HAWAII - JULY 1999
In July of 1999, I spent twelve days in Hawaii, attending a Workshop for the Development of Intercultural Coursework at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and sightseeing, including a weekend of sightseeing with a friend on Kauai. This journal described what I experienced and learned in the form of a daily diary that I sent by emails.
TUESDAY JULY 13
Greetings from the library at the University of Hawaii! I had a few minutes to check my email before our first meeting. The time zone here is 3 hours earlier than LA.
My hotel is in the Waikiki district (the big tourist beach area), about three blocks from the beach. My hotel room has a kitchenette at no extra charge. There are a couple of convenience stores across the street -- so that should make breakfast a lot simpler. Also across the street is a Chinese restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, a Jack in the Box, and a Subway. That mixture is typical of Hawaii (as well as LA).
In addition, there is a disco!! Half a block from the hotel is an International Market with an International Food Court, similar to the Farmer's Market in LA but smaller. So with a bed, food, and a disco nearby, I have the essentials!!
What I have seen of Honolulu so far are hotels, apartments, and stores up to 10 stories high, which look like they were built in the 1950s. Perhaps there is more impressive architecture elsewhere in the city. But half a mile away are beautiful "mountains" (only up to 3000 feet high), very green with clouds hovering on top. They remind me of the mountains in Japan.
I read the AAA guidebook about Oahu on the airplane, and learned that there are a couple of famous volcano craters in Honolulu. There are quite a few things that I want to see on Oahu, including three museums.
The reception for the Workshop at the University was at 3. Only half of the workshop participants had arrived, since the workshop begins today. But I was able to meet colleagues from Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, Hawaii, and elsewhere in the U.S. I picked up the registration materials, and learned that I won't have as much free time as I thought. We have sessions scheduled from 9 AM to 4 PM every day, except on the weekend. That may make it difficult to see the museums I want to see, but for other sightseeing it is light until 8 PM.
I also got a parking pass for the university, to go with my parking pass for the hotel. It will be convenient not to have to worry about parking. By renting the car in a package through the hotel, I save $100 on the car rental. It is a compact car, a Ford Escort, but like the Chevy Cavalier it surprisingly has enough head room for me.
After the reception, I explored the Campus Center and bought my brother a birthday card. I found the campus post office, but the mail didn't go out until the next day, so I asked a student for directions to the nearest city post office. It was located under a freeway, just like the supermarket we shopped at in Denmark.
I wanted a view of the city, so I drove up to the Punchbowl which overlooks downtown Honolulu. It is the crater of an old volcano, which has become a cemetery for veterans, the National Cemetery of the Pacific. I drove further up the mountainside behind the Punchbowl on Tantalus drive, stopping along the way to take pictures of glimpses of the city. It was like driving through a rain forest, with beautiful trees, vines, and moss.
At the very top of the winding road is Puu Ualakaa State Park, on a ridge that juts out towards the city. Out on a catwalk there is a circular view of all of Honolulu. It is spectacular, with Pearl Harbor on the right, downtown straight ahead, and Waikiki on the near left. Dominating the landscape on the far left is Diamondhead, the giant rim of a huge ancient volcano. It was almost sunset, so the light was changing on the buildings downtown, and it was cloudy so the sun was peaking with spectacular rays.
It started raining, then quickly stopped. In fact it had been raining off and on all afternoon. By the time I would get my raincoat out of my backback and put it on, the rain would stop, so I've learned not to bother.
I wanted to check out the disco across the street, but when I dropped by when they opened at 8, they said that the crowd wouldn't arrive until 10:30. So walked around the neighborhood, bought some food to eat in the morning for breakfast, and went back to my hotel. I lay down to rest for a minute, and fell asleep about 10:00, which was 1:00 LA time. I hadn't slept much the night before, because I was so excited about the trip.
WEDNESDAY JULY 14
There was a beautiful rainbow out my hotel window, as I was typing yesterday's diary on the laptop computer I borrowed from the college. I'll email it on campus later today. I woke up early because I haven't adjusted to the 3-hour time zone change.
Today I met the rest of the workshop participants. The countries represented have expanded to include Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, The Philippines, Germany, Slovenia, Russia, and Columbia, as well as Hawaii and various places on the US mainland. While most are professors, some are graduate students at the University of Hawaii who also come from all over the world. One of the participants I had previously met, along with the workshop organizers, at the International Association for Cross Cultural Psychology convention in Bellingham last August.
