Hawaiian Odyssey, Part 2

Steve’s Hawaiian Odyssey, Part 2

This is a continuation of Steve’s Hawaiian Odyssey, and contains my observations as a Pennsylvanian visiting Hawaii.

I’m sure the locals are just thrilled every time they are out going about their day – minding their own business – and some slack-jawed tourist takes their picture to show the folks back home how weird and wonderful a place Hawaii is.

I use the word weird as in, unusual to me. For example, I don’t find fire trucks unusual, but a fire truck with a “rescue” surfboard? That’s something I’ve never seen before in Pennsylvania. Another example is mopeds. I’ve seen them before – never in the quantity I saw in Hawaii though – but I never expected to see a moped with a surfboard attached to the side. (Unfortunately, I never managed to get a photo of one, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.)

Moving away from surfboards, during road trips when I was a kid, my family would pass the time playing the license plate game. This is where you try to spot as many “foreign” cars from other states as you can. But I feel sorry for the kids – and their parents – in Hawaii because every car has Hawaiian plates. It’s as if people from other states don’t drive to Hawaii, which is odd given their fine interstate system.

For those who need the joke explained. Interstate means “between states.” Hence, roads going between the states are called interstates. Roads staying within a state are properly called intrastates. This reminds me of a George Carlin joke. “In Hawaii they say ‘aloha.’ It means both hello and goodbye. Which just goes to show, if you spend enough time in the sun, you don’t know whether you’re coming or going.” I guess it also means they can’t tell the difference between interstate and intrastate. Silly Hawaiians.

For me, probably the biggest difference between Pennsylvania and Hawaii would have to be walls. Here are two views of the entrance to the Queen Kapiolani. As you can see, there isn’t a wall or even a door. If you’re walking in, one second you’re outside and the next you’re inside. The only difference is that you went from walking on asphalt to walking on carpet.

I grew up with a clear distinction between “inside” and “outside.” But in Hawaii, that dividing line is fuzzy. Just look at this action packed photo. This was taken from the sidewalk outside a mall. People were walking by me as if this was perfectly normal, while I stood in the failing light muttering to myself, “Why are there escalators on the sidewalk?” That’s just weird.

Then there are restaurants. One night a couple of us went to dinner at a buffet place. From the street it looked just like a little restaurant, but once we went in we found out there was this open air section that was five times larger than what you could see from the street. We found a table beneath one of the pavilions and went to get our food. As I was walking towards the rolls, I saw a bird fly in, go right under the sneeze-guard, and land on the mother load. It pecked away for a few seconds before it saw me and flew off. I stood there debating for a few seconds, then I dug down a few layers to get my roll. I spent a lot of time camping as a kid, so I’ve had food that has been, shall we say “fly seasoned,” but there is still the idea that restaurants are “inside” and birds should be “outside.” Except for the fried ones, of course.

As I said in my first photo essay, the main reason I was in Hawaii was to go to a wedding. The newly married couple lives in Philadelphia, and there were five friends from there who went to the wedding. These were labeled the “Philadelphia Five.” We arrived on Oahu on Thursday, and the wedding was Saturday, so we have a little bit of time to adjust. Anyway, somehow it was decided that after the wedding the five of us would try to relive an “imagined” college experience. So we went to the nearby ABC Store and bought some supplies. (See photo.) The hotel room for two of the five had a balcony, so we went out and drank, laughed, discussed politics and religion, and –since we could see into about a dozen rooms – tried to see if any of our neighbors were doing anything interesting. Don’t look at me like that, you’d do the same and you know it. Anyway, after a couple of hours we were starting to wind down and a couple of people were dropping off, and somebody asked, “What time is it?” One guy pulled out his cell phone and went, “Ten o’clock?” We thought we were partying hard, but we couldn’t make it past ten o’clock? It was depressing. Of course, it was 4:00 AM in Philadelphia, but still, we couldn’t stay up past ten? How lame is that?

I do have more to write about Hawaii, but I think all of it will fit into the other essays I plan to eventually get around to doing … sometime. But, to finish this one off, I just have to say that Hawaii doesn’t leave you as you fly back home. For me, it was two weeks after I returned that I started peeling.

Also check out:
Steve’s Hawaiian Odyssey
Steve’s Hawaiian Odyssey, The Wedding
Steve’s Hawaiian Odyssey, USS Arizona Memorial

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