Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hawaii


Blog about Hawai’i. (I don’t actually like that apostrophe, so I’ll start again.)
Blog about Hawaii. (There, better.)
So we hopped on a plane from New Zealand and reached Sydney, Australia, where there was a free internet station with four computers and no chairs. I stood on my feet for well over an hour, checking my Facebook, my email, my deviantArt, and could’ve stayed much longer had there not been a person waiting for me to get off. But in the end, I solved all those little things that had been saying, “Ileana… come to us… reply to all your comments… read those poems… favorite these pictures…” The only thing that I couldn’t do with those computers was to upload my pictures to dA, because they were on our computer. The one that is never, ever connected to internet, and if it is, then the internet is too weak to upload so many photographs. It’s not so bad, though. There are only 80 photos crying to see the World Wide Web, and six people who will definitely see them, not to mention the innumerable passerby’s that say, “Oh pretty! I will favorite this picture! And this other picture by the same person! And look through their gallery and favorite some more pictures! Oh, what the heck, I’ll just add them to my watchlist and see every new picture they upload.” And so increases my popularity*.
*Not that the popularity means anything. It just gives you a bit of an ego boost. And bloats up your head a little.
At some point we got on the long, boring flight to Hawaii. I read the magazines that may or may not have said interesting things, and saw which movies were available during the flight—not that it mattered, because to watch the movies you’d have to rent an iPad, which we were not doing. I can’t exactly remember what I did; I think it was sleep, iTouch, stare, stare, stare, sleep, stare, and more staring. Mostly staring.
Finally, Hawaii! We reached Honolulu and found the plane to take us from there to Big Island, where we would be spending most of our vacation. 
When we got there, we rented a car and drove to our hotel, which had a bathroom with a sliding door; a kitchen area with a counter on one side, a huge sink on the other, and opposing mirrors above both; a small balcony; a living room where us three slept; and a bedroom for M&D. The living room had a television, and we discovered FRIENDS. Every night at eight, we would sit down in front of the TV and would watch until ten, doing important things like tooth-brushing during the extensive commercial breaks.
One day, while waiting for M&D to come home after (what was it? a walk? shopping trip?), we found this show, “Ridiculous” or something, that finished at 8, right before FRIENDS. It was about ridiculous stunts gone wrong. For example: one idiot decides to snowboard off of the roof of a school bus and onto a plywood ramp and expects it to work. Instead he gets a bed in a hospital. Or another idiot skateboards off of the roof of a house onto another, but he chickens out, the skateboard rolls off, and he loses his balance and actually falls into a shed. And so on and so forth. During the commercial breaks, we decided to start tallying how many of which type of commercial there were. We kept doing this until the end of FRIENDS, and the final score, after two and a half hours of television was:
Money:         2
Sports: 2
Shopping: 2
Cars: 3
Hair products: 4
Misc.: 5
TV Series: 5
Electronics: 5
Clothes:         5
Insurance: 6
Health: 8
Beauty:       12
Hygiene:       29
Food:       52
Total:     140 commercials in 2.5h.
Mostly, besides FRIENDS, we didn’t really do much. We went on a long drive to a parking lot, from which we took a long, long, long walk to get to a cliff which we would climb down to get to a beach with lots of olivine that made the beach green. With just twenty minutes worth of walking left, a pickup truck came along and told us to hop in the back, which was a godsend. In just five minutes, we reached the beach and climbed down, then got back in the truck and rode back quickly. We drove a bit some more to spot where we could see the sunset and then went on the long drive home.
The next day we decided to see the town, and found Dinah’s Haircuts. Ioan sat down in the chair, said he wanted it short, and snip, snip! All his long, flowing locks fell to the floor and he looked fantastic. Maria sat down next and said she was growing it out, but she wanted the bottom part off. She got up with a bob straight out of the 20’s. Next Mom said she wanted it just like this, but shorter. Luckily, she fared better than this poor individual: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TBmNN8hM1o. Finally, Dad sat down and got his haircut too.
And me? I shaved my head bald.
JUST KIDDING. The hair is here to stay.
