Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Rampage in Hawaii ii

Some notes related to my last post: First, I got to the airport OK. The doorman called me up in the morning to ask me if I needed my bags carried down to the shuttle. I said, "what shuttle" (just woke up), he said, "your airport shuttle" I said, "Do you know what time it leaves?". He did and so I made it.

Second, it seems that those long dress things are called mumus. I thought so, but wasn't sure that a mumu wasn't actually a kind of seafood which could have led to some terminological embarasment so I just said "long dress thing".

Speaking of seafood and women's apparel, I still haven't seen the clam-shell bikini tops but I got to see a hula show with grass skirts and coconut-shell bikini tops. It was nice. And the luau-style pork is really good, but it could have used some hickory barbecue sauce.

Third, it seems tropical fruits have seasons just like temperate fruits. Surprised the heck out of me, but that's apparently why I can't get anything except pinapple and papaya.

For new news:

Remember when I said Oahu has the highest BP I've ever seen? Well, Kawaii doesn't. I knew it was a bad sign when I took a walk around a mall near my hotel and all the women's clothing shops advertised that they carry plus sizes.

I took a helicopter ride. I'm glad I went but I'm glad it's over.

I went on an ATV tour where I drove a 4-wheel ATV. I'm glad I went and I'm sorry it's over. By the end of the tour I was just getting to the point where my motorcycle reflexes weren't constantly threatening to wreck me. Some people don't realize it, but when you ride a motorcycle (or a bike) you usually swerve and start turns by turning the wheel the opposite direction to where you want to go. It causes you to lean into the turn. We learn this so young that most of us don't realize we are doing it. But that kind of reaction is, well, non-optimal on a vehicle that doesn't lean. I actually crashed a three-wheeler once over that same thing. Apparently no one else has trouble adjusting, but I sure do (I rode a motorcycle for many years as my only transportation). It takes 100% concentration for me to turn the wheel the correct direction and to avoid turning into an unexpected lean. I also tried to put my foot down the first few times I stopped. Doesn't work.

I took a movie sites tour. I'm sorry I went and I'm glad it's over. They asssured me that this was a good general orientation tour to get to know the island. They lied. Not only did we see very little of the island, the guide didn't give us any maps so I have no idea where we went. I did see some nice scenery, but I have already seen most of it movies, so what's the point?

Tomorrow it's a riverboat cruise on Hawaii's only navigable river. It has hula dancers. I'm not sure why a riverboat cruise has hula dancers but it's probably related to why hardware companies put out calendars with bikini-clad women sporting power tools.

Still haven't been snorkling or diving. Really ought to do that some day...

I had Spam sushi. No really. You take a slice of spam, put it between two pats of sticky rice (sort of like a sandwich) and wrap seaweed around it. It's pretty tasty but I think it could have used some soy sauce and wasabi.

This island has chickens. I don't mean your garden variety penned-up chickens, I mean wild chickens. Thousands of 'em. They're all over the freaking place. I've heard they also have wild pigs, wild dogs, and wild goats, but all I've seen is the freaking wild chickens.

My hotel, The Islander on the Beach, has a sucky beach. It's extremely steep and there is a dangerous lava shelf just below the water with sharp jagged rocks. Instead of just warning visitors that the beach is dangerous, they put up signs that say something like "WARNING, this beach may have hazardous conditions, including strong currents, jelly fish, sharp coral and slippery rocks." It's pretty obvious to me that they are trying to make it look like this is just a generic legalistic warning to avoid liability when there is really nothing wrong with the beach. But there is. I recommend that if you visit Kawaii, you don't stay at any of the hotels at the Coconut Plantation. Or if you do, don't expect to swim at the beach near your hotel.

Well, I'm off to rampage further.

Wish me luck.