- Tongans are very pretty. I must say that was the biggest surprise for me because despite the fact that a lot of people freaked out about the Tongan Teakwondo athlet during the Olympics in Rio, I never expected to see so many attractive people. Especially the young men are often very well build (i don’t where they get it from, I haven’t seen one gym on the whole island) and have beautiful faces.
- Tongans have A LOT of kids: Our hosts from Ha’atafu Beach Resort told us, that Tongan couples used to have 12 to 15 children. This number decreased to an average of six. Therefore every second building in Tonga seems to be a school. The schools are either operated by the government or the church. Funny Side Story to this point: A Guy from Samoa watched my taking my anti-baby-pill. He looked at me in a very curious manner and asked: „What are you doing?“ I looked back at him probably in the same way and said: „I am taking my anti-baby-pill so I don’t get pregnant.“ He laughed and said: „This is so Palangi.“ That is their word for White people and even though I have no idea whether is actually true, it might be an explanation for all these children.
- The most common domestic animals in Tonga are: cows (which are kept on a leash in the coconut tree fields), dogs (which run around town like they are street dogs but actually all of them belong to a family), tiny little cats, pigs (one bay in Tonga is even known for the „fishing pigs“. They do what all pigs do just not in normal mud but on the beach).
- Females traveling in Tonga don’t have to be afraid of sexual harassment (As far as I can tell! This does not mean it could still happen somehow somewhere.). Our tour guide Vei put it this way: „In Tonga, women are being treated like princesses.“ Well, I can’t say if this is actually true but I never felt like men are looking at me in a way that made me feel uncomfortable. I have to say they barely look at all. I am not sure if their idea of beauty is just so far away from the European look or if they are influenced by their christian culture and education which teaches them to take these things more serious – anyway, it makes moving around Tonga very comfortable.
- There is a season for every type of sports. In September, October and November Tongans play Volleyball, after that it is time for netball, followed by Rugby, etc. And everyone sticks to this plan, even teenagers and little kids just playing for fun.
- There are more Tongans living outside of Tonga than in Tonga. Most of them have their homes in Australia or New Zealand. Our hosts who lived in Auckland for a while told us about the businesses made out of this. Whenever somebody came and visited them in New Zealand, they brought fresh fish. And they took back ham and cheese whenever they flew back home on the island.
- People do sell a lot along the road and the shops are either owned by Tongans or Chinese. While the Tongans show their harvest in form of yams, coconuts and watermelons on little stalls, the Chinese have small buildings made out of brick stone with a lattice window. They sell everything for the daily needs including alcohol. Most of the owners speak a, in my opinion, quite amusing combination of languages: Chinese and Tongan.
- Another observation concerning the local economy: Tongans don’t really care about selling their products. Whether in the big market, close to the few tourist attractions or just along the road: Some of them might stand up and say something like: „Wanna buy Tongan souvenirs?“ But the majority just keeps on doing what they’ve done before, mostly napping, eating or chatting.