Some of them have very interesting cultural backgrounds. The man from Malaysia is of Chinese ancestry, but went to Japan for graduate school, and has been teaching there ever since. The woman from Malaysia married a Japanese man and now lives in Japan as well. The woman from Russia grew up in Siberia, the stereotypically least desirable place in the world, and now lives in Hawaii, the stereotypically most desirable place. The woman from Columbia considers herself a Latina, since she is from Latin America and speaks Spanish. But since she is Black, she looks African American. But she doesn't have the speech of African Americans, so people don't know how to categorize her and therefore don't know what stereotypes to apply.
The first workshop session involved our introducing ourselves, then meeting in small groups to discuss how introductions can be used to introduce cross-cultural topics. The other three sessions were led by Harry Triandis, who discussed problems in defining culture; he is a leading authority on the topic and the sessions were great.
After eating lunch with other workshop participants in the Student Center, I went back to the building where our workshop is being held, and ran into two students from Whittier College! One is my advisee. They are attending summer school here.
After the last workshop session I spent time in the library answering some emails, then went to a small restaurant that offered traditional Hawaiian food. I had roast pig, raw salmon in lemon juice with tomatoes and onions, beef jerky, and poi. It was the same meal that the Hawaiian Islanders Club serves at their annual Luau at Whitter College.
I then walked along the beach at Waikiki, which was lined with luxury hotels 20 stories high. Every hotel had an outdoor restaurant. Some had spotlights shining on the ocean, where a few people were still swimming. But next to some swimmers there were two people fishing -- not a pleasant thought to get a fishhook caught in you while you are swimming.
The tourist shops in Waikiki reminded me a lot of those in Tokyo, and some of the signs were in Japanese. There were many Asian faces, and some were speaking Japanese, so I was startled for a minute when I overhead some speaking English! I found an Aloha shirt that I liked. Instead of just big flowers, it also has some petroglyphs (drawings found on rocks). I had read in a guidebook that there were petroglyphs here too; I had been fascinated by them in Utah and New Mexico.
I went to the disco Scruples across the street from my hotel. Even though it was 10:30, there were only a dozen people in the club and no one was dancing. So I walked back toward the beach to a club I had seen people enter earlier in the evening; it was called The Cellar. There were about 60 people in the club, but only one couple was dancing. The music was great, so I got out and danced too. Immediately others got on the dance floor, and within a few minutes 30 people were dancing. Most people don't want to be the only ones on the dance floor -- but I get impatient!
After a while a young woman came up to me and asked me if I went to Stixx. A few minutes later a guy came up and told me he had seen me at Stixx. Stixx is a dance club in Whittier that I have been going to on Friday nights for the past three months. It turns out that there were three people besides me who were from Whittier, and all of us had gone there independently! The world keeps getting smaller!
I was getting tired at 1:00, which was 4:00 LA time, so I went back to the hotel to sleep. By then more than half of the crowd had left. I'm using to dancing until 1:30 AM in LA; the clubs there close then because they have to stop serving liquor then. I woke up this morning with a sinus headache -- probably from the tobacco smoke. In Calilfornia smoking is no longer allowed in bars, so I'm now surprised when people light up on the dance floor elsewhere.
THURSDAY JULY 15
On Thursday July 15, the Workshop sessions were on how to study cultures. The sessions were excellent. I had forgotten to mention in my list of countries represented at the Workshop, that the primary organizer was from Nepal. During lunch, a group of us discussed cross-cultural comparisons of dating and marriage. In Japan there still are some arranged marriages, but few restrictions on dating. In Korea, dating is very conservative. We also compared dating in the US a generation ago with the less formal interactions today.
In the late afternoon, I did a walking tour of Old Chinatown. Chinese were originally brought to Hawaii to work on the sugar plantations in the mid-1800s. Some later opened shops in Chinatown. Other Asian groups followed and opened shops there too. The heydey of the area was in the 1930s when they catered to cruise ships that brought tourists to Hawaii before commercial airlines. In the 1940s, the area catered to military men; there still are a few adult-oriented businesses there. Most of the Asian businessmen moved to other parts of the city, but a few Asian shops remain. To revitalize the area, a new mall has been built. There also is an interesting Japanese Shinto temple, and a Buddhist temple. There were many elderly men playing checkers and other board games on tables on the sidewalk.
I drove to another area east of downtown for dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant. I had sushi (raw fish or seafood served on a small mound of rice) and broiled eel. I developed an appreciation of sushi in Japan, and eel in China.
