A friend, ex-pat Kiwi said to me about Samoans a while back, “They’re just born to steal!”. I buried the thought as an overly negative take on Samoans, until now. We’ve been burgled for the sixth time and theft is clearly a big problem here.
My mate has a six foot high security fence barbed wire topped around his entire, quite large property and he still got done. They cut a hole in the fence and stole the Taro. His take on it was quite crude – along the lines of “It doesn’t matter how many apologies and reconciliation gifts they make, they’re still all theives and deserve to go to jail”.
As I said, I thought this was a little rough at the time but there comes a time when you gotta speak about something and you can’t put your head under the sand any longer. Now is that time for me.
We got hit twice in one day yesterday. First, the kids who came selling produce to the door helped themselves to one of our Ambassador’s jandals at the door. “
Those little shits Darn!” she said after working out what they had done, “I liked those jandals”. What do you do when children are hawking Samoan Koko to you at your doorstep and they slip on your shoes and walk away with them? Take their products next time and not pay for them? Get hold of their parents and watch them get a hiding? And what if their parents are in on it too?
Sometimes it’s not easy to live in Paradise.
Our landlord in Satapuala is called a “big man” over here, meaning a man of stature. “Nobody bothers him and his family because he is well liked and respected”, we are told. The first week that we knew him he was gone from the property for a while. “Somebody took a load of his best Taro from the plantation and he is up there trying to track him down” we were told.
When I was living in Fusi Safata, the people would not leave their house without a guard – day or night. At the time I thought it was a bit over the top. And they got burgled the one day that they didn’t. They had a guard sleep up in the plantation when I bought them some roofing iron. When they abandoned the Eco Tour Samoa project the floors to the Faleo’os went missing. Now they’re stealing parts of your house???
The whole country seems to have dogs. I now know why.
Last night I would have prefered a shotgun to a dog be honest – we got done again – the fourth time by the same guy – a lowlife who goes by the name of Louis [The picture shows his entry point over the barbed wire fence]. He’s all innocent despite the evidence of course. They caught the guy at 3.00am after he got into one of our containers. A couple of our team saw the guy and tracked him to the corner section. A passing good samaritan also tracked him and the taxi drivers also dobbed him in as he high-tailed it down “past the river” according to the cops.
He’ll get a night in the prison and a tresspass order. Sometime later he will end up before a judge and who knows what? Some time in jail methinks. They can’t fine him anything because he doesn’t have anything. Funny thing is that he had a bit of blood coming from his mouth after a ride in the police van. Don’t ask any questions about that please.
UPDATE: Louis appears to have had an “encounter with a ‘good’ Samaritan Samoan style” before he got rounded up. Methinks now that the cops may have saved the guy and were spared any need to “solicit the truth” from the crim!
At night there are private security guards all throughout the Apia district. Yes, the guards sit out the front of businesses on chairs or on the footpath. Aggie Grey’s Resort has a team of security day and night around the whole resort.
Palagi are rich pickings and prime targets. It matters not if they work for you either. Our infamous Louis even used to work for us and lost the job because of stealing from a friend of ours! It’s almost like they don’t think and are just born to steal. OMG, I’m sounding like my overly pessimistic mate!
I’ve quizzed myself about this thieving thing for ages, not wanting to ping an entire country for the dastardly work of just a few. Sterotyping Samoans in Otara is the same as sterotyping Samoans in Samoa – not helpful – but there is no question in my mind that the stealing and theft in these little islands is alive and well.
Mankind is the same the world over with greed and crime, but the security business abounds in Samoa. One really has to question the “Samoa is founded on God” mantra when challenged to protect your possessions so much.