WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD TRAVEL RIGHT NOW?
Saturday, July 30, 2022-
You might have read the recent article on travel tips by Kristie Koerel in the NYT July 8, 2022 issue. I haven’t followed all of them, but I have one tip of my own for travel these days: Be prepared.
I started booking in April for this trip in August 2022. (OK, that might be a bit early, but what the heck.)
The trip was supposed to consist of three of us going to Italy. But that changed too. Then serendipitously I found something that suited my itchy feet. Going alone, I asked advice from a youthful frequent traveler.
But early planning can create a lot of space for changes.
For instance, I had three flights cancel. That caused many sleepless nights. Rescheduling became a weekly occurrence. However, the canceled flights and schedule changes became blessings. I acquiesced to long layovers since waiting in TSA lines are the norm these days. I surrendered to COVID-19 vaccinations although travel restrictions have lifted, but now it’s another virus. I swear my masks take up half my suitcase. Well, not entirely.
My cheap flights that I purchased way in advance turned a bit more expensive as flights canceled or changed as time came closer to my departure. BUT the airlines nicely refunded my money for the canceled flights.
As time flew by—a crawl to a sprint, I became a bit calmer. Until last week when I couldn’t get a bus ticket from one point to the other. Why don’t I take a train you ask? I don’t know. I like buses. This still wasn’t resolved until the youthful frequent traveler called me two days ago. What a coincidence. You’ll hear more about her when I see her.
I packed clothes to fit the weather for three different climate zones (yes Marcia, I am traveling light) and added those destinations to my weather app. Speaking of apps, I have a dozen new apps (that’s 12) on my phone just for this journey in addition to the 20 that are already there. One of them is for blogging via mobile and email. I have already been with wordpress.com support for several days. This is a new learning curve for me. If you recall, I was going to try podcasting. But not today!
I invite you to join me on this 24-day trip via my blog. Comment below at will.
August 3, 2022
Woke up at 3.00 a.m. to catch our UA Polaris 777. The TSA line wasn’t bad that time in the morning at Reno International Airport, but when I passed the X-ray and expected David to be right behind me, I saw a guard leading him away instead.
For about 20 minutes, many scenarios crossed my mind. Was he carrying his pocket knife? Was he on the Most Wanted List? Were we gonna miss our flight? I asked a security guard for information. She didn’t know a thing. She said, “Wait a while. He might show up.” Nice way to start a vacation.
He eventually came into view; calm and collected. “What happened?”, I asked.
“My birthdate information was wrong,” he replied. “But I fixed the birth year,” I said. “Yeh? The birth day was incorrect, too.” He grinned.
“Oh!” After 22 years of cohabitation, I should know his birthday, right? He let it slide.
I believe the partition between us on our flight was a good thing.
Our breakfast menu consisted of an egg-white kale and tomato quiche, apple sausages, croissant, condiments, really fresh fruit, and coffee. Our seats fully reclined, and I watched “The Batman” for 1/2 hour then switched to “And Just Like That”. I made myself at home for the next 4 1/2 hours.
On O’ahu, our HAL flight was delayed and the gate information on the app, monitor, and announcements were inconsistent. Confusion set in, but in times like this strangers are kind to each other.
Finding Li Hing Mui
August 5, 2022
Maybe it was my high mucka muck dunno nuttin’ question or something, but the stock person didn’t look up from her unpacking when I asked, “Do you have Li Hing Mui powder?” She pointed to the thing hanging at my eye level. “Oh thank you,” I said, feeling dumb. I figured I’d not ask any more questions but instead inspect the packs for the right one. “What you going use ‘em fo’?” Curious as she saw me fingering the packets. I turned on my Pidgin English right away. “My frien’ goin’ put ‘em on fruit.” “Oh, wat kine fruit?”
“Pineapple, I tink.”
I’m still choosing a pack. She points to another brand and volunteers, “Some people buy dis one, but da one you have is the best sellah. Taste mo’ betta, too, in my opinion.” “Oh good.” I added.
“Da color more nice on the pineapple, too. Dat one no look so good.” “Oh yeh!” I imagine the scarlet powder sprinkled over golden pineapple. I’m still considering which packet, but now I’m deciding on how many. “We have bigger bags but not in stock.”
“Ok, no worries. I goin put dem in my suitcase, anyway.” Then I add, “Dis going Europe, you know.” “Europe? Wow!” She was pretty amazed.
I’m now deciding on 2-4 packs. David steps up behind me and asks, “Are you done?” “Yes. I am. But I can’t decide on how many.”
The stock woman stands up and says, “Don’t eat the fruit right after you sprinkle the Li Hing Mui powder. Goin’ taste powdery. Wait until da powder go into da juice. Den goin be ono.” This woman should be in promotions not stocking stuff.
“Mahalo,” I said and walked away with four packets.
“Wowww…Eurooopppe!” I heard her sigh.
August August 14, 2022
We left Upcountry Maui and checked-in to a Waikiki hotel where David attended a board meeting and I views the Kapaemahu Exhibition at the Bishop Museum. Included in the exhibition is a video history of “The Glades”, the nightclub in the 60s and it’s
performers who were talked about and poked fun at for their infamous behavior. The video history reveals some of their stories and the human rights that they were denied.
The next day I joined some members of the Dorcy Foundation for a tour of the University Of Hawai’i’s Hawaiian Studies Department led by Dean Jon Osorio and a presentation by Professor Kamana Beamer whose additional activity is educating the public about the water contamination on O’ahu.
The following morning, we toured the USS Bowfin in Pearl Harbor led by Executive Director Charles Merkel and then walked through the Pacific Air Museum on Ford Island. The attack on Pearl Harbor became very vivid to me when I saw the bullet holes from Japanese planes that remained in the shattered windows of the hanger. I stood under that same sky where planes flew over demolishing Pearl Harbor. I am grateful that I wasn’t born then to experience that dreadful day.
The two days juxtaposed each other—one saving the islands in war and 80 years later the same source ruining the water source on O’ahu.
Very early Thursday morning, as we were driven to the airport, the full moon set over the horizon reminding me that the Kapaemahu Stones completed their healing during the course of a full moon.
Thus the continuation of my journey began by flying back to Reno, saying hasta la vista to David, and immediately catching a JetBlue flight to JFK where I loitered around that terminal for eight hours before takeoff to my next landing.
I had time on my hands (and my bums) to reflect on my visit to my island home:
Maui reminds me of an extraordinary stunning being who everyone wants to touch. They cover her body with concrete jewelry, wipe her face with red dirt makeup, and scar her skin with scraped residuals of sugar glitter and homeless residents.
I dig deeper to remember the island’s essence—clouds’ silver mists breathe upon the green slopes of Waipoli, chatter of pre-dawn feathered tree dwellers in Pukalani, lava fields that show what was of the aina before us.