I went to The Cellar dance club since I had enjoyed it the night before. But no one was there at 10 PM. So I walked around Waikiki and found a puka shell necklace that I liked (made of flat circular shells that are usually white); they are very popular here. I also checked out the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, as my brother-in-law had recommended. The lobby is quite impressive, but the Hawaiian music group was taking a break when I was there. The hotel lobbies in Waikiki don't have any doors or even walls at their entrances -- the weather is about 75-85 degrees in the daytime and about 68 degrees at night right now, and it's warm all winter too.
I returned to the Cellar at 11 PM, but still there was no one there. I was quite disappointed. So I drove across town on Ala Moana to Restaurant Row. That's a modern mall (similar to City Walk at Universal Studios in LA) with restaurants and two dance clubs. Both clubs had long lines, so I decided to come back on Friday night. I drove to west Waikiki, to check out The Wave. It had a small crowd, so I went around the corner to Evolution (formerly known as Rendevous) and it was a lot of fun to dance there.
FRIDAY JUNE 16
On Friday July 16, the workshop sessions were on culture and communication. We talked about different communication styles, as well as cross-cultural differences in non-verbal behavior. Some cultures (like American) are very direct; but in others (like Japan) the communication is subtle and indirect -- the listener is supposed to read between the lines based on the context.
For lunch I went to a Korean restaurant with a husband and wife from Korea who are both graduate students at the University of Hawaii. A professor from Malaysia who teaches in Japan joined us too.
For dinner the Workshop organizers had arranged for a "Local Style" dinner on campus. Here when they say someone or something is Hawaiian, they usually mean Native Hawaiian from Polynesian ancestry. They use the term Local Style to refer to local foods, which are a mixture of Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and Mainland dishes. The food was very good. Then one of the organizers played the ukulele and sang some songs. But the songs weren't Hawaiian -- they were union organizers' songs he had learned as a youth! And the ukulele wasn't Polynesian -- it was introduced by the Portuguese who were brought here to be managers of the plantations!
I went back to my hotel to change from shorts to long pants. The dance clubs in Waikiki allow shorts since they cater to tourists; but those downtown have a dress code like clubs in LA. I drove to Restaurant Row, and went to Ocean Club since Mystique wasn't open yet. Ocean Club has a lower age limit of 23 (which is unusual since most clubs have either 18 or 21). This meant that the crowd tended to be older -- most around 30 instead of 21. It also meant that most were sitting around drinking instead of dancing. And the music tended to be older too. But it was okay dancing there from 9:30-11:30. Then I went to Mystique, which was going strong by then. It has 18 as the minimum age, which means that a higher proportion of people were dancing, and the music was newer and livelier too. So I danced there for another two hours and it was fun.
SATURDAY JUNE 17
Today I took a noon flight from Honolulu to Kauai, which is known as the "garden isle." I was invited there by a friend who is working this month at a hospital there. He had rented a car so he could show me around the island. We had lunch at a "local style" restaurant, where I ordered a seafood platter which was excellent -- everything was so fresh. We then went to the Kauai museum in Lihue. It had a video showing the island from a helicopter, and interesting exhibits on the migration of Polynesians to Tahiti and then to Hawaii, the development of plantations on the island, and the immigration of various European and Asian groups to work on the plantations.
When the museum closed, we drove up the east side of the island. We stopped at Wailua Falls. In ancient times, Hawaiian chiefs would dive over the cliff into the pool to prove their courage. The 80-foot falls were shown during the opening credits of the television show Fantasy Island.
We then stopped at the ruins of Poli'ahu Heiau. A Heiau is described as a place where priests conducted rituals -- actually the rituals were human sacrifices. People who broke the kapu (taboos) were executed. Nearby was Opaekka Falls, which was small but picturesque.
We passed a number of beaches and beach resorts on the right, and beautiful lush green mountains on the left. We kept stopping the car to take pictures of the mountains, which were so impressive. They reminded me of mountains in Japan -- but there it was hard to take good pictures of the mountains from a moving train. We stopped at a beach to watch the sunset.
We then drove back to Lihue and had dinner at a Thai restaurant. I had red curry which is one of my favorite Thai dishes. Then we went to a brew pub overlooking the ocean for a beer. We sat on the verandah to see the view, but we were eaten alive by mosquitoes. Finally, we went to a dance club called Gilligan's, which was located in one of the resort hotels. We danced there until 2 AM.
