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“Hau’oli Makahiki” – Happy New Year!!

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Last updated, we had spent the day shopping. Bought a few
amazing bits and pieces. During our time at Waikeile mall, Linz and
I had decided to meet back for lunch at 3pm. So I raced around the
mall, worked out what I was purchasing and was waiting for her to
return.

It was during this period of waiting for Linz, this is when
Mike approached me. I knew from the haircut he was a Military
personal. (Check box four.)

Meanwhile, he seemed lovely and offered to take us around the island. (A thought conjured by Sal, who said
a couple of American Sailors did the same thing to her friends.)
This was a good opportunity to learn somethings about Hawaii from
someone who lives on the island.

Linz on the other was not sure whether the car offering sailor, was indeed an axe murderer. For
this reason, I decided that instead of jumping in his car, we would
hit up Waikiki for lunch first instead.

After lunch we decided to take a hike up Diamond Ridge. Linz unfortunately cant hike because
of her knee operation. So Mike and I drove to the old volcano and
hiked up. My only rules were: no steps!!!
(Mental note: remember the time Nicky made you walk up the 700 odd steps of the Eiffel
tower. You almost died, and ended up on the top in a singlet top in
-1 degrees weather. I hated my life. Particularly when I realized
we could have caught the elevator for 8€.) I was warning Mike that
this wasn’t the day I wanted to relive the memory.

A twenty minute walk and 200 steps later, we made it to the top of the military
look out. The path was well worn and rugged, and its confusing as
to how people are able to jog up and back without dying!

At the bottom of the crater, there was a van that sold ‘shaved ice’. Mike
says it was imperative that I try this icy delight before leaving
the country. It was almost like eating syrup from a cup. Lovely but
full of sugar. It goes against Bam’s diet. I had only a small
proportion to make it up the hill.

At night, Linz met us at Starbucks. We then went to some Irish Pub across from the infamous
Moose’s pub. Moose’s is infamous for a variety of different
reasons, the main one being: it has a high Navy population. It was
on our hit list to Hawaii 101.

On the Wednesday before NYE, Linz and I decided we needed a nothing day. This was considering we had
been so busy in previous days. It was also a washing day.. I had
only worn a couple of singlets, as that was all I had brought with
me. Linz had a bit more.

While awaiting the washing to dry, we met these two Aussie chicks. Actually we had met them the night before,
by the pool. They were coincidentally hanging out with the same
group of boys, we had met down the beach in the previous two days.
Lily and Lakita, were from Perth and were heading back from six
months in Canada on an exchange program. They plan to move to
Melbourne in January.

We were also lucky enough to find another hotel until the end of our trip. After paying for the room, we
headed to the markets to ‘Pick a Pearl’.

“Don’t leave that pearl just lying in a heap,
come to pick a pearl,
where everything is cheap!
Secondhand pearls for a secondhand dream,
From a black to a pink or a cream..” You get the picture.

Apart from the song planted in my head, Linz actually picked two cool pearls. Here’s the catch-
pick a pearl, then get it set for $200. We picked and resorted to
setting it at a later date. We also made a few little gifting
purchases and headed back to the hotel.

For dinner we headed to Tiki’s to watch an open mike night. (Insert dramatic irony here.)
Then for a walk along the beach. Sitting out the front of a hotel,
watching the tide roll in, we were approached by two Aussies..
“Heya mate, do ya mind if we set off some crackers? We’re from
Cairns.. Up north, where ya from?”

So with that they set off a few fireworks, metres from my feet. Bogans. All they kept saying was
“you’re Aussie, you should be enjoying this?”
(Mental note: who let’s these people out of the country?) As predicted by me, not
Nostradamus, we got a warning from a guard. “Guys, fireworks are
not legal on the beach, the cops will be called”. A couple more
minutes and they left, with someone else setting them off further
down the beach. If the Jacks came, we’d decided to tell them that
they ran off. My American accent is good enough, or so I think!
Sitting further down the south, we sat next to a bunch of homeless
people trying to sleep. From what I could gather, they were not
allowed to sleep. The Jacks pulled up on ATV’s (quaddies/four
wheelers) and got off all macho and ‘high horsey’ and poked them to
wake up. One Japanese man, was in this complete state of
repetition. He would put his shorts on and off, walk with his bag
and return talking to himself. Once he asked for the time and
repeated. Another Japanese lady was waking cross legged up and down
the beach. An insight into American homelessness.

On the 30th, we had booked a snorkeling trip. Linz wanted turtles:
“cockroaches of the sea”. I wanted the sun, since the weather had
been rainy for the last couple of days. We met some nice American
sisters with their daughters, grabbed their numbers for NYE. We
talked mostly about tattoos as Denielle was planning her first.

The whole boat trip for the most part rated a 9/10. The cardboard meat
hamburgers 1/10. Linz and the girls went splashing about, and
snorkeling. I stayed with the Mum’s sunbaking, getting my black on!
We saw some turtles in the distance, but Linz saw none up close.
Partly because the sloppy careless tourists splashing and yelling
about in the water. Disappointing, but Mike has promised us
turtles.

