An Insightful Conversation on High School Island Life with Two Palauan Girls I Gave a Ride Home Last Night from a Church Youth Activity
Palauan Girl 1: Brother Eli? Did you know that in Japan you have to be looking at the clock all of the time?

Eli: What do you mean?

Palauan Girl 1: Like when they say that school will start at 7:00 you have to be always looking at the clock or else if you go after 7:00, like at 10:00 or something, you will be LATE!

Eli: That sounds . . . reasonable.

Palauan Girl 2: But what if you just go at like 7:35?

Palauan Girl 1: LATE!

Palauan Girl 2: What about if it is 7:08 and you had to help your grandma cook rice or something?

Palauan Girl 1: You will be LATE! It does not even matter why! They will NOT wait for you!

Eli: So does school not start at the same time every day in Palau?

Palauan Girl 1: Well it starts at like 8:00 or something or just when everyone is ready.

Eli: Do you not look at the clock in the morning to try to get to school by a certain time?

Palauan Girl 1: I just go out of the door when the bus is waiting down the street.

Eli: And that doesn't happen at the same time every day?

[Shrugs her shoulders]

Palauan Girl 2: Brother Eli? When you were in high school could you have a cell phone on the bus and in the class?

Eli: Well, actually, when I was in high school kids didn't really have cell phones so this wasn't something anybody thought about.

Palauan Girl 1: Oh. You must be older than I thought.

Eli: How old did you think I was?

Palauan Girl 1: Like 45 or something.

Palauan Girl 2: No! I thought you were like 47.

Eli: Only in my heart, kids. Only in my heart.

~It Just Gets Stranger