Friday, 7 May 2010

Mahalo Hawai'i

Monday, 3 May 2010

Hmm Hawaii

Well we went out for food lastnight, and as it wasnt raining it was a pleasant evening.

A stroll around the more pricey area was nicer. High end fashion stores, Fendi, Prada, Louis etc so i guess a nicer crowd. The streets were lit beautifully with fairy lights in the palms and fire torches outside hotels and restaurants. The market was quaint and all the street sellers and statue people were cool, if not a bit old hat. So Hawaii has redeemed itself here a little bit for me (bar someone lying in a pool of blood outside our restaurant!?)

The restaurant was odd. I think its american service maybe? But it can only be described as being like a Franky & Bennys or TGI Fridays we have in the uk but trying to be nicer. There was an underlying conflict for me here. Like how the waiter pleasantly went into a lot of animated detail about the workings of the menu, but this was redundant for me as all i could see was a list of burgers, chips and pizzas?!

Why be so formal when we get limp paper napkins for coasters and mcdonald style straws in paper packets for our drinks?

But then again maybe im just not used to decent waiting staff when im ordering a bbq burger or pizza? So possibley its shame on you UK branches of american diners, take not of the yanks...even KFC's Colonel Sanders wears a suit.

Aloha Hawaii

Ok, so i have come to the conclusion that i dont like arriving in new places. You dont know where anything is, you dont understand anyone and you dont know how much anything costs even if you could get there. Oh and theres that whole rigmarole of customs and queueing when all you want to do is crash out in a nice bed as soon as possible.

Leaving places is better in a weird way; youve had a good time and are taking some reat experiences away with you and theres an excited trepidation about your new destination and of course, flying on planes is fun :-)

What makes arriving even worse? Rain. I hate rain, especially when youre expecting a sunny hot paradise! This is what we got in Fiji and this is what we have in Hawaii. Its not a glaring hot paradise like Lost or the usual american films with smiley 'Alohas', grass skirts and sunbathing on long sandy beaches. Its a dreary, raining throwback to 70's high rise holidays with miserable people.
We waited 5 hours in the crappy communal area at the hostel to be checked in to out bed bug riddled room; which you had to get to by walking through someone elses room first!
No wonder they have the biggest crystal meth problem, theres nothing else to do apart from surf and get so shit faced you dont realise youre not actually in the 70's anymore (and in actual fact youre an old man with a dirty pony tail and shit floral shirt....get a job you bum)

Suffice to say I havent been impressed so far! But we have a tour booked today and have checked into a nicer place instead so im holding out before i completely give up on Hawaii...

Come on Kava!

We took part in a 'traditional' Kava ceremony. I say 'traditional' because im sure it could have been more authentic but the whole thing is obviously a lot less formal usually and is probably more of a regular, diluted, recreational activity for Fijians.

Kava is a root that is dried and crushed. The resulting powder is mixed with fresh water in a bowl that is then drunk.

A definition of what Kava does lists these effects:
• Relaxes muscles
• Calms nerves
• Creates a general feeling of well-being
• Induces a feeling of peace, relaxation and contentment
• Enhances mental alertness and concentration
• Has historical use as an herbal aphrodisiac
• Reduces inhibitions and makes people more sociable

I took the drink in my stride and to be honest didnt get the hype. I wasnt so pahsed by the numbin effect and was maybe a little dissapointed i didnt get as grand effects as i was expecting, but it was enjoyable none the less.

Traditionally they do the ceremony then tell Fijian stories and enjoy songs; a real taste of culture huh. Our guys got wasted, told us a dirty joke then we all sang Old Mcdonald Had a Farm.

Id like to try Kava again or maybe i can just drink everyone under the table when it comes to Kava ;-)Word did get back to us, actually, from a girl we met that wasnt at the ceremony that she had heard the next morning of 'an englishman who managed to drink loads of Kava' ;-)

Water Baby

*news flash*
those who know me know that i dont swim. never have never will, i dont float - i sink and id rather fall off a bridge onto cold concrete than into warm water.
But the other day i swam! i can only do breast stroke and back strooke but hey, atleast im moving through the water huh. Then the next thing i did was don some scuba gear and  took a pool dive. Could have gone better if the guy hadnt put so much air on my jacket but was none the less.

And, just to keep that ball rolling, i went snorkelling for a few hours the next day (and several subsequent days too) - saw so many fish; shoals of them, so many blue star fish, maybe a crayfish or something, a pipe fish, possibly a lion fish though it could have been dead, cat fish and lots of other big colourful ones i have no clue about.

 Im now pestering Amy to play with me in the pool and time how long i can pretend to be dead floating on the water, holding my breath. so far my personal best is holding it for 1minute 15 secs. il get to 2 mins soon!

Our First Night

So its been quite eventful here. On our first night we sat down for a quick one in the bar before dinner and took our places in the corner for a nice view of the sea and the bar for a bit of people watching. To see who we were stuck with for the week ;-)
In another corner were two guys on guitars singing light acoustic songs in the background for the ambience of the room which was nice. As you'd expect they strummed out indescribeable fijian-esque songs and takes on western ballads. Until they broke into an interesting rendition of Inner Circles - Girl im gonna make you sweat 
At one point they were joined by a girl who made her way over to them and sat, not a respectable audience member sort of distance but, right infront of them at their same table. She sat there, head down, eyes closed bobbing slowly enjoyin the music in that way that you see people do when maybe theyre too drunk to dance anymore or the way hippies sway entranced in old clips from 60's festivals.
She then started tapping on the table lightly. We presumed her pseudo bongo playing was a sign that she was either with the band or an appreciative musician.
We were wrong. She was just drunk. How did we know? They gave her a bongo and a shaker and she ruined their songs with retarded non sensical slapping and banging. Even a cheesey fijian acoustic cover of a western pop song can be raped with a single ill timed slap of a bongo.

Later we had to play games in the bar which included the good old passin of a tennis ball down a line only using your neck. One old guy got a good eyeful of boobage as he had to go retrieve his ball a few times. We also had to be blind folded and blindly identify our partners; thankfully both amy and myself got it right! that may have been awkward! Some good recollection of shoes was put to use here!

I Love Fiji

Sorry, no audio here. (Its was Travis McCoy & Bruno Mars - Billionaire) But as you can see, we did enjoy Fiji in the end! After a relaxing and great time at Amunuca Resort