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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Notes from a Small Island

Sometimes it's like we're not even living in the 21st century. Today (the fourth day of our holiday) is the first day I've been able to access the internet from my laptop. Yeah, I know, but it's really hard to go cold turkey.

So, Hawaii.

It's really hot. Like really hot. Not as hot as Japan at the same time last year but wow, hot. And windy. But unlike Wellington the wind here is nice and soothing. Of course there is a hurricane coming.

It's called Flossie and has just today been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, which mean 85mph winds instead of 100+. It's moving just south of the Big Island (Hawaii) and so Oahu (where we are) should be sweet. 8ft swells but still sweet.

Every day (and I'm just rubbing it in now) we've been swimming and sunning for a couple of hours. The water is only slightly cooler than the air so there's no issues when the water gets to crotch height.

I am also loving the fact that it's football season. Amy isn't. Football rules the sports pages (did you know that there are 30 Hawaiians in the NFL, including the Chicago Bears Olen Kruetz?) and the TV coverage.

We've watched a lot of TV actually. given that it is actually very very hot, we like to relax for part of the afternoon in our room with air-con on. Obviously the shows are the same as back home but the ads are so...interesting. I think you can tell a lot about a culture by its ads (you listening MG?). The American ads are very slick (the exception being the local Hawaiian ads) all of the shots are perfect and the production values look high. No expense is spared to fool you about what the product might actually do. The food ads are especially pretty.

But if I had to sum up Hawaii (and by proxy America) in one word (and I don't but I will), I would say: BIG.

On our drive in from the airport I noticed how so many people were driving "trucks". What Americans cal trucks we would probably call "utes", that is until we saw the vehicle in question. American trucks are actually HUGE. You may have seen the slightly large Dodge Rams around New Zealand. Here people who drive those are considered "pussies" (their words not mine). The average truck here is much larger.

Actually all of their vehicles are larger. Cars, motorcycles, 4wds all of them are huge. Possibly to accommodate the people after they have eaten the huge meals they are served.

The chances of me coming back with a tan are slim to none (due to my red-headedness). The chances of me coming back with a giant belly full of cheeseburgers is about 90%.

On our first day here we decided to go shopping (this isn't about food btw, i just changed subjects mid-blog). We walked to the Ala Moana mall and spent most of the day wandering and shopping. We decided before we left that we would intentionally not bring much so we could buy things here, turns out that was a good idea, as stuff is really cheap here. I got two new pairs of shoes for (like) NZD$50 each, two Hawaii University t-shirts for $10 each. I still have to find a place that sells a good range of NFL stuff though.

And the booze (which is what the Wellingtonistas want to know about) is dirt cheap. I'm drinking (good) Zombies and Pina Coladas for $8!

The food is slightly expensive though and I wouldn't want to own a car with the petrol prices.

Oh and for those keeping score: I've already done two tiki bars and have collected one mug.

I'll be back, hopefully, soon, with photos.

ps. Jose and Tom can be consoled that I have already selected gifts for them after missing their birthdays.

4 comments:

Joanna said...

You can haz cheesburger!

stephen said...

Yay! A belly full of cheezburgers! We can has?

Hadyn said...

I'm obviously on holiday mode if I didn't think of that.

Triple T said...

i remember the american craze for trucks...

back then though, dodge ram was considered huge, so you must be seeing some kind of truck-inflation factor at play.