SUNDAY JULY 18
Today I was awakened by a rooster crowing at 5 AM and again at 7 AM. Fortunately I was able to go back to sleep both times. For a long time there were rare chickens on the island which were illegal to kill. Then during the hurricane in 1991, domestic chickens escaped, and interbred with the other chickens. Now there are chickens all over the island. You see them on the parking lots of tourist attractions. There also are some among the banana trees and papaya trees behind Hay's apartment.
After breakfast at another "local style" restaurant, we explored the western side of the island. We stopped at the ruins of Prince Kuhio's birthplace; he served in the Congress in the early part of this century. There we saw some cactus plants! The eastern side of the island includes a spot that has the most rainfall on earth; but the western side has little rainfall.
Nearby was the Spouting Horn, where the tide enters a tunnel and shoots up out of a hole. It's similar to the Blow Hole in Ensenada, but not as large and dramatic. I found a cool T-shirt there with Hawaiian hieroglyphics.
We stopped at a fruit stand and bought a variety of Hawaiian fruits. These are all exported to the Mainland, but they are better when they are fresh and ripe. I had a coconut in the shell which was young and had thin soft flesh instead of the chewy flesh you usually get. This served as lunch since we had a large late breakfast.
At Waimea, we turned north to enter the rugged interior of the island. We drove up a ridge which offered spectacular views of Wimea Canyon, which is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. While it is smaller than the Grand Canyon, it is extremely beautiful. It not only has the various layers of exposed rock, with multiple colors, it also has many shades of green in the canyons and on the mountainsides. The views were breathtaking! We stopped at the Canyon Outlook and the Puuhinahina View Point.
Further north we stopped at the Kokee Natural History Museum. I found a great book on the Ancient Hawaiians, and we walked on a short nature trail. We then drove to the northernmost viewpoint, Kalalau Lookout. There we found mountains with finger-ridges on the front extending from 4000 feet high down to the sea. The view was incredible.
On our way back we stopped near Waimea to see Fort Elizabeth. This was a fort built by Russians about 1820, to support their trade route between Alaska and the Far East. But the Russians were there for less than 20 years.
Not far from the fort is the place where Captain James Cook first set foot in Hawaii, and was later killed. Initially the natives were very hospitable, thinking Cook and his men were gods. But they soon grew tired of the sailors' behavior and diseases. The natives liked the metal nails traded to them, and wanted more, so they stole a boat and burned it to get the nails. Cook's men then went ashore to kidnap the chief, and in the ensuing scuffle Cook was killed.
We drove part way up the east side of the island to go to a Japanese restaurant, but it was closed. So we went to another Thai restaurant in Kapaa, where I had some great tiger prawns.
I then flew back to Honolulu, very impressed with the scenery all over the island of Kauai. Instead of going out dancing, I unpacked my daypack and organized my notebooks for the workshop in the morning, then typed up the adventures of the past four days on the laptop computer that I had borrowed from the university for this trip.
MONDAY JULY 19
Today the workshop sessions discussed cross-cultural differences in conceptions of leadership, techniques for studying culture, differences between individualistic culture (like the US) and collectivistic cultures (like Japan), and culture as a buffer for existential anxiety (fear of death).
At lunch, a group of us helped a participant from Japan identify examples of cultural differences that Japanese students might face while studying abroad. She wants to develop training materials to help prepare them for these differences.
After the last session of the day I quickly drove to Diamond Head. That is a huge volcanic crater at the east end of Waikiki. You can drive into the center of the crater, and then there is a trail that switches back and forth up to the top of the rim. Unfortunately the trail is supposed to take one and a half hours, but I only had 45 minutes before they locked the gate. So I quickly hiked about 3/4 of the way up before I had to turn around. From there I had a good view of the mountainsides behind the crater, even though I couldn't see the beach.
In the center of the crater there is a park, but also military vehicles and buildings for the Hawaii state Department of Defense. There are U.S. military bases all over Oahu, since Hawaii is in such a strategic location in the Pacific.
I then drove back to the University to catch up on my email since I had been gone over the weekend. I had dinner at small Indian restaurant, then went back to my hotel to drop off my backpack. I have been hesitant to leave anything in the trunk of a car since my backpack was stolen from the trunk of a rental car in Seattle. In addition, every parking lot in Honolulu has a sign saying not to leave valuables in an unattended car.