The boat driver also offered us another day on the boat
for free. I could sit on the top and sunbake all day, if it wasn’t
New Years Eve, I would have considered taking up the offer. He was
sexy. 😉

The biggest problem we are encountering this time is the
tipping. How much to tip? Who to tip? When to tip? It was simple
when I lived in Miami, as I had no money and this meant I couldn’t
tip even if I wanted to. But this time we are a little more cashed
up, so we can afford to, but how much? In Miami I used to just
double the tax and that would leave me around 15%. But the tax here
is lower, so you need to make some mathematical readjustments.

New Year Celebrations have a couple of plans, rest up and then party
with a solid lunch at the Cheesecake Factory!!! Mmmmmm.. I’m having
it all!! Linz made a solid attempt trying to finish the portion
sizes of the American way. We did good.

The night was planned by purchasing tickets to a bar called RumFire in the Sheraton in
Waikiki. Tickets were $50. We purchased them earlier in order to
ensure entry.

Finally arriving at the beachside resort, we were
surrounded by hundreds of people. Taking the first opportunity to
seize a table that we could. Drinks were done via the purchase
‘scripts’ (tickets) and once you queue to purchase tickets, you
then queue to purchase drinks. The whole process is time consuming
and the only positive alcohol content of the drinks- too strong –
as you must wait for the ice to melt before consumption.

The whole process was fairly time consuming given the amount of people at the
club. After breaking out some funk master moves it was time for the
countdown. Repositioning ourselves closer to the water to get a
good look at the fireworks. We rate the fireworks about a 2/10.
Linz was disappointed. The fireworks being let off illegally in the
streets were probably more interesting considering the chance that
someone might get hurt.

There were numerous creepy men at the venue. We would have thought they were weeded out considering we
paid $50 entry. But this clearly just meant that they were older
and more creepy. One man kept putting his feather boa on me. He was
in the category of a ‘chopper read’ type psycho. He pushed Linz out
of the way to watch me dance. She simply returned the pleasure with
a greasy and stood right in his view. His eyes piercing through her
back. “You don’t fucken push me out of the way ..”

Alike most of America, the nightclubs close at 2am which meant that we had to
“bounce” before things got messy. We made a quick food stop at ABC
before hitting the sack. We spent the Saturday lethargically lying
around by the pool and in the lobby. Follow this by a couple hours
of skank tv- AKA Jersey Shore. (Thank god Angela has finally left
again, but now the victim of the show has become the hard hitting,
creepy, arrogant Mike or better known as ‘The Situation’.)

Deciding that the best idea would be to get a tour to Pearl Harbor on the
2nd of January, in reflection was not the best idea. Firstly it
began at 6:30am and secondly we were still tired for NYE.

Our first stop was Pearl Harbor. Linz and I hit the book store to source our
purchases for the afternoon. And since we were not able to carry
anything except hand held cameras, let’s make the purchases before
we leave. And we made some great purchases including a signed copy
of a Pearl Harbor book and a commemorative medallion.

The induction video gave an account of the events preceding and proceeding the
attack on Pearl Harbor. It lay closer to the truth than the
pamphlets and tour guides with misinterpreted information. 25
minutes later, we boarded a boat over to the USS Arizona, the main
memorial for WW2. I took a few shots and positioned myself at the
front of the queue in order to get the best returning photos.

From the battleship, leaks about a litre of oil a day. This surprised me
somewhat. I was referring to the damage done to animals from oil
leaks. I would have thought there would have been some sort of
attempt to clean it up, before it gets washed out to sea. But no,
oil leaks freely into the ocean. I disagree that it’s more
important to conserve a battleship than to conserve the
environment. Linz was surprised, considering my slow up take to the
no bag rule.

Taking another short ride we headed to the USS
Missouri. A quick security check and the warning not to take
pictures whilst driving over the bridge. Linz assumed you would be
able to see this bridge on Google maps- or would you?

Arriving on the island, it was quite derelict in the sense that it was host to
a popular tourist attraction and home to numerous military
officials.

We boarded the ship, but not without a tacky picture and
tourist trap at the beginning. After taking a few shots of the
ship, I was bored. My attention span is approximately 20mins and I
had already used that up on the video. Once the tour concluded,
Linz and I headed to “best fucken spot in all the spots I’ve ever
stood in”. This spot for those who are historically challenged, is
the ‘spot’ where the surrender of the Japanese and the conclusion
of the Second World War was agreed upon. Australia is not at the
bottom of the treaty, but above Canada. And New Zealand
unfortunately took the last place. Linz and I questioned the theory
behind the ordering of countries.

At this point, I disembarked. I was hungry and I was over the steps of the ship. Linz kept looking
and shooting before meeting me back at the cafe.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me about Tourists, is their complete lack of
respect for anything sacred or special. Climbing on tanks is what I
witnessed in Vietnam. Today was similar, as inappropriate photos
were taken or climbing up on memorials. Or even taking shoes off to
enter a temple and then carrying them in your hands. I like to be
careful not to offend or detract from the symbolic meaning of
sacred places.

Boarding the ‘coach’ again, we set off for a tour
through China Town and Downtown Honolulu. I am not really
interested in returning to either. Our last stop was the Punchbowl.
This is the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and the
Honolulu. Again I was bored following a tour guide around and
resorted to tanning my legs on the bench. I think I am over tours.
The plan ahead is for more shopping, but our bags have become
increasingly full. Or if you are like Linz, you came with a full
bag!!

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Author: Em Mango

Blogger, PA, Nerd, Social Media Addict, Friend, Lover, Snuggler, Traveller

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