This morning I wake up at 7AM, having slept only 5 hours and cannot go back to sleep. I make myself a bowl of cereal and get ready for a beach day. I put on my new sunscreen/tanning lotion (with SPF protection) and walk down to the beach. I walk past the tennis court and take a right onto a sandy path. The path continues for a while past gated houses and through the clearing of palm trees the entire beach opens up. I can hear and feel the wind all over and it doesn’t feel so hot here close to the water. I set out my beach mat and my Red Sox towel on top and lay out for a while. After I wake up from a little nap I observe the beach around me. There are joggers, quite a few couples walking their dogs, and a few kids surfing and playing games in the water. I am watching the waves crash against the shore and I notice something moving all over the beach. There are crabs scuttling back and forth all over the place! I snap a picture and go to stand by the waves myself.
I stand with my feet at the edge of the water line so that I can feel the waves as they come in and go out, and I slowly sink into the sand. If I could see across the ocean I would notice the Boston coastline in the distance. At around noon I walk back to my room. I make garlic parmesan risotto for myself and start organizing some of my research for the TIPIT program. I also decide to change my last hostel. The reviews of the hostel I had planned to stay at in Haleiwa are very bad, complaining of bed bugs, cockroaches and bad service. I decide to return to Waikiki instead for the final few days and stay at a hostel that I know is good.
At 4PM Auntie Annie, Amanda’s aunt, and her daughter, Ellie pick me up and take me to the Farmer’s Market by the Kailua Public Library. Both Auntie Annie and Ellie are incredibly welcoming and show me around the market, explaining some of the fruits to me. Auntie Annie tells me how to cut a papaya and I buy two for later in the week. We look at some of the jewelry and I end up buying little turtle earrings. They are made from the bones of a water buffalo that died of natural causes so they are recycled from something natural.
Next we drive to the mall to get dinner. I tell Auntie Annie that I’ve been looking forward to trying out some sushi and her and Ellie take me to a very tasty sushi place in the mall. I try squid, egg, ahi and shrimp sushi and Auntie Annie also lets me try some of her sushi (radish and cucumber). After dinner we go to Hot Topic to return a t-shirt and end up buying some other things there too because of a special discount. Auntie Annie buys me some hair bows and a button. I thank her again and she suggests that we go to Whole Foods so that I can stock up on gluten-free things.
Whole Foods is incredible. There are entire gluten-free walls and I get lots of food that will certainly last me the next week here. Auntie Annie tells me about how each big business in Hawaii has a Hawaiian priest bless the spot when it is opened. “This is a very superstitious community,” she says. Despite that, most Hawaiians do not celebrate Halloween. I guess that is because there really aren’t pagan roots here to found Halloween. Auntie Annie also points out that many neighborhoods are not set up for trick or treating.
As we walk back to the car I remember something I have been meaning to ask. “So, is there a fine here for jay walking?” The first few days I had been jaywalking, as we do in Boston, and I quickly noticed that I was the only one. A couple days ago I noticed a sign that said “Jay Walkers will be fined $120.” When I ask Auntie Annie about it she tells me that, not only is that indeed a law, but it is enforced. “They actually will fine you,” she says. She tells me that when she came back to Hawaii a couple of years ago she did the same as me until someone told her about the law. Apparently there were some pedestrian deaths a few years before and now these laws have to be enforced. I certainly won’t be jaywalking anymore.