I know how easily a car can be opened after an experience last month when I went with a group of professors to see a play in Hollywood. Before the play we stopped at a restaurant to eat, and the driver left the keys in the car. While we were waiting for AAA to arrive, a guy came up and said he had a crisis and needed money. My colleague said that he was in a crisis too, since his keys were locked in the car. The other guy said that he could solve that problem; he disappeared for a moment and then returned with an opened coat hanger. He lifted the door latch, shoved in the coat hanger, and popped up the lock -- in about one minute. My colleague paid him six dollars, and both he and we were happier. But we were shocked to see how quickly and easily a locked car could be opened.
I went to check out a dance club called Rumors, but found that it was closed and wouldn't have dancing until Thursday night. On the way back to Waikiki I passed the club Evolution where I had danced last Thursday night, and saw that there were people going in. So I stopped there to dance. The music was good, but there were a number of beach balls being bounced around, which was annoying. Most were a foot in diameter, but one was three feet. It hit me in the face twice and knocked off my glasses each time, which made me mad. So I carried the ball off the dance floor and put it out of the way. I also told one of the promoters what I thought of the beach balls.
TUESDAY JULY 20
Today the workshop discussed examples of miscommunication between people of differing cultures. We also had a lively discussion of gender differences in a cross-cultural context. And we saw a film called "A Class Divided," which is about a third grade teacher who wanted her students to understand the effects of racism, right after Martin Luther King was killed. So she divided the class between those with blue eyes and those with brown eyes. The first day she said that those with brown eyes were superior, and gave them more privileges, while those with blue eyes had to wear a collar and had restrictions. The next day she told them that she had lied; the people with blue eyes were superior, and she reversed the privileges and restrictions. The students hated being in the oppressed group. The film shows her original experiment, and then a follow-up discussion with the same kids at their five-year high school reunion 14 years later. It also shows a similar training session with adults. That simple manipulation produced powerful effects with long-lasting changes in attitudes.
After the last session, I quickly drove out to Pearl Harbor. I arrived too late to take a boat ride out to the USS Arizona memorial, but I had time to look at it from the shore and buy a booklet at the gift shop before it closed. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, more than 2000 people died. Half of them were trapped in the USS Arizona which was blown up and sank. The ship is still in the water, with the men trapped inside, and the memorial floating on top.
I then drove over the mountain pass to the eastern side of Oahu. Along the way I stopped at the Pali Lookout. Mark Twain had described it as the most beautiful view in the world. There are tall mountain ridges on the far left and the far right, with small mountains and coastline straight ahead. It is incredibly beautiful. On the way up there from Honolulu I was fascinated by the clouds hovering at the top of the mountain ridges.
The site of the Pali Lookout is where the army of the first king to govern all of Hawaii defeated the soldiers defending Oahu, by pushing 400 of them over the cliff. From the lookout I drove down to the ocean on the eastern side, and drove about half way up the island along the coast. By then it was dark, so I stopped at a small grocery store and bought some Chinese steamed dumplings and sticky buns to eat. I then drove back to my hotel.
I wanted to check out the club Rumors, and thought it would only be 3 blocks away. The address was 2552, while my hotel was at 2280. But it was 10 blocks away, and when I got there there was no crowd. So I walked back to the hotel, and decided to try The Cellar, which was 6 blocks in the other direction. Fortunately there were people there, but no one was dancing yet. So I got out on the dance floor, and then immediately a couple came, and then many people; no one wants to be first! I recognized a dozen of the people at there who had been at club Evolution the night before!
WEDNESDAY JULY 21
Today the workshop had an interesting session on nationalism and another session on sources of conflict. For lunch a group of us went to a funky cafe in the YMCA across the street.
The last session ended early, so we would have some free time. So I went to the Bishop Museum. It has an interesting exhibit on cultures of the Pacific -- Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. There are artifacts from many islands, and comments about their way of life. I learned that the stone statues on Easter Island aren't mysterious at all; they are similar to smaller statues on other islands, and the culture that was there was similar to that on nearby islands too.
A group of other workshop participants had heard that I had gone to dance clubs and wanted to see what it was like. So 12 of us went to Restaurant Row and had great food at a Thai restaurant. We walked next door to Oceans dance club, but found virtually no one there. So we drove to Waikiki and went to The Cellar, where I had been last night. The crowd was small, but we had a lot of fun.
THURSDAY JULY 22
Today at the Workshop we reviewed some concepts, then talked about course syllabi and more class exercises. This afternoon we will hear about consumer behavior, and about the deaf community.
