> It's like the way they eat in Ngeraus (where food is scarce): as soon as they get to like or enjoy the food, it's gone.
Just as something becomes popular, it becomes unavailable. Ngerraus is a small village in Ngchesar (central Palau). The idiom suggests a person who begins to feel hungry just as the food runs out. The reference is to the meager food resources of a small village. In contemporary Palau the idiom may be applied to some popular import that soon disappears from the shelves of the stores.
> 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
> Like the Bilimbi tree which, if not shaken, will not bear fruit.
Applied to a person who does not fulfill their obligations without constant prodding or nagging.
> 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.
> An ukall tree won't become a titimel tree.
i.e., a child will resemble its father; human nature will not change. The ukal, a lumber tree, resembles the titiml, a fruit bearing tree, at least to the extent that both are trees and become quite large. Both have assets but are quite different. The idiom is applied in the sense that a child resembles its father and will become what its father was. It may also be used to mean "human nature can't be changed."