As I am yet to have a near death experience and to see the white light at the end of a tunnel, this post will not answer the metaphysical question of whether Saint Peter will be waiting for us at the gates of heaven...though I am sure there might be a blog or two out there dedicated to this issue.
As I was on my way to the airport yesterday, I started wondering how the thousands of visitors arriving in Tahiti every year feel when they first arrive at the airport of Tahiti Faa'a. Travelers and explorers have always described their first contact with the island as a fascinating experience... so has the myth survived time and civilization I wondered.
As the door of the plane opens and the passengers leave the aircraft, they will first be greeted by the wave of exotic heat they have been longing for. At the entrance of the airport, the sound of the hukulele and the sweet smell of the Tiare (emblematic flower of our islands) they are offered will charm their senses...their journey in paradise has begun. Smiling locals waiting to welcome friends and families, leis of Tiare, frangipani and other exotic flowers, in short an explosion of summer, "tropicality", an invitation to the senses. Is this really paradise you may ask... well it's close enough!