Lipson came over yesterday to help me with language study, but we started on another topic. He had been to court–don’t think Law & Order–because his brother had burned down his marita* tree and then they fought. This sounded juicy so I pursued it.
Lipson owns, or owned, a marita tree. He and his brother had agreed Lipson would reap the first marita and his brother the second. But after Lipson had eaten the first, a group of men working close to the tree–including Lipson, I think–ate the second. When Lipson’s brother discovered this he burned down the tree. When Lipson discovered this he started a fight. So they went to the village court.
The trial resulted in Lipson being fined 50 kina for fighting–owed to his brother–and his brother being fined 75 kina for arson–owed to Lipson. In America this would mean that Lipson is owed 25 kina. Here this means that Lipson has to bring 50 kina and his brother has to bring 75 to exchange in public. Despite knowing this to be true, I suggested that Lipson accept the 75 kina and then give his brother 50 kina change. He cracked up at this ridiculous notion.
*Marita is edible. I don’t know how to classify it–fruit, nut, etc.–and I’ve never tasted it because it’s never been offered to me. From what I hear, I don’t think I want to.