The other day, while standing on the side of the road outside town, I was picked up by an ex-pat. She had passed me by but then noticed in her review mirror that so had two taxis that were following her. She pulled a U-turn and asked me if I wanted a lift.
I hadn’t flagged down those taxis on purpose. It was Cruise Ship Day and they were actual marked cars, I shudder to think what they would have charged me. I was waiting for a minibus to drive by, that’s how I and the locals get around. They drive everywhere, no route, just where people want to go, and they usually cost a buck fifty. I was happy to wait, but I was happy for the free ride too.
I climbed into the cab to find a friendly 50 something Aussie lady. As we drove down the road she started asking questions; Where was I from? What was I doing in Vanuatu? How long had I been in town? I gave her the general rundown; I was Canadian, we’d just sailed here on our own yacht (boat, confusingly, seems to denote ship in Vanuatu, so although yacht sounds a little snooty, people understand I mean small, private sailing yacht) we’d be around for a couple months.
Then she turned to me and said “Oh, well, you don’t look like a yachtie.” I let the statement hang in the air between us, unsure what to say. My non-reaction seemed to make her uncomfortable. Continue reading