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Smell | Sight | Pedestrians' Nightmare | Temura Dance | Showdown | Street Markets | Fish Market | Polynesian Women | Do what the tourists do | Paul Gauguin | Tiara Tahiti | Rendezvous Night | New Year's Eve Nightmare | At the airport | Reflections on Papeete | Countdown at departure gate | Finally taking off
Map of Tahiti



Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, the biggest settlement on Tahiti and the only place in the territory that can be called a city, is a mixed bag. As we approached the city lights, the smell of thousands of bodies and their excretions drifted across the tide. We instantly recognized it, a combination of exhaust, sewage and sweat, and realized that we've spent most of our lives living in this smell, so much so that we've also spent most of our lives not noticing it. I reminded myself that healthy earth and trees smell; Papeete reminded us that humans smell too and I reveled in it.