Waking up at eight o'clock, for some reason seemed like sleeping in today. It could have something to do with our American Submariner, newly retired, who was yet to realize he from free of order and regulated activity. At six, he was up, and running. Literally running, around Hawaii. When he got back at eight? Well, I figured I'd spent enough time sleeping.
Not that this meant I would do anything useful. I had some scrapbooking to do. Now, I've mentioned this a few times, I don't want anyone to get ideas about scissors that make interesting cuts, or little pieces of ribbon, and expensive paper fitted inside plastic sheets. Because that's not my style of budget travel scraping. No – basically I take a map, or a brochure, and I paste it into a book of lined paper. Memories contained, book scrapped. I'm on number three right now. Every three months I off load them, and I'm about due to do that again. Right now it's the object that takes up the most amount of room in my pack. Imagine, first, a pretty large journal. Now imagine stuffing it with every pamphlet you've come across in the last three years. Just because I glue them in doesn't make them take up any less space.
I'm sure I'll be glad for these in the mysterious unknown future. And it's more organized than the bag of random stuff I brought back from my first trip to Japan in 2008.
When the last of what I consider worthwhile is glued in, I grant myself the delight of throwing out all other pieces of paper I've been carrying around on the off chance that I might decide to keep it. Now, garbage tossed, my load is lighter, and the weight of should I, shouldn't I, is lifted off my shoulder.
Who knew cutting and pasting (and by cutting I mean ripping, as I have no scissors here) could be such an effort.
With that done, I tell myself it's time to do something with the day, so – of course – I walk down the beach. Seems to be an acceptable way to spend some time. And ultimately it leads to food. Or the promise of food. There was no food at the end of this rainbow, but there was a place to sit in the shade and finish reading my book.
The way back also ran me by the apple store. In my pocket I had a brochure for Kualoa Ranch tours. This is where a number of movies were filmed, and the tv show (former love, now bitter enemy) LOST was filmed. The tours are ridiculously over priced. Especially for Hawaii where getting around, doing things, seeing things, are actually quite reasonable. But – when would I be back this way again?
Using a demo iPhone I made the call, but no one answered. Oh well, I told myself, I'll just have to go explore on my own. Tragic that I'll save all that money. But rather than leaving the store, I played a wee little game of Doodle Jump, during which the phone in my hand started to ring. And vibrate. And make all sorts of awkward noise.
“Hello, this is Kos Tours, I just missed a call from this number?”
And thus the tour was signed up for anyway. And tomorrow, though I now wept monetary tears, I would be taken through all sorts of spectacular locations – or so the glossy brochure promised. It was this gloss that first tipped me off to how terribly over priced such an experience was to be.
Back at my hostel I sat around chillin' not noticing a sign on the door. This sign would soon be brought to my attention. Due to the fact that they had overbooked when I first checked into this hostel, they tossed me into the room I'd been staying in. But now that they were finally starting to get back in order, they needed me to move out, an into another dorm. Being ousted, tragic. But – in all fairness, the other room was pretty much the same as the one I was in, except for there being two extra beds. Also – instead of blue curtains that gave the room a fresh and free look, these were yellow which did quite a lot to detract from the overall ascetic. Let this be a lesson for all those who doubt the power of colour.
I quickly went back to the other room, and continued to hang out with them, once my gear was moved, and my bed had been re-made.
One of the pluses of having moved was that wifi could be connected to from my bed in this new room, a meter or two closer to the office. Though you wouldn't have known earlier in the day, until there was an employee shift. The girl on duty in the morning had no idea how to reset a router, or really any desire to do anything at all. One of my room mates describe her as follows (though I edit for the children in the audience): She may be a distressingly attractive female with a couple of great features, by lord is she not capable of doing things properly. Still – she does have those great features, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to be angered.
Once it was up and running I was able to surf around the interweb in my room, and start to add backlogged pictures.
It upsets me that Facebook has changed their photo uploader to a flash based program, which, as I'm using this precarious linux system, means I will no longer be able to throw pics up that way. How can I show off to hundreds of people I haven't talked to in years, without the photo uploader? I guess this just means I'll have to cull my friends list down to people I actually like, and who I'm actually friends with. Imagine that.
By this point I was convinced that my day was at an end. Though it was only seven, I was ready to concede that I would be calling it an early -
“Fireworks! We're going to the fireworks!”
Oh, well maybe not all that early then. If there were fireworks to be exploded I'd be there to see them. We walked twenty minutes for what amounted to a five minute show. Then another twenty minutes back. To be honest, I didn't even really watch them, but looking at the photos I recorded during the momentary festivities (perhaps practice for Sunday night?) you'd not know. It all looked rather spectacular in the end of it all.
Then I thought my day was done, until the American submariner's voice was heard outside – having just returned from the military base out at Pearl Harbour (not to see the ships, or visit the memorials, but to buy cheep adult beverages at the base store.) I went out, and for hours we, and a growing collection of his fellow employees (many secrets, and codes, and clearances were held in this circle – it was somewhat daunting.) kicked back and talked, and watched music videos on his iPad. This is a good was to while the night away. And, the fact that his music tastes (despite the more than ten years difference in age) was the same as mine? Perfect. For me, it was like living through high school all over again. Why 1994 – 1999 would have held such strong memories for him as well, I do not know. But it was good to watch No Doubt videos back when they were edgy, personal, and free of an insane Gwen Steffani. Sublime? Also a treat. Poor Annie.
Midnight, a hostel employee (if you have watched Stargate Universe think of the black soldier who fills the token 'off the handle, I'm a little crazy, so watch out!' role. Well – this is the hostel employee. He looked like him, moved like him, talked like him, and paused in all the right spots, shooting his crazy eyes around. If you've not watched SG:U, that description is generic enough that I'm sure you get what I'm saying.) came out to tell us, “the party is finished here! You don't gotta stop, but you gotta take it out of here!” The seamen all looked at him, saying, “no problem. Thanks for telling us, we'll move.” The employee replied, “that's right! 'cause if I come back,” shifty eyes, “and you're still here – there'll be trouble.”
It was almost comical. Like when one of those little tough guys in a movie starts a fight he can't finish, or bites off far more than he can chew. It's for reasons like this that I try not to mouth off when I'm in a strange place. You never know when you're surrounded by, and chastising four military, who could probably end things before they began. I wonder how they felt about being talked to in such a nonsensical manner. But, for the most part they all seemed to understand that if you have a job to do, you do it. “He just could have been nicer, is all. And he really didn't seem to like being thanked.” was all they said.
Those guys all went off to a bar, or a club, or who knows where they finally ended up. Myself? I'd have to wake up for the tour – so I headed back to my room. It was another hour before I could finally sleep (the hostel owner's underage son provided beer for all) clearly there is some discrepancy about when the party really does end.) Oh Seaside Hostel, Waikiki.