> Like lightning, a big, unnecessary noise.
Lightning rarely strikes in such a way as to cause serious damage in Palau. May be applied to any unnecessary fuss or oratory at a meeting.
> Like Beachedarsai's food, only a little but it does not disappear.
Beachedarsai and a friend, one day, went to heaven. On arrival they were very hungry, so they visited one of the gods who provided food for them. The "food" was one tiny piece of taro and a bit of fish. Beachedarsai thought to himself that this would hardly suffice, but he picked up the taro and ate it. As he did so another piece appeared on the plate. He ate the piece of fish and another piece of fish appeared. His friend also ate and on his plate as well a new piece of taro or fish appeared as each was consumed. When they were satisfied, there remained on their plates a piece of taro and fish. The idiom is applied to any small blessing, such as a small but steady income, or Western meals that, in contrast with the Palauan tray full of food, are served in small portions, and so on.
> Like Kerosene, poling his canoe with no obvious destination
Under the German administrator Winkler before World War I, a Palauan named Ngirakerisil (Mr. Kerosene) was employed as a canoe operator. Daily he would take the tireless administrator to a different part of Palau to inspect the various economic programs (largely coconut planting) instituted by the now legendary Winkler. The operator, least of all, could predict where they would be going next. The idiom is applied to any aimless person or action; indecision; a changeable person.
> It's like the foam of the sea, which forms unexpectedly and then disappears.
It's a matter that comes up for lengthy discussions and then is dropped without resolution or effect. Some things, like sea foam, drift on without settlement. Endless discussion without reaching agreement.
> If it is my lunch it can be divided, if it is yours then it cannot
Two men habitually trapped fish in the same region of the lagoon. One would occasionally ask the other to join him at lunch, the other would always refuse. One day the man who refused arrived with no lunch. When the usual invitation was extended the man refused, saying that, anyway, he had no lunch. The invitation was insistently pressed until the reluctant one gave in. As they split the taro between them the one who shared made the above statement. The idiom is a mild rebuke of a retentive person