Friday, September 08, 2006

My Car

Even though you live on an island - it is necessary to have a car. I was luckily enough to buy one from the former law clerk before I arrived on island - it saved me a lot of headaches. Now, I am the proud owner of a 2001 Nissan Altima. Sweet ride. This is my first car in three years and my first automatic transmission. I still want to use the break as a clutch, oops. Getting around Samoa is relatively easy, but relatively slow. We have one main road. Actually, I have discovered that American Samoa does not have street names. I guess it helps that we don't have too many roads. For example, my house is in Tafuna village, by Lion's Park up the road from the tennis courts. I hear that search warrants for people's homes can be very long when describing the house.

Did I mention that the speed limit is 20 mph. I did not think cars could go that slow, but they do. I still have not gotten the car to 40 mph. I am looking for an open stretch of road, but I don't think I am going to find it. Two major reasons exist for the slow speed - one is the curvy road - and the other are the potholes that could swallow small children. It is a bumpy ride. However, a large part of the main road into town (Pago Pago) has been newly paved, and it is smooth. The slow speed does create helpful drivers - many people stop on the main road and let you turn onto it - now that is amazing.
It is exactly seven miles from home to work and it takes about 25 minutes, depending on traffic. Sean (my co-clerk) and I commute together and the ride is breathtaking - it always gets me going in the morning.

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