Thoughts on Tonga
Submitted by Dave Birney on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 03:32
Some “interesting” observations
- Tonga is the only kingdom in the Pacific and perhaps the only absolute monarchy in the world but they are working on it.
- Tonga has no traffic lights in the entire country.
- Tonga has no Mc Donald’s or any other fast food franchises.
- Tonga has very minimal fees for health care.
- There are pigs that can fish.
- Non-Tongans cannot own land.
- Tongans have not officially eaten anyone since 1806 although the term umu tangata (man oven) is still in use. Interesting!
- Car washes are fundraisers and often there is no water or cleaning supplies involved.
- Tongans leave their shoes (usually flip flops) at the door, and can step out of them as they enter without ever breaking stride. On leaving they can put them on in stride but it’s a few steps before they get them right, sometimes a kind of moonwalk is incorporated.
- It’s hot in Tonga.
- There are 2 speed limits 40kph within city limits (about 24mph) and 65kph (about 39mph) on the rural roads if you really want to open it up. Some rural roads will pass thru a small village indiscernible except for the lowered speed limit. Many drivers do not approach these limits, making for a pretty relaxed and soothing pace actually.
- The largest flying animal here is the fruit bat with a wingspan approaching 1 meter. (3 feet)
- Prisoners work on farm crews and certain ones can check out for any important business they have elsewhere.
- In order to not “offend” Tongan’s usually answer every question with “Yes” this is very cute but this has affected us.