It means giving, it means taking.

The spirit of aloha is embodied in the friendly and open faces of the locals, who, straining somewhat under a load of 15000 visitors per day, are very accommodating and nice. So friendly and nice, in fact, that they’ll go out of their way to help you. Like for example earlier today, when some kindly fellow helped us unload all our stuff from the car. Without us knowing, or, as my police affidavit indicates, approving all that much.

Getting our car broken into is a lousy way to end a fabulous week, but sooner or later the statistics get you if you don’t get them and leave stuff in the boot at the beach. The valet staff were nudging each other after I told them about it, saying “guess where they got their car broken into! Waimanalo Beach Park‎!” and saying it like that it sounded as if we’d parked at crackhead central. But besides the knowing nudging and general admonition that we “really should’t leave stuff in the car” they were helpful and nice and offered me popcorn. But seriously, I dare you to imagine something bad happening at the daytime beaches, this place is as Disney-pretty as I’ve ever seen. Apparently it’s now made even prettier by someone with a screwdriver and rather petit pink sneakers.

Bonus thought: I wish I had a microscope at hand to check closely what it is that I’m coughing up all the time. The colours and texture are fascinating, even though I’m still bummed about not being able to dive. Let’s just hope that the vertigo passes soon cause I’m mighty tired of being dizzy all the time.

West coast to coast, GBG → SF

Mom brought me and Tomasz along with her and Jozef to San Francisco and then Hawaii, and I thought I’d sum up while I’m still here. I’m in full on vacation mode, and between driving around Oahu and laying on the beach, time sure flies. I haven’t been able to dive cause of a cold clogging up my head, but I did snorkel and see an underwater turtle. It was awesome. Other observations:

1) The IHOP doesn’t carry anything vegan except dry toast and lettuce. It might actually be for the better though, as I got to watch others pig out and didn’t hate myself afterwards.
2) Tofu is common, but even “very firm” varieties are watery. As I write this, it’s been frying for 30 minutes.
3) If you leave crisps out for an hour, the humidity will reconstitute them into potatoes, at least in Hawaii.
4) Saying “C’mon let’s go before we get sunburned” for an hour does not in fact stop you from getting burned.
5a) It takes three days before Speedo’s seem like dinner wear.
5b) Speedo’s, although tight fitting, do not stop sand from abrading your tender bits.
6) People really like to show of their military credentials. Like, really.
7) Waves are big as fuck in person. Thinking about dying is an interesting thing. Also, see “abrading” above.
8) People do the “hang loose” sing a lot, and they seem to be serious about it.
9) “Noisy” and “gargantuan” are selling points when buying cars.

We stopped by San Francisco on our way to Oahu and Petter met up with me and Tomasz for a days walking and sightseeing. Back when I went to New York I had the ambition to hang out in local bars and ordering coffee with the pronunciation I’ve heard from old Jewish ladies in sitcoms. In San Francisco I didn’t have any ambitions of my own, so was very happy to be guided around by Petter, who has gone completely native and is talking to everybody and everyone, embodying the concept of being friendly. It’s an astounding transformation, and one can only hope that he’ll bring some of that attitude back with him. In Gothenburg, he’ll be that really nice and talkative guy you will hear about. He’s still there for another week or so, looking smashing in his new hat and posting pictures here:

For some reason I’d gotten into my mind that I ought to buy a “proper kitchen knife” since that is something which adults seem to do a lot, and I bought a MAC from a nice lady in Chinatown, who threw in another knife and a backscratcher just cause I was nice. She asked me to pass on the word that they ship cheaply to Sweden, and that Kiwi knives are the new black and available, so stop by The Wok Shop if you’re looking for cutlery or such.

Of all the places one can be sick in, Hawaii isn’t the worst, and between getting a really uneven tan and driving around the island, I’m enjoying myself plenty and don’t really look forward to the cold back home, nor the awaiting jetlag which will kick my pasty ass.