Archive for the 'Saipan' Category

Unclean hands

Posted in Saipan on December 7th, 2005 by pottymouth

For a while now we have been working in Saipan’s most govern-mental building: it houses the Governor’s office, the Legislature, and the Office of the Attorney General.

For even longer than we’ve been here, this building has suffered a major problem – the water in the bathroom goes off at around 4 pm every day. We usually work until around 5:30 or 6, which means that we are frequently without easy means to wash our hands after using the loo.

Which is disgusting. We like to be sanitary, and so we always use a cup of drinking water to wash our hands when hands should be washed after 4pm. But most people don’t; this we know for a fact.

There was recently a big election on Saipan. A lot of the people who work in this building will be leaving soon. Perhaps it’s time for cleaner hands in Saipan’s government?

Managaha is beautiful and fecal

Posted in Saipan on November 20th, 2005 by pottymouth

B. and I made a last-minute decision to spend yesterday afternoon on Managaha, which is a tiny island around ten minutes by boat from Saipan that a lot of tourists go out to visit. Managaha has gorgeous white beaches and clear water that you would never know just by looking is hideously polluted with human feces. Anyway, it’s a really beautiful place, and we like to go there and pretend we’re on vacation every few weeks.

Managaha and all the other gorgeous beaches are polluted because Saipan has terrible waste management. Basically, the hotels which line the beaches here just dump sewage into the ocean. So here’s my review of the oceanic loo: Stunning. Just drop dead gorgeous. Perfect beach, water that’s about a hundred different shades of blue and green, and fish that come in more colors than your poor little brain can process. Too bad about the inevitable eventual cholera outbreak, though!

bathroom at Godfather’s, Saipan, USA

Posted in Saipan on November 17th, 2005 by pottymouth

Hawaiian shirt Friday. Only we’re in the tropics, so we’ve also got Hawaiian shirt Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as well as Hawaiian shirt weekends. And the Hawaiian shirts are just called ‘shirts.’ Well, they’re called Aloha shirts. They should be called Hafa Adai shirts, because Hafa Adai is how people say Aloha out here.

Me, I’m wearing a camo skirt and plain green shirt. My boss noticed the camo skirt and said ‘You’re wearing a camo skirt!’ and I said, ‘Supporting the troops. Got to support the troops.’ This led us into another discussion about how bizarre this whole Iraq war is.

Speaking of which – Jarhead is a good movie. OK, so nothing happens. But it’s riveting. At least I think it is. I don’t find it to be anti-soldier at all, either. Anti-government, yes, but rightly so, and here’s part of why I think that. One night at a bar called Godfather’s I met a guy who works as a merchant marine, and he told me that after the tsunami last year he and his ship were sent off the coast of Aceh to do relief work. They boated out to Aceh and anchored (is that the word?) two miles from the shore, where they waited for instructions from the government about what to do next. The instructions came about a month later: turn around and go home. That was their relief work.

So last night I was at Godfather’s with a friend and we were having a drink and some pizza (me) and salad (she) and catching up since we’ve both been off-island recently, she in Hawaii and me in Osaka. A guy from another military ship that’s in town came up and started talking to us. He sat on my side of the booth and said his name was Rxxx (to protect privacy), but that he hated that name. He said that his mother was in love with a Panamanian guy named Rxxx, and had an affair with this guy, and that he was this guy’s son. His father isn’t his father, he said. So one day he went to Panama to see Rxxx and found him selling peeled oranges by the side of the road for ten cents each. Rxxx said to the guy that he’d come to meet him, and that he was his father. And then he never finished the story because he started telling us about his beautiful lesbian aunt who lives in New York and by the time I remembered that Rxxx never finished telling us what happened in Panama I was at home in bed.

The bathroom part of the story: both my friend and I had to use the bathroom but neither of us wanted to leave the other because we didn’t want to leave the other alone with Rxxx, who was a nice guy and not at all dangerous seeming or anything, just seemed like someone who could talk for a while. (Actually, I would have left my friend, but Rxxx was sitting on my side of the booth and I couldn’t get out.)

When we did, at last, get to the bathroom, we found it to be as it always is: it’s a single person bathroom that’s surprisingly clean for a bar bathroom, and it’s got soap,TP, and paper towels. There’s one of those huge Calvin Klein jeans posters featuring the guy from Limp Biscuit (I think) that’s been in this bar’s bathroom for a few years now, even before the bar was called Godfather’s and when it was still called Beefeater’s. There are plastic flowers in the bathroom, too. It’s a nice touch.