Don’t we all have stupid little things our Mother’s used to say? My Mother said that.
Kick it up a notch!
After the plane flight from Hell to Hawaii, I was relatively certain that I wanted to take a different route home. An upgrade to first class was $150. There would be no crying children for $150. There would be leg room. There would be elbow room. I would be able to reach down and actually pick up my laptop bag and remove what I wanted for $150. Really, it was $30 per hour. Actually less since the earphones, snacks and first two cocktails were free. So really, around $119 for the upgrade, around $20 per hour…it was totally worth it.
Ok, it’s a little radical, but when you’re staying on the West end of Oahu, that’s where the Hawaiians live. And they’ve got something to say. Currently there are two bills in front of the Hawaiian legislature. The Akaka Bill and Kanaka bill. The Akaka bill would make the Native Hawaiian people somewhat like the Native American (Indian) nations. Of course, Hawaiians are Native Americans and we could go around in circles for a long time on that one. The Kanaka bill has to do with reclaiming the sovereign nation, reinstating their political authority. They want their land back. They have bumper stickers that say Hawaiian culture is not for sale. I concur. On the West end you can feel the simmering under the surface. It feels like it could blow at any point. There are (according to a radio report yesterday) 920 homeless Hawaiians living on the beaches in West Oahu. Originally I thought, let’s get some housing and services and jobs down here. Then I watched some of them fishing one evening. And some more the next morning. And I saw a woman leave for work in her scrubs, obviously heading to the Waianae hospital that was across the street. Then I thought, is there a more pure way of living? I’m sure the emcampment has some problems, but the weather is generally mild enough that living on the beach is possible. The fish are good down there so living off of the land is possible. I just felt like there was a certain spirituality in some of the encampments that I wasn’t expecting. Would these folks prefer housing? I would think so, but there was something very pure going on down there on that beach.
Many of them have been displaced by the rising cost of real estate, which is a direct result of the tourism trade. I’m sure there’s been some hinky practices, not unlike the sub-prime hinkiness that’s gone on around here. The depth and complexity of the issue is staggering. I know a lot of the land is owned by our government, part of military installations. Some of those facilities are now closed and it seems to me that they should be returned to the Hawaiian nation. I know it’s not that simple, but it shouldn’t go to Dole or Trump or Starwood or Marriott or Hilton. Just saying.
Speaking of natives…
Native to the Makaha Valley, and really the whole freaking island are tons of critters. Critters we don’t see over here. Like mongoose. Imagine that? I saw a mongoose. And the cardinals are different with little red heads. They have light brown heads when their juveniles. Then the brown turns to bright red. Photojournalism to follow. There is a peacock family living at the Makaha Golf Club. Photojournalism to follow. Last night, I decided to go to bed a little early so I could get up at 5am and take this plane home. As I have gotten older, and our country has gotten stupider, I have become terrified of flying. In my mind the ball could be dropped with the engineer at Lockheed who made a mistake, the mechanic who didn’t do his job, the corporate wanker who decided to not follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on service to save money (remember the jackscrew?) the TSA guy who’s not paying attention, the clown that needs to make a name for himself, the list is really endless. I try to keep myself so busy that I don’t remember that I’m getting on a plane. It worked on the way out, but on the way home, I had time to think about all that could go wrong. So when I laid down last night and the curtains rustled and I heard a chirp chirp chirp going on back there, I was certain that a bird had flown into my room. I don’t mind birds, I mind them in the house. It’s one of those silly superstitions, and to me, it means impending death. Terrifying if you’re planning on getting on a plane across the big water the next day. I couldn’t function so I called the front desk and asked for the maintenance guys to come help. Somehow, if the bird didn’t actually fly around the room, my plane might make it home safely. If the bird flew around the room, I was changing rooms, and staying for three more days while I wrote my will and put my house back into my trust, made arrangements for Beauregard and gave my brother the secret code words to get into everything, because I was certainly not going to live through the plane ride home. I opened the sliding glass window and looked tentatively for the bird but found none. The maintenance guys arrive and shake the curtains, which shakes my very soul. Dammit boys! Don’t you know that I’ll die if that bird flies around the room? But after vigorous shaking, nothing emerges from the curtains. There is no bird lurking in the cathedral ceilings of the room. Yeah, I’m a dumb girl and you boys can go back to shooting dice under a banyan tree. They leave, I close up the room and go back to bed and Chirp Chirp! I can’t call them back. I can only call ATA and change my reservations. My heart is ready to jump out of my chest. I turn on all of the lights and open the window again. As I get back into bed, certain of my impending demise, I see a gecko scurry along the rail. It’s not a bird at all, it’s a gecko! My plane will be safe, I will be safe and we can all go home. I leave the light on beside the bed, because I know he’s as scared as I’ve been. I also know he keeps the spiders out of my room and I know that’s a good thing.