AROUND THE WORLD.ORG

travelling the seven parts of the world
Mar 13th, 2008
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It was never my intention to go to Hawaii. I wanted to go from Sydney to Santiago, Chile, in a single straight flight. But the clerk at Finnair who booked our oneworld tickets around the world told us that this was not possible, and the only way we could do this, is if we flew from Sydney to Los Angeles to Miami to Santiago, a trip of extra 10,000 km. So I asked if midway to LA we could make a landing in Hawaii, as I had never been there. And it was possible, so here we were! We only had 3 days, so we didn't want to set out on an exploration journey through the islands, but rather leave that to another trip and spend the days resting, or as it was for me, writing entries in this blog.

Now, the first and coolest thing about arriving in Hawaii from Sydney was how you get to experience the same day twice. Its like Qantas has a machine that compresses you into a null-weight matter and sends you back in time. You get to have conversations like:

"Remember how TODAY at this time were eating at that restaurant?"
"Remember how TODAY at this time we went to the hair dresser?"

It was really a fantastic one of a kind feeling to experience the same Wednesday twice!

Upon arrival to Hawaii there is really nothing there to indicate that you are in United States, apart from the big cars and signs marked in Spanish. Hawaii is nearly exclusively invaded by Japanese, Koreans, and other people from that part of the world. Its very weird, because you know this is the place where just some odd 60 years ago the Japanese attacked US Navy ships, and now they are attacking US stores. Its like they realized that torpedoes and bombs are not as effective as immigration and tourism. The people at the airport were either Japanese or Latino. Our taxi driver was a Japanese woman. The guy at reception was Japanese. All hotel staff was Japanese. Everyone on the street is Japanese. All menus in restaurants appear to be translated in Japanese (as well as having an English version, which is nicely tucked away, because chances are the last person who ate from that table was Japanese and read the Japanese language menu).

In fact, the only person who we talked to on the first day who was not Japanese was the guy at the bar, and the conversation went along something like this:

"Can I get a beer?"
"Can I see an ID?"
"Ehhh... what the hell?"

I am not sure what is it about Americans and alcohol. They let people drive when they are still 16, they let them go to army when they are 18, but drinking? No, we won't have any of that until you're 21. I explained to the guy that I cam from Eastern Europe and had been drinking vodka since I was 16. I stopped when I was 19, and had been on softer drinks ever since. He didn't seem to care!

Either way, even with all the tourists, Hawaii is really nice. The weather is perfect, the beach is perfect. The one major attraction in Hawaii is a live erupting volcano, but it is located on a different island. Trips there are $250 per person, and you are not guaranteed to actually see any lava flows, because sometimes the sulfur clouds get so big tourists are not allowed to get too close to the volcano. So I didn't fancy spending $500 on a trip where I might not see anything, and left that for a different trip, when we could go to Big Island and explore it at our leisure.

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