After the last session, I drove north through the center of Oahu to explore more of the island. There are mountains along the west coast and the east coast, with a plateau in the center of the island extending to the north coast. Not far from Honolulu is a huge housing complex for the military. Beyond that it is agricultural -- Dole has a huge plantation and there are coffee plantations as well.
Along the north coast are beaches that are popular for swimming. I went wading at Sunset beach, but decided not to swim since I hadn't brought a towel and didn't want to be wet driving back to Honolulu. The water was cool, and the sun was about to set. I stopped at a local style fast food counter and had fried mahi mahi -- which was very good since it was so fresh.
When I got back to Honolulu, I went to check out club Rumours, but found that it was closed. So I drove to Restaurant Row and danced at Mystique. There was a large crowd and it was a lot of fun.
FRIDAY JULY 23
Today we had a closing session, and were each given a certificate like a diploma. One of the organizers played a couple songs on his ukulele.
After saying goodbye, I quickly drove up the eastern side of the island to the Polynesian Cultural Center, an hour from Honolulu. The Center is owned by the Mormon church, and is located in the same town as Brigham Young University Hawaii. Students come to BYUH from various Polynesian islands (such as Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, the Marquesas, and Maoris from New Zealand), as well as elsewhere. Students work at the Center to pay for their school expenses, which enables them to obtain a college education.
My initial impression was negative. I asked in the gift shops where the books were, and learned that they didn't sell any (except coloring books for children). I had thought they would have some books on Polynesia. With all the gift shops, it appeared that this was primarily a commercial amusement park for entertainment, not a living museum for education.
But my attitude changed as I watched the students perform. There was a canoe (raft) parade, in which students in costumes from various Pacific islands acted out legends from their islands. Around the Center grounds were various areas representing different Pacific Islands. Each one had a dance performance or other activities. These dances and performances were great. I had a chance to chat with some of the students in costume, and was very impressed with them.
The luau dinner was sold out, but the "local style" buffet was available and it was good. In the evening there was a "spectacular night show" which was indeed spectacular. Students performed several dances from each of the Pacific islands represented. There were processions with torches, and twirling of batons with fire. I was so impressed that I bought the videotape of the show.
When I got back to Honolulu, I went to Mystique, where I had enjoyed dancing the night before. But even though it was Friday night, there was almost no one there. So I decided to check out another club, which was on the way to the airport. A student from Whittier had said it was like Pepper's, which was my favorite dance club until it closed December 31, 1998. There were some people dancing at this club, but it was not a friendly crowd. Usually people at a dance club smile and enjoy watching each other dance -- there is an emotional contagion which inspires each other to dance. But not there, which is unusual, so I danced for only a hour and then went to bed.
SATURDAY JULY 24
Today I walked down to the beach at Waikiki. I had only seen it at night before, so this was a different scene. There were dozens of upright surfboards locked in racks. There were places to rent surfboards and boogie boards, and people offering instruction in surfing for a fee. There were many surfers out in the water, but the waves were fairly tame. On some beaches on Oahu, the surf is very dangerous, and only expert surfers should go there.
On the way to the airport I stopped at the Bishop Museum to buy a couple of books on Polynesian culture that I had seen earlier. I had thought there would be more choices at the Polynesian Cultural Center but there were none. Unfortunately, it was the one day a month that the museum was free, so I had to park a couple of blocks away even though I felt rushed to get to the airport.
But I made it to the airport with plenty of time. I had requested an exit aisle so that I would have more leg room. But when I got on the plane, I found that my seat next to the window was next to a bulge in the door which contained a life raft, so it had even less legroom than other seats. But the stewardess was very nice and gave me the middle seat. During the takeoff, the man next to me and I were chatting with a steward who was temporarily sitting cross from us. He subsequently gave both of us free earphones for the movie and free alcoholic drinks.
When I arrived at the LA airport, I felt cold. The air conditioning was freezing. And when I stepped outside, I was so cold that I put on my sweatshirt. It was 68 degrees, but it had been 75-80 degrees in Hawaii around the clock.
I went to bed at 2 AM LA time, which was only 11 PM Hawaii time, and slept enough, but still felt zonked all day Sunday. It felt weird being back in LA. I always feel that way after being in another culture, and Hawaii is a different culture even though it is part of the US. After unpacking, reading mail, and relaxing all day, I went to one of my favorite dance clubs Sunday night, at Quiet Canon in Montebello. The promoters greeted me at the door (I'm on the guest list), many people greeted me inside (both regulars there and people who had previously seen me at Stixx or Pepper's), and I had a great time. I felt that I was home!