The Globetrotting Diaries: Beautiful Music in a Tahitian Cafe

Idyllic Islands

The Globetrotting Diaries: Beautiful Music in a Tahitian Cafe

When I travel, I look for local experiences to enhance my trip by learning about the locals and their culture. I think local experiences add authenticity, and are great learning experiences that I keep with me for the rest of my life.

In December 2018, I got to go to French Polynesia. The first stop was Papeete, Tahiti. One of the first things we went to see was the market in Papeete. After checking out the market we had time leftover so we started exploring and nosed around to see what was happening. We had just crossed the street and we started hearing, “We Know the Way” from Moana. A band was playing it in a café full of locals right across from the market.

The cafe band. (Credit: Debbie Roller)

We looked in the café and didn’t see any seats, but all of a sudden a man in the café motioned us into the café and had us sit at a table almost in the middle of the place. We were surrounded by locals eating and listening to the band. A man sat down with us and introduced himself as the owner’s son. We talked about the café and the music for a while, then the man got up and sang with the band. It was a beautiful song about Tahiti. After the song we ate, talked some more and even tried to play the guitar. 

It was a wonderful experience and one that I will remember long after the other memories of Tahiti fade.