1) Fly out of Sydney, or any other location just west of the international date line. That way you too can experience the ridiculous fucked-up-ness of leaving Saturday afternoon and arriving at your destination on Friday night.
2) Admire the scenery, including the graves in the Tahitian front yards, since that's where they customarily bury their dead family members. Let's not even think about the logistics involved in moving to a new house.
3) Gawk at the "rae-rae". These would be the many many transvestites you will see on the islands, due to the Polynesian custom of raising the family's eldest son as a girl. Yes, really.
4) Be rich. Granted, this isn't the easiest accomplishment, but I don't recommend traveling to French Polynesia under any other conditions (unless you happen to know someone who works in corporate travel, yay for Jon Jon!). Just so you understand why, here are some of the prices you can expect to pay for standard items:
- Taxi from airport to hotel practically next door - $30
- Bottle of beer at our favorite bar in Tahiti - $15
- 3-course dinner for two, with wine - $150 (reasonable, but still, we're on like a desert island here, gimme a break)
6) Despite a hangover that would make Jesus beg for the cross, go swimming with sting rays at 10am. If you're a 25 year old man named Zander, feel free to squeal like a bitch and yell "Get it off! Get it off!" when the sting ray swims up on top of you. (In my defense, I wasn't scared, just totally grossed out because those things are slimy and really really ugly up close.)
7) Remember those friends you made at the bar? Keep hanging out with them, since they just might give you a free ride from Moorea back to Tahiti in their helicopter.
8) If going out one last time in the capital, be sure to start drinking at 6pm. The night is over once Rob has ordered a third bottle of vodka for the table, Sheryl is dancing with random Tahitians, Zander has passed out in the booth, and Jon Jon has stripped his shirt off while dancing with the rae-rae. And if you're feeling generous, be sure to leave your $500 digital camera sitting on the table when you leave.
Random web surfers who find this may also want to use it as a subsitute for the Lonely Planet guide. Enjoy.