I’ve been hanging out with my uncle lately. He’s a pretty intense kinda guy. He’s loud, laughs like thunderclaps – or sometimes suffocation – and he tells those long, drawn out jokes with such conviction the anticipation kills you… and then the punchline is hit or miss depending on how well you get Samoan humour. (I’m averaging around 60%.)
My uncle is also a skilled orator who is extremely well-versed in the Fa’asamoa – so well-versed, he tells me, that much of his success in the lauga (speech) exchanges comes from his ability to competently, eloquently, break all the rules.
Cue the cackling thunderclap.
The other day he was talking to my mom about someone who had waited so long to settle down, the um… partnership options weren’t ideal anymore, and while I was convincing myself his story wasn’t about me, I heard him say, “Le malaga faiaga e timuia,” and then he and my mom just laughed… and laughed.
It sounded like a proverb, though, and I was like, “Ooh. What does that mean?” (not to change the awkward subject or anything).
My uncle moved into teacher mode.
“You know,” he said. “If you slow and always late, the rain is gonna CATCH you! If you wait, something might happen. So if you want to do it, you DO it. Don’t wait!”
“Time and tide wait for no man,” my mother chimed in.
But my uncle wasn’t done. “It’s like when we having a feed and the feed is 6 pm… And then it’s 6 pm, we gonna go ahead and eat. And if you late, there’s no food and then what?”
So, speaking of tardiness… One Samoana has been in an odd state of semi-hibernation for far too long, now. How about we shake things up a little?
Cue the long, drawn out anticipation.