Jul 20, 2009

Sunday, July 20th, 2009 ("blew out my flip flop")

(Japanese food stall, abc store, my hotel, view from my hotel) Waikiki is really a cheap place to visit, my hotel is only $60 a night)

Yes the sole of my right sandal became unattached. I had to walk 2 miles with the front of the sole flappin' around... haha! Now I know the meaning behind the verse "I blew out my flip flop" from Jimmy Buffett's song "MargaritaVille".

Before this happened I purchased a mask, snorkel, and fins (size 13) from one of the ubiquitous "ABC stores. Damn these stores are everywhere here! I've seen them across the street from each other, I've seen two ABC stores on the same side of the street on the same block, not 100 yards apart. ABC stores are magic. They look tiny, but when you walk in they get huge, and contain far more things than a typical convenience store. They have clothes, souvenirs, food, produce, beer/wine, liquor, cigars, SNORKELING EQUIPMENT, and at comparable prices to the big box stores. I wish they had ABC's where I live.

Legs feel better today, so I returned to Queens Beach to do some more snorkeling. Now that I'm used to the Waikiki streets, my journey was much shorter than yesterday. I bought some sushi, a hot dog, and a mango for breakfast at the previously mentioned magic store, and had a nice picnic on the beach. I was all set up in a good uncrowded spot and laid back to catch some rays, when a big wave hit and blew my towel and luggage about 10 feet further up the beach, getting all my stuff wet and sandy. Fortunately I had already eaten. Snorkeling was OK, but I really need to get out of Waikiki pretty soon to better sites to view.

Before I left I sprayed copious amounts of sunscreen on my shoulders, back, and legs. It worked, as I didn't burn today. But to get the sand off my body nearly required a chisel, as the sunscreen acted as a type of glue. Even after the jacuzzi, I still had sand in places which I won't go into detail in regards to the locations.

The beach here is truly what I would call "International", people of all races, ages, backgrounds were pretty much all represented, which makes "people watching" a fun thing to do here. Due to the ban on drinking alcohol on the beach, everyone seemed happy and lawful. I've been to some pretty wild beach scenes, and Waikiki is pretty nice and tame. Some of the Hawaiian residents look pretty rough and weather beaten, with the white folks as dark as the aboriginals. Many of the local surfers appeared to be stoned on marijuana. I was sitting near a Canadian lady with red hair and very fair skin. I couldn't believe that she was out during the peak tanning hours (or PTH), for over an hour. She probably had NASA's best sunscreen, or else she would have melted and disappeared out there.

Since I'm totally alone I've become quite outgoing on this trip. Where ever I go I don't hesitate to talk to people that I don't know. Most seem relieved that I'm a nice guy in spite of my mean appearance. I've had many excellent conversations with good intelligent folks since I've been here. Last night I met a big fat 60 year old native Hawaiian who was very wise and articulate. The same night I met another native who was so primitive, I had the impression he was looking at me like "how many of my villagers will this guy feed once cooked". No kidding folks, all Polynesians are not as tame as the famous "Don Ho". Most of the Polynesians are warm and accommodating, but a few seem quite "butt hurt" about what happened in 1898, when the US "stole" their land. I don't know what to think, but I'm careful not to make the point that a century before that; King Kamehameha, with the help of guns he purchased from whalers, brutally attacked the other islands (he was King of the Big Island), in order to rule and enslave them. He killed thousands of Oahuites, and Maui-ites and Molokai-ites and so on. Now he is the symbol for the modern day independence seeking natives? Fortunately most native Hawaiians are level headed and just go with the flow.

I went flip floppin' back to my hotel, scraped off as much sand as I could in the shower, played my favorite online game "mobsters" where I fought some miscreants and said hello and chatted with a few of my virtual friends, before I got tired and took a three hour nap.

Around 6 PM. I walked 1/2 mile to the International Marketplace and bought some spicy pork meal with rice at the Japanese stall, and a bowl of Miso and seaweed soup. I love seaweed, it is fast becoming my favorite veggie. Of course anything floating in Miso soup, has got to have that excellent "Miso" flavor, whatever the hell that stuff is.... Dinner costs $7.95, and I got to feed pigeons while I ate! The little buggers are everywhere here, but oddly enough: No seagulls? We have seagulls all over Logan, Utah (do to the reservoir nearby), but no seagulls are seen in Oahu WTF? Pigeons are much less annoying so it's all good.

I Bought a smallish wooded Buddha to keep me company in my lonely hotel room, then went to the "Food Pantry", which is a full sized Hawaiian grocery store. Amazing that 1/2 the store sold Oriental staples, like noodles, rice, sushi, and many things I've never seen like dry packaged smoked squid. The Japanese lady behind me bought 4 one pound packages of pre-made "Nigiri Sushi" at $10 per package! She spent over 40 bucks, but that is enough for four people.

The rest of the night was uneventful, mainly stayed in my room to avoid spending money at the bar, but since I have cable TV, the internet, a six pack, and a little Jim Beam; I am content to hang out in the room, the view is quite nice as well.