The Agricultural Inspector in Tonga
was an outgoing man named Victor. His job was to make sure no foreign
fruits and vegetables get into Tonga. After confiscating our coconuts
and mangos and leaving our squash and carrots he sat down to for a drink
and cookies. He teased the other inspectors and joked around for a
while. The customs and immigration personnel finished their business
and left but Victor remained behind.
Victor was a chatty Cathy, lingering,
going on about the weather and life and politics and munching on
cookies. He flirted shamelessly with Sharon and Annie. I found him
quite annoying, but you know the old story about the need to be nice to
the bureaucrats – if you don’t they can choose to make your life
I was also bothered he kept saying we
should have a ‘gift’ for him. I didn’t like him and I wasn’t giving
him any darn ‘gifts’. I tried to think of a polite way to tell this guy
to go to hell.
The customs agent came back and asked
if we minded another boat mooring outside of Mustang Sally (using our
cleats and trapping us on the dock) to help speed processing the other
boats. I used my big voice to explain “Yes - I bloody well do mind”.
The girls were horrified by my lack of
tact. But it seemed to me a good excuse to get rid of Victor. I
explained to the girls and the Victor that we were holding up the
processing of other boats and we had to leave the dock. Under my breath
– “This is a hint Victor – get the hell off my boat.”
Victor says “Well, I am not leaving
until these cookies are gone!” He started stuffing two at a time into
his mouth. “Wellefff”, he says through a mouth full of cookies, “maybe
I’ll just put the rest of these in my pockets.” and off he went. We
were free and laughed long at Victor’s cookie antics.