We got back to town and tried to see a palace (I say “palace”, but it actually looked like an okay-looking house), but it was closed, so we decided to walk into the church across the street. Then we went back to the hotel, and Dad drove us to the theater to see The Hunger Games.
And it was awesome. Just so, totally, freaking awesome. I can’t spoil the movie for you, in case you didn’t watch it, but it was really good. I really hated, though, how shaky the camera was. I mean, I understand for the violent bits, but Katniss would be, say, walking through the forest and everything would be quiet and peaceful. This would be conveyed to you via lots of short, shaky clips that left you slightly dizzy. Or she would be talking with Gale, and the camera would be bobbing up and down. It was probably the only bad thing about the movie.
The next morning, on Saturday, we took a tour of a coffee farm belonging to the family of Dinah of Dinah’s Haircuts. It was rather interesting, for someone who aspires to be a coffee drinker but has not yet fulfilled that dream. I think Mom is the one explaining this in detail, but all I know is that someone else is covering the topic of the coffee farm.
The coffee was rather good, especially with orange icecream :)
Then at some point we went to a Hawaiian temple on a beach. Apparently, if you were a warrior that lost in battle, or if you had broken a law, if you could reach this temple and then the gods would forgive you and you would be redeemed, or something like that. It was very hard to reach this temple, unfortunately, and many died trying.
When I think of the word “temple”, a very large and open space with the temple made of driftwood and palm trees with leaves and seaweed on the roof, is not what I imagine. I imagine temples and shrines like in Kyoto, or Buddhist temples in China or Tibet (which, technically, are the same country), or Hindu temples in India, or anything other than what we saw in Hawaii. It makes sense, I mean, it’s not like they really had much to work with; the aforementioned countries were more advanced than the Hawaiians, but it was still a bit of a shock.
We changed hotels and drove from one end of the island to another, and we attended a church service. It was very confusing, with a card that had your responses written on them, and you would have to read them out loud at the right parts. Mostly, I spent my time with a look of fear on my face and thanking God that Catholic sermons were short.
Our new hotel wasn’t too far away from a volcano that was constantly smoking. At night you could see the lava glow, and in the daytime you could see it smoke. There was a museum with lots of volcano facts and beautiful paintings of the volcano goddess Pele, accompanied by certain myths. Like the one about how she dreamt of a chief on another island, and she sent her sister to bring him over. But, because she was jealous and suspicious, she thought her sister had betrayed her, so she killed her sister’s friend and destroyed her sacred grove. The sister retaliated by embracing the chief, so Pele killed the chief in her anger. Then they were both very sorry for what they did and the sister brought the chief to life, and he chose to stay with her. They went back to his island and, I assume, lived happily ever after. Pele eventually found another lover, who happened to be her opposite, the god of rain.
Also at the museum was a sort of seismograph, and the display said, “Jump jump jump and make your own earthquake!” So Ioan and I did a lot of jumping. Every five minutes, Ioan would go back to it and try to figure out how to make the biggest lines on the seismograph, and I would watch him. Another guy who did the same thing was Tommy, who was visiting the museum from another island for his project on volcanoes. He took a picture of Ioan jumping, but we don’t have it.
The next day, our last day on Big Island, we went on a helicopter ride to see a volcano and new lava flow and the island. It was interesting, I think. I fell asleep. It was terrible. I really don’t know what we saw. I saw grey rock (hardened lava) and a glowy bit once or twice and the ocean. And the pilot was talking about how this guy’s house was destroyed by the flow but the guest hosue wasn’t, and how this town had been destroyed but now the people moved back on top of the flow, and these three uninsured houses that had been destroyed and there were these really bad covers of classic songs like “Brown-Eyed Girl” and I fell asleep. It was terrible. It reminded me of India, when we went to see this show, and my head was a pendulum. Fall asleep, head sinks down to chest. Wake up and fall asleep with head tilted back. Wake up and head sinks to chest. And so on for half an hour.
After the helicopter ride we went to the airport and hopped on a plane to Honolulu, and our hotel was so similar to the first one in Big Island that it was scary. We were in Room 947, and our balcony was right over the pool. Unfortunately, the pool was too shallow to even think of jumping into it from that height. Darn.
