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Friday, April 7, 2017

Hell with palm trees

Dirk and Diana Menz, currently in Goa, India


The Kingdom of Tonga is such a beautiful place that many yearn to own a slice of this piece of paradise! This has not gone unnoticed by some of the white-shoe brigade who have taken up residence there to engage in deals which would appear to be scams and designed to financially exploit unsuspecting foreigners.

One of many such deals is the "sale" of allotments in the inventively called "Cocomo Village" and "Seabreeze Community" on the volcanic island of Hunga. I visited Hunga Island in 2006 and, let me tell you, a more God-forsaken place you could not find!

So far, some seventy-five "investors" - one person each from Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Slovania, Spain, Sweden and Vietnam, two each from New Zealand and South Africa, four from Germany, five from Canada, eight from the United Kingdom, twelve from Australia, and thirty-four from the USA - have bought one, or several, allotments in these non-existing Potemkin villages.


Westerly approach from the oceanside to Hunga Lagoon; the eastern entrance through the Blue Lagoon is too shallow for big boats (you need an ocean-going boat - and a good life-jacket because things can get rough! - for the one-to-two-hour voyage from Neiafu to Hunga).


One of the four German "investors" is forty-five-year-old Dirk Menz who, with his wife Diana and their Russian friend Vladislav, is at this very moment winging his way to Tonga to take possession of an imaginary block of land on top of a 200-foot-high cliff face on a 1000-acre volcanic outcrop where huddles a comatose group of mainly elderly natives who depend for their livelihood on remittances from their relatives working overseas. There are some heart-achingly beautiful islands in Tonga (especially in the Ha'apai group of islands) but this almost inaccessible volcanic rock is not one of them!

Diana with their "Indian" dog

Having fallen in love with their adorable dog which they had to leave behind in India (Tongans EAT dogs!), I tried to forewarn Dirk of the rat-infested, unwashed, lice-ridden, and tropical ulcer-infected existence that awaits them, but, having bought what isn't there during a moment in his midlife crisis, and undeterred by my grim prognosis, he's gone ahead with what he calls his "adventure to find himself".

I hope that during all this "finding himself" he still finds time to write about it. I've already come up with a cover and title for the book ☺

$29.95 pp&h on amazon.com   ☺