Black Pearls in French Polynesia
And nowhere else is there such a large, such black and such perfect pearl as in Tahiti and its islands. He is insanely handsome. And insanely expensive. Tourists are taken to Pearl Farms – pearl plantations, they explain in detail why even a small round pea costs about $ 200, how not to run into fake pearls and how to store a real one so that your great-great-granddaughter can flaunt it in two hundred years. In short, the point is this: only here, in the lagoons off the islands of French Polynesia, live unique oysters named Margarita, whose insides are black, not milky gray and white. It is not suitable for food and snacks with wine, but it does an excellent job of giving the usual white pearl a shade that car manufacturers call “the color of wet asphalt.” The Japanese, of course, tried to breed such oysters at home. Australians too. But nothing happened: it turned out that these Margaritas are terrible patriots, and they do not live in other seas.
According to Shoe-Wiki, some 50 years ago, black pearls grew randomly in the lagoons. That is, it could grow, but it could not – depending on whether the wave brought a happy grain of sand into the oyster, which was to become a treasure. But then a wise Chinese named Robert Wang arrived in Tahiti and set the matter on stream: they began to carefully place a white mother-of-pearl nucleolus in each suitable Margarita, observe its transformations, provide it with unhindered access to the black body… And so for 6 -8 years. Of course, this is manual, painstaking and hard work. Of course, at first it seemed to Robert Wang that the careless Polynesians could not cope with it. Of course, he made sure that his compatriots, much more diligent, fiddled with oysters. And, of course, he became fabulously rich. Now this process is led by his son, Bruno Wang. in Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, there is the Black Pearl Museum, where Bruno can sometimes be found. He walks in moccasins on his bare feet and does not betray that he is a multi-billionaire.
As for the industriousness of the inhabitants of Polynesia, you should not think that they are lazy. They’re just… how can I explain it? Well, for example, here is a story: people from other islands often work in Tahiti: after all, the capital is there, life is in full swing, and the work itself finds you. But far from home, they miss their aunts, grandmothers and great-nephews terribly. And so they can do “fiou”, that is, simply disappear from the workplace for a week without telling anyone. Employers are aware of this national peculiarity and even come to terms with it: a person is not shot or fired, but they say that he is “fiou”, homesick, that is, and will soon return, meek and peaceful. It is useless to fight this local “fiou” – then you have to leave here.
And nobody wants to leave here. Nobody is leaving. Paul Gauguin is far from the only European who discovered that Tahiti is a paradise on earth, where it is difficult to get in, and even more difficult to leave, everything in you resists such a turn of events. There is no shortage of young people here, as in other parts of the world, there is no fierce struggle for survival (there is no one to fight, and the climatic conditions are as gentle as people), there is no desire to live headlong and concentrated, saving from wages, in order to go somewhere later to the islands (you are already on them), there is no need to clench your teeth and fists. Therefore, people from Europe, people from Japan, people from China and people from America often stay here forever, gradually forgetting that there is a cold on earth and a thirst for profit that exhausts the body.
Some first fall in love with these islands, and then find a husband or wife with a local residence permit. Some act in a different sequence – first fall in love with a woman. Local women strongly contribute to falling in love with them. And it’s not even that they are beautiful, although they are beautiful and very bulging – they have bulging lips, bulging breasts, bulging hips and bulging cheeks, especially when they smile, and they almost always smile. The fact is that women in Tahiti and all its islands are meek and cheerful. This rare combination of qualities is almost never found in Europe, Japan and America. And the children from such marriages turn out to be magnificent: thick local blood defeats the European one, but the European one gives sophistication to the faces. And in the evenings, beautiful children run around on the Papeete embankment, ride on folding scooters. (Scooters have come here too.
In general, Papeete is already very similar to a European city. During the day, the busyness of the work, the picturesque market, the latest cars. In the evening, dance shows, nightclubs and lights. It is impossible to imagine that just some 100 years ago, here nearby, in the Marquesas archipelago, a person was eaten for the last time – not from evil, but from good intentions. Apparently, the king of the tribe wanted to recover or grow wiser, and for this there was no better medicine than the corresponding parts of the body of a foreigner. By the way, on Moorea marae titiroa has been preserved in its original form – a sacred place where sacrifices and other great deeds were once performed. This is a large area in the rainforest, fenced with stones. In the center is a throne, two basalt blocks to support the back, and no more architectural excesses. The king sat on the throne, the tribe crowded on the sides. On the contrary, action unfolded. For especially important occasions, two handsome men were chosen, each of whom fought for the right to be sacrificed. And here’s what’s interesting: the winner was killed, and the loser was released. True, his duties now included taking care of the family of his eaten winner. And in fact, do not palm off any weaklings to God!