We continued our FRIENDS fascination and got to see the first ten, fifteen? minutes of PUNK’D with Justin Bieber and were totally horrified. Just kidding, we totally saw the humor of traumatizing people by letting them think they ruined a wedding, or that they convinced this girl to crash a car into a restaurant’s window (who’s paying for that, by the way? Justin Bieber, the most highly paid person under 21, the show, or the restaurant itself?). Oh how we laughed and laughed / except I wasn’t laughing (Under the circumstances / I’ve been shockingly nice).*
*Sorry, I couldn’t resist. These are the lyrics to “Want You Gone”, which is the credits song to the video game Portal 2 (which I didn’t play, but it is such a hilarious song sung by, I’m assuming, a defeated robot).
[Verse 1]
Oh here we are again
It’s always such a pleasure
Remember when you tried
To kill me twice?
[Verse 2]
Oh how we laughed and laughed
Except I wasn’t laughing
Under the circumstances
I’ve been shockingly nice.
[Chorus 1]
You want your freedom? Take it.
That’s what I’m counting on.
I used to want you dead but
Now I only want you gone.
There is more, of course, but I don’t think Daddy will appreciate my precious blog space being taken up by a catchy song. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFeTzCMFaH8&feature=BFp&list=FLyuYI4M08QL4&index=1
Honolulu, to me, looks more like a sleepy town than a city. This is probably because when I think “city”, I think NYC, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Beijing, and New Delhi. Even Tibet had more bustle than Honolulu. Where is the bustle?!! Hawaii, in general, had a frightening lack of bustle, which has brought me to the realization that I am not very good without it.
We mostly sat around in our hotel (fine by me—except when they left the balcony door open*) and took our tests (which was lovely, and the italics are to emphasize, not sarcasticate). I drew characters from a comic I’ve been working on with Ioan and our friend Eric for three and a half years now, and wrote the basic storyline and came up with ideas and did a good job of avoiding blogging. As you can see, my good luck only lasted for so long. That’s probably why my posts are so long. To cover everything and to get me through for a long time.
*One day, the balcony door was open and there were two white pigeons hopping around. “Wow, so cool! So amazing!” Maria said as we watched them hop nearer and nearer to our room. “Wouldn’t it be awesome if it came inside?” she asked, to which my firm reply was a panicked “NO! WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?!” If you recall from my first blogpost, I am not fond of birds. The bird was very close to getting inside when I screamed. Very calmly, it hopped out. Our second adventure was with a tiny, sparrow-like bird (sparrows used to be the only birds I could stand, until we were in Honolulu eating sandwiches and these evil sparrows kept coming right into our faces trying to scare us into dropping our food. They failed, though) that hopped in our room, did a little loop from the couch to the TV, and, thanks to the stink-eye I was giving it, left.
We didn’t sit around in our hotel forever, though. We went to see an aquarium, which was very interesting but would have been more so if there would’ve been more sharks (BIG sharks, not little ones. BIG sharks), but there was this really cool exhibit with these HUGE ugly fish bigger than me, straight out of a scifi novel! And there was this kinda boring exhibit about coral, but I found out that, had I been a coral reef, I would be 160 years old (corals are measured by height, and I am 5’2”. The discovery that I haven’t grown in almost a year led to much giddiness on my part. Why? Because 5’2” is my ideal height. I don’t know why, since I can’t reach anything in Mom’s kitchen, but I just like the number).
After the aquarium, we took a short walk by the beach, and saw this epic huge tree. It was gigantic and I have no clue what it’s called (I have asked Daddy so many questions [“What did we do in Big Island? Honolulu? Wait, wait, lemme write it down so I won’t have to ask again. When was this? When was that? I don’t remember. No, I still don’t remember. I honestly have no clue—oh wait, yeah, now I remember. Thankies!”] that I’m scared to ask the species of this tree), but it was gigantic and Ioan and I went to climb on it. Then Ioan said there were fire ants on one of the branches, and M&D said we should get going, and the issue of getting down started. Maria once compared me to a cat, “She does what she wants, when she wants, if she wants,” but what she forgot to mention was that I love to get up in trees. So long as the fire department is ready to get me down. “Oh mister fireman, sir, I need you to get my kitty out of a tree!” “Sure, no problem! ...that’s no kitty, that’s a little girl!” “Yupp, my sister Kitty.”
