Friday, March 28, 2008

Signs, Fences, and Unstoppable Ignorance

It's 7:30, the birds are singing, and I am having coffee, Maui strawberries, and chocolate... I am also in Hawaii with my husband, who is also up.

Starting the day early like this makes for a nice long day of activity and helps to slow the vacation down, which is just what I want. Although, 4:00 a.m. yesterday was a little much. It put me to sleep at 8:45.

There are many scheduled activities associated with the wedding and many more impromptu group activities. Yesterday, we had a whale watch at 1:00, and I think about 30 people from the 42 person guest list showed up. It was a chance to meet and re-meet friends and family of Matt and Rebecca, which is a good way to ease me in. Plus, it was a big boat, and I was with Pete.

We had the morning to do whatever we liked. After breakfast and blogging, shower and sunscreen, there was not quite enough time to go to the beach, so we decided to drive up to the Iao State Monument and poke around in the mountains a little bit. By the time we got going and stopped at the natural food store, "a little bit" of time was about all we had, but it was a nice drive and a nice day and, again, see above, we are in Hawaii.

The Iao Needle, as it is known, is an "erosional remnant," which is the geologist's way of saying a "really pretty and rather spectacular natural oddity." The topography of Hawaii allows for so many different experiences, and the mountains with their sharply delineated valleys and cliffs covered with green foliage are beautiful and unlike anything I have ever seen.

I am bad in crowds, in general. People in groups tend to be stupid; I wind up feeling that we don't deserve to be ruling this planet and we are due for a well-deserved smackdown. I have decided that I need a uniform I can wear to state and federal sites which will imbue me with assumed authority. Then I can tell off idiots like the dumb f@#! wearing the Guinness shirt, stumbling around on the stones, outside the barrier in the botanical garden, wrecking a giant spiderweb, harassing a green gecko, and taking pictures with his little disposable camera. He did not deserve to be wearing a Guinness shirt. Pete said that I could even have a fake ticket book, and I could write people up, at which point I told him to stop it because he was turning me on. Had I such a uniform, it would be good for the general public, good for me, and good for Pete, later at home.

That's a different blog.

I would definitely need one of those ranger hats.

The hat can really make the outfit, sometimes.

I was watching that moron, stumbling around on the rocks when we were on the way back down from the needle. I was already in a foul mood from the dumbassity of humans, so I was wishing he would break his ankle, or that the spiders that were on him we poisonous, or that he would somehow meet with karmic peril that would not necessarily teach him a lesson but would warm the cockles of my black little heart, but no such thing happened. Up at the shelter near the needle, hundreds of people have left their lame little modern petroglyphs on the wood, scratching their I was betting that there was rarely a time to be alone in such a place when a couple of kids came up, and the boy started scratching something into one of the pillars. I say kids when they could well have been of voting age, which makes me think there should be a social responsibility test in order to vote. That flies in the face of democracy, I KNOW, but it would not necessarily fly in the face of better government.

The girl said "No, don't do that."

I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Don't use your nail. Use a coin or something."

Relief over, anger welling.

It's a small, simple thing, but why do people do this? I doubt they even spent a minute looking around at the scenery, opting instead for vandalizing a public space.

What set me off in the first place was that when we arrived at the shelter, a family consisting of three kids and a mom and dad were coming down a slope just behind the barrier and a signpost stating "don't go up here" and why. Who ARE these people? Is this a Dominion thing? Are they fundies who have bought so deeply into the whole "thou shalt have dominion over the earth" crap in The Bible that they really believe that such rules are unimportant in God's eyes, and they do not apply to them?

Again, I don't get it. And I know that if I said something, it would not be respected, and I would only be madder in the end.

We headed back to the docks at Maakena where we were to meet the whale watching group, and I braced myself for socializing. I picked up a few postcards--really cool vintagey ones that are printed on recycled paper with soy inks! This helped to appease some of the frustration of earlier. Pete had an espresso, and we saw a bird we have never seen before. I still have not managed to get a bird book, but I'll get one, even if it's on the way out, at the airport. It was a Brazilian red-capped cardinal, and it was really cool. I did not take this picture, but here it is:
We have also seen (and heard) Myna birds, zebra doves (there's one with a hurt foot who visits our porch in the mornings), cattle egrets, numerous as-yet unidentified water birds, little brown birds, and frickin' ubiquitous house sparrows.

No one did anything retarded on the boat, which was good because with two thirds of the passengers being wedding guests, there would have been a good chance that the perpetrator was someone I might have to talk to later.

The whale watch was run by the Pacific Whale Foundation, a nonprofit research group invested in conservation, which was a cool, refreshing tonic. The Abroes sported everyone on this excursion, which was generous beyond the call, and quite a treat. I have never been on a whale watch, and I went through a whale and dolphin phase as a young girl, so this was a treat. The captain of the boat, Captain Doug, talked like a morning radio d.j./game show host circa 1978, and I would have paid him to shut up, but he did not talk the whole time. Sandi the naturalist did most of the talking. We saw numerous cows and calves as well as a few males and observed logging, tail slapping, and breaching, and heard them singing. It was a two hour cruise, and it was quite relaxing.
Afterwards, we shopped a bit in the store, and everyone was trying to organize the rest of the day. I was done and felt that it was unnecessary, but I understand the gesture. The plan was to go back to the Abroe's house and then meet for dinner at 7:00. I might be able to do one of those, but there was no way I could do both. Also, it was around 4:00, we had been here since noon, and the time to eat was now. Right now.

Pete and I came back to the condo. Pete had a dip in the ocean, and then we walked across the street to an Indian restaurant by the sea. We had our standard veggie samosas, naan, daal makhni, chicken tikka masala, and saag paneer, and it was really, really, tremendously good. The experience was aided by the long, pleasant day in the sun and the cool breeze of the ocean under the lowering sun.

Does anyone else find anything about this funny?
Pete met everyone for dinner at 7:00. He did not get there until 7:30, he was the first, no one was hungry, the restaurant was packed, and I am glad I stayed home. Everyone seemed to understand that the pregnant lady was not up to it; they don't need to know the subtleties of my neuroses beyond that. I can blame the fetus.

No comments: