10-25-05 - 