> Like the heart of the halfbeak, straight.
The halfbeak, a small fish (bolobel), is regarded as one who follows his fancy or heart, doing as he pleases. The idiom is applied to persons who are easy-going, sleeping when the mood calls for it, undisturbed by the behavior or opinion of others.
> Like the blind man of Ngetmel, twisting twine into the fire.
The image is that of a blind elder, warming his frail body beside the fire while twisting strands of fiber into twine against his thigh. Only as he pulls the finished twine away, he pushes it into the flames. The saying may be applied to any utterly pointless activity or dissipation of wealth.
> 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 coconut water, passing from darkness to darkness.
Water, drunk from a coconut, passes from the dark of the nut to the dark of the mouth. Some discussions, such as those of village leaders, are secretively passed from mouth to mouth without public discussion.
> 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.