Oh, the shame of it.
While we were off adventuring, Maria was at the Apple Store updating her computer. Just as we got back, though, they finished this workshop that taught you how to use Final Cut Pro, a movie editing program which looks much more complicated than iMovie, but that’s probably because you can do so much more with it. I have no clue at all about it, but apparently they have workshops at all Apple Stores, so I have found my latest obsession.
The next day we did quite a bit of stressing, which, as I recall, involved a long, long, long walk with heavy backpacks to a hotel, lots wrong directions and mess-ups on my darling father’s part, reaching the Marina Hotel, dumping our stuff in our room and going to Pearl Harbor.
Ha! I remembered that without Daddy, because he forgot to tell me it when I was writing my list of what happened!
...Seriously, you have no clue how proud I am right now. My memory is so lovely I can totally remember Camp 2010 (the sweeter parts; I have such a vague recollection of the nastier bits) but need so much help in remembering five minutes ago. I think I’m a bit young for Alzheimer’s, though, don’t you?
At Pearl Harbor, we had to leave our little rucksacks with important things like water and… water… at a special locker, where we found lots of rubber bands on the ground. Ioan collect quite a number of them and tied them up together to form a really long chain. Then we saw a 23-minute movie about Pearl Harbor and WW2 (which is one of my favorite topics in history, but I never quite understood it. This is embarrassing, because I reread those bits a lot), which explained that Japan wanted to invade a small territory in Asia that belonged to the US, so they decided to attack Pearl Harbor, where all of America’s warships were docked so that they could safely invade and not have to worry about the US. Until, of course, America did the inconceivable and joined the war.
After the movie, we went to a memorial and saw the names of all the fallen. It was on a huge wall with names all over it, and then at the bottom, there was a smaller block of concrete with the names of the survivors that died of natural causes. The most recently deceased was in 2011, but I forgot his name.
We practically ran out of Pearl Harbor to get to the mall in time to see Mirror Mirror, which had been released that day. It’s a version of Snow White with Lily Collins in it. Most of the time I wondered how on earth she could live with such gigantic eyebrows. They were literally huge eyebrows. They had, of course, form, but they were gigantic! It was ridiculous!*
*I’m only reacting so strongly because I am addicted to, among other things, my tweezers. No-one really understands why I like such thin eyebrows—before we left they would literally grimace at how thin they were, but now they’re more or less “normal”. I’m assuming they’d be happier if I let my eyebrows grow out and throw out the tweezers, but the only way this is happening if they mysteriously find their way into the ocean.
Mirror Mirror was a nice movie that I only watched for three reasons: Julia Roberts, the puppy love scene, and dwarf actors.
I mean, it was a nice movie, with lots of funny lines and scenes (most of which either involved the dwarves or were about them), finishing off with the only song in the movie, a song and dance that were straight out of a Bollywood film. It was nice, but would I watch it again? Yes. Because I yearn for the nectar of her skin! This was one of the funny lines which was, surprise surprise, said in the vicinity of the seven dwarves. But I would totally skip the mannequin scene with the same fervor my mom skips violent scenes in movies. Because, while Mom has issues with blood and gore, I have issues with messed-up creepy things, like the Other Mother from Coraline. After watching it [twice, for some odd, masochistic reason], I could not stand the dark for months. Months, I tell you. And seeing a mannequin giggle its ugly, deep giggle with a creepy smiley face made of two tomatoes and a splash of gravy as it was going in for the kill is definitely, deeply situated in the messed-up creepy things that made Disney’s Anastasia impossible for me to watch until the ancient age of 14.
Okay, so I’ve written quite a bit now, so I’ll wrap up. Yadda yadda yadda, got to airport, went on long, boring flight, slept, slept, slept, stared, stared, stared, iTouch, slept, stared, more staring, got in taxi, reached home, lots of books, yay! so happy! realized FRIENDS is too much bother to find in Australia, watched old documentary about the slaughter of dolphins, went to bed really fast.
The End.

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