Why Yap is So Cool

There are many things which are common on Yap but very unusual to any outsider. For starters, where on Earth can you get truly happy people to greet you with their red betel-stained smile? Where can you see topless women talking on cell phones? And what gives the Yapese their genuine politeness and their love and respect for one another?

Something interesting about politics on Yap is that elders hold supreme power on the island. When they give orders that concern the community, everyone obeys. Because if they don’t, they can banish them. And that is a major problem. Why?

Every inch on Yap including the surrounding ocean water out as far as the reef is private property. Some say it takes about three minutes to walk from the center of the island’s capital, Colonia, to the outskirts but every time you take a walk in any direction, you are trespassing someone’s property.

This is the secret ingredient in their all-get-along recipe. In order for you to get where you need to go, you should be nice to people so they can let you walk on their land. Locals say you have to ask permission if you see anyone on your way. They will always let you pass but you have to be polite and ask before you walk through people’s yards. How cool is that?

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