Thursday, December 15, 2011

Around the World: Waikiki

December 15, 1991

It is very, very early in the morning. I called to confirm the flight for, what I thought was tomorrow evening and found out it was leaving in three hours!  I ran up to my room and scooped up all my clothes, wet and dry, and crammed it all into my knapsack.  Ron, the hostel driver, rushed me off to the airport, arriving seconds before missing my flight to New Zealand. The clerk who checked in my bag told me that if I had missed this flight, I could have booked on the one that leaves next week.  Hmmm, stuck in Hawaii for a whole week.  Why did I rush to the airport again?  Oh well, the plane has already taken off.  More Pacific Ocean... more turbulence. I see the beverage service heading my way.


Although my stay in Hawaii was shorter than I thought it was going to be, I still managed to get in a swim on the beach, some soft sand between my toes and a beautiful partial view of a dormant volcano.

Waikiki Beach looking towards Diamond Head
Photo by Ryan Tutmarc
I offered to cut a hostel-mate's hair. Bruce, who is missing a foot, is running in a marathon tomorrow (which is actually later today) around Oahu. Weird, in the sense that I never really thought about what it would be like to not have all my parts. Bruce finds it equally weird that he shouldn't be able to do all the things anybody else with two feet can do. I don't see why not either, really. Just never thought to think about it. Not until a few hours ago.  At least I had a chance to wish him luck before I left.  He says he usually places in the top 50.  This time he wants to break into the top 20.  Go Bruce!!

Not only does this chance meeting give me some new perspective, but he brought me some good luck. As I was cutting Bruce's hair, other hostel-mates passed by and saw that I actually knew what I was doing. A line up of interested patrons began to grow. Three guys in line entertained my waiting customers with perilous tales of body surfing on the North Beach. Sounds like fun, if you don't mind ending the adventure in a palm tree. They were pretty battered, but undeterred for a plan to do again tomorrow (also later today).

This time zone thing is confusing and I'll soon cross over the international date line. I'm going to have to track down a calendar when I land in Auckland or everyone I meet is going to think I've suffered some kind of head trauma.

Back to the haircuts... I cut my finger cutting hair and it started bleeding again on the plane. I asked the stewardesses, who were taking a break in the rear of the plane for a tissue. One of them took a look at it and bandaged it up for me and helped me back to my seat with a generous helping of ice cream. :) After some sleep and the morning food service, the stewardess offered me a second helping of breakfast and let me go see the pilot. Whoo hoo!

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The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.
~Orison Swett Marden