On my first day in Papeete, I managed to make some silly mistakes. Jetlag, culture shock and oppressive heat make for a tough first day.
I mostly took it easy, though Sam did give me some phone cards since he said it wouldn't be worth it to buy my own to call him a few times.
I have a phobia of foreign phones, and therefore am not adept at using them.
So I went to 3-4 different public phones, sliding the phone card in and out like an ATM, and I couldn't figure out why calls weren't working.
I bought a new card thinking the ones I got from Sam were too low on credits. I think that cost me about $20.
Tahiti is an expensive place to make mistakes! I finally asked someone for help, and she pointed out you keep the card in the machine. And it worked.
I tried to use the computer at the hostel the first day and found the keyboard was the French layout – so I got nowhere in 10 minutes, at the cost of about $2.50.
Lastly, about 28 hours after landing in Tahiti, I learned that the exchange rate I used from my 2006 Lonely Planet was off by 20%.
I was underestimating my spending by 20%! So now I'll always check rates online a country or two in advance.
If I'm going to make mistakes, it mine as well be in the South Pacific! :)