She asked me which hostel I was going to so I told her. It turns out we were going to the same one. It also turns out is only one hostel on Tahiti. A taxi driver asked me in Tahitian-French if I wanted a ride, I declined politely in my middle school French.
“Wait, you speak French?” she said.
”Oui” I said.
She called her friends over “Hey guys, I found someone who speaks French!”
Suddenly I was the appointed leader of ten American college girls going to the exact same hostel as me, all of them bright eyed and beaming with youth.
I found the taxi driver and he took one look at me and then the ten girls I had in tow and raised his eyebrows in disbelief. I shrugged my shoulders, c’est la vie.
The girls were from Berkeley and were in Tahiti for a six month field trip. They were fresh from campus and me, well I was a bit dirty and my body looked tired from my journey. They looked at me huddled and puzzled like a group of birds. This guy who is youthful but weary, bronzed from five different suns and with an ember in each of his eyes. They couldn’t quite understand me, I let stay like that.