NOTE: I have since returned from Hawaii, but these are a few random notes I had taken in my journal.
I have been doing a lot better mentally and emotionally since I left the club on Friday night. I just don’t think nightclubs are good for me anymore, and neither are people who constantly hand me alcoholic beverages – even if they are famous. I’ve been rather enjoying my experience in the Aloha state, and I have most assuredly been living within my means.
I stayed in two different hostels when I was in Waikiki. The Waikiki Backpacker’s Hostel was pretty awesome. And the Waikiki Beachside Hostel was an entirely different experience. For one person, the prices are extremely agreeable. Although they do add up super fast.
I left Oahu on Sunday. The Honolulu airport is unlike any other airport that I have ever been to. Every other airport that I have ever been to is enclosed. But here, it doesn’t matter if you forget to put a wall on the side of your building. It is exactly the same temperature outside as it is inside. All of the big structures here are the same: half the buildings don’t even have doors. Just screens. Because it doesn’t matter.
The roof is really the only thing that matters. As long as you have a good, sturdy roof, you will survive the roughest of rains. When it rains here, it rains a lot.
I was sitting in the Hawaiian Airlines terminal building, getting ready for an island hop, when I saw something that I’ve never seen before at an airport: the pilot was wiping the windows by hand.
I got on the plane and headed on out to the Big Island.
Kona airport is a small airport. Just a few vendors. If you’ve never been to an airport that did not have an extending hallway to greet the plane, then I suggest that you fly somewhere that is worth flying to. I’ve been to many airports, in many distant and exotic lands, where the entire terminal consists of a single rolling staircase – as is the terminal at Kona.
My father was there to greet me. When I saw his rented Jeep Sahara Wrangler for the first time, I thought that it was a little overkill. “Why in the world would anyone need a gas guzzler like that?” I asked myself.
After a few days on this island’s backroads in Kapu territory, I am beginning to understand. It’s not the vehicle, but the high and low all-wheel drive with the high suspension that my dad was renting. This jeep has been well worth every single penny.
Right now, I am sitting on an air mattress in a tent set up in the back yard of my da’s rental house on the Big Island. I get to sleep here for free, as long as I leave the land exactly as I found it when I head out again.
Camping here is a lot different than in the Northwest. For one thing, I have to remember to keep the zipper closed whenever I leave the tent – or I might have an unwanted guest in the middle of the night. The creepy-crawlys around here are nasty. I saw a centipede two days ago for the first time. The cleaning lady had it flipped over on its back so I could see what it looked like. It was whacked.
Then there’s the rain. I’ve slept in worse conditions before, in pretty much the same type of weather. So, it’s not a rain that i’m surprised at all by. But, if I had never been in the army, I’m sure that this rain would be the death of me. There’s a reason that the jungle is so green and lush all the time.
The house that I’m living outside of has a lot of history. I don’t know the whole story, but this house used to belong to the village chief. The King, as they called him. That was before the King and Queen moved into their new house, a few hundred feet away.
Coincidentally, I am sleeping about five hundred feet away from the very spot where Captain Cook was beheaded by the same tribe that I’ve been spending with the last few days. The village is called Napoopoo on Kealakekua Bay. The heeau where they used to cut the head’s off their enemies is still there. It’s been turned into a state park, and park rangers make sure that no haoles ever touch the stones. If a haole touches the Heiau without permission, then the soul of that person is stained black forever. They are cursed.
There are only a few of the old tribesmen left. My da can remember the days when this used to be a real authentic village. Of course, a lot of things are different now. My da can remember sitting in a cafe across the square during the student takeover of the UC Berkely administration offices. My da can remember ordering from McDonald’s when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren landed on the moon. My da can probably remember when people still lived in caves before the invention of fire.