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I’m alive in Nuku’alofa, Tonga!
My initial thoughts in the drive in from the airport:
- Like most pacific countries, it seems like there was a burst of building activities in 50s and 60s. My “hotel” tonight looks like something you’d have made on a road trip in the Kennedy administration.
- There were fields with crops and houses and businesses, which is more than you can say about driving around Samoa.
- Things seem cheap so far. An hour at this internet cafe is T$3 which is about US$1.50.
- FIVE Mormon churches between the airport and Nuku’alofa.
- The Tonga and Samoa time zones are not pre-programmed on my watch. They have the same clock time, but different days. I’ve been using the Hawaii time zone and subtracting an hour, but now I have to subtract an hour and add a day.
- I am told they have cheap WiMax broadband around Tonga. If so, I’m impressed.
- I see no evidence of the riots that happened last year. There are a bunch of empty lots around town however. I wonder if they just demolished what couldn’t be fixed.
- Go and look at the flags for Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, and other former British Colonies. They all have the Union Jack in the upper left corner where we have the stars. On that basis, you’d think that Tonga was a former Swiss Colony.
- Tonga was the only place in the Pacific that wasn’t colonized.
- This is the first atoll I’ve been on since my trip started.