And the sultry Hawaiian air wraps its arms around you like a lonely lover....
Oahu Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
My dad picked me up about 5am. We swung by Christian's and headed to LAX. At that time of the morning there was hardly any traffic so it was still dark when we pulled up to the American Airlines terminal. I said goodbye to my pops (he's alright, that old man) and we checked in pretty quick on those pesky automatic check-in machines. It's funny, they actually become a little less of a pain-in-the-ass the more you get used to them.
We were pretty early so we hit up the bar and I ordered a bloody mary. Chris ordered coffee and an american breakfast. I finished half my drink and asked the bartender to add another shot into the mix for me, so by the time we boarded the plane I had a little buzz going on. You'd think that, plus the god-awful hour which we were leaving would've sent me to sleep for at least half the flight.
We landed and walked into the world's greatest terminal. The windows were open and the warm Hawaiian air was flowing freely through the airport. The scent of some strange tropical flower wafted somewhere beyond our reckoning but lended to the calm settling in my mind. We headed to the baggage claim and looked at picture after picture of student art hanging on the wall. Messages like "Aloha means Love," "Equality is Attainable" and "Unlearn Hate" surrounded us and we knew we were in a very different place than home.
And the sultry Hawaiian air wrapped its arms around me like a lonely lover saying... Why has it taken you this long to come home? Wow. I had to sit down.
I called up Terumi. Terumi was Dustin's fiance and she had left a message on my voicemail over the weekend that she would pick us up from the airport when we arrived. At least, I think that's what she said... because Terumi left the message in Japanese. I can speak decent Japanese, but I mean, it's been almost two years since I lived there so I've gone a bit rusty. In any case, I called her up. Fortunately she spoke as much English as I did Japanese and I understood her enough to hear that she COULD pick us up and that she would be there in ten minutes.
I saw that Terumi had two girls in the car with her as she pulled up to the curb outside the airport.
We made small talk on the way to the apartment. A lot of it was in Japanese and I felt a little sorry for Chris, but he was happy as a cat on your newspaper. I started talking to Sophiya, the more outgoing of the two sisters, in Japanese until finally Terumi told me that she was Korean and didn't have a clue what I saying.
We pulled into the underground parking garage of a huge 40 story high rise. I had a totally different impression of where I thought they lived. Seeing the high rise looming over us, it dawned on me that it was probably going to be a tight squeeze with so many people staying there until the wedding. Whatevs tho, a slumber party in Hawaii sounded like fun times indeed. We parked and as we were walking out of the parking garage I noticed a rack along the wall like you might see for tying up bicycles, except this rack was only for surfboards. Surfboard parking!
We got in and Terumi gave me Dustin's key in case we wanted to go out.
BANG BANG BANG
"What the fuck you guys! Let me in!"
I awoke with a start, hot and sweaty and drunk with a midday nap. I looked at my watch. It was well after 4.
I opened the door and Dustin stormed in. "I've been calling you for the last 15 minutes! I had to wait for someone to come in downstairs.
"Yeah," I said and blinked a few times. He clapped me on the shoulder then and that award winning smile came back to his face. Christian was just waking up. We grabbed another beer from the fridge and caught up until the girls finally came back.
The three of us jumped in the car and Dustin gave a little tour around Honolulu. He took us to a place called Kua Aina Burgers and I had the most amazing 1/2 pound pineapple burger ever. We dropped off the car at Dustin's place and walked to a little bar around the corner called the Irish Rose. On the wall was a digital countdown timer ticking away the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Saint Patty's Day.
We walked home along Kalakua Street good and drunk. We passed a statue of a hula goddess and I sidled up to her and asked her to be my girlfriend. The look of love came into her eyes, so I cozied into her lap and let her hold me. But the boys wanted to get home, so I took my leave of her and promised to return. It rained on us the entire way back to Dustin's apartment.