> 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 the honey bee, celebrating without first boiling down the coconut syrup.
Once coconut syrup, dripping from the cut flower stem, is collected it is thickened
by boiling. The honeybee, however, collects his nectar, puts it in the hive without boiling
it, then proceeds to fly around noisily as though celebrating the completed task.
Hence, to talk or boast loudly about successes and accomplishments when one has none;
to make plans but never carry them out; to celebrate without cause.
> Like the man of Ngerechemai, who lost his turtle and lost his canoe.
Relates to a fisherman who jumped from his canoe to catch a turtle only to find that his canoe had drifted beyond recovery. Applies to any situation where a person fails at a task, or, aptly, to a situation where a man, through his own foolishness, loses both his wife and his mistress.
> He gets his law from the streets.
Rael has the general meaning "way," applicable both to method and to a street. The implication is that if a child will not learn from his parents, he will learn the hard way from experience. It may be used in the positive sense of someone who is quick to learn from experience.
> Like the gods of Ngebukd, completed up above.
As part of the festivities of a village feast or in celebration of some event, such as the completion of a community hall, Palauan young people produce a variety of named dances. One type of dance, called ruk, was never conducted in Ngebukd (in Ngaraard, northern Palau). It was said that the gods of the village had done their dancing in heaven before coming to earth and thus it was not necessary for the people of Ngebukd to dance. The saying pertains to a completed task, indicating to another that the work need not be repeated.