and then draw her in with it until I swiftly tuck it into Andrew's shirt collar. Brianna goes in for the kill, flitting "daintily", then leaning down to pull the bill out of Andrew's shirt collar with her mouth, leaving lip stain nipped on his neck.
We are just getting started, people. The second bill placed behind Brian's other ear earns him a hat.
You would think that Andrew would learn his lesson and not place any more money into my possession, but no. He places another bill behind my ear because I have not had my own Fakaletti experience. Luckily, this is during Brianna's repeat performance, so we already have a history together. She spies the money behind my ear and heads my way. I pluck it away and dangle it in the air toward Andrew. Andrew presses himself against the wall in an effort to blend in and hide. He covers his shirt collar with his hands, so in one swift move I shove the bill into Andrew's pants pocket. A look of horror crosses his face, but it is too late.
I back away and press "record" on my camera just in time to see Brianna lean down toward the bill. .
....and third world internet won't let me post a video. But, here are some screen shots to fulfill your curiosity as best I can.
Poor Andrew. Club lighting does nothing for the six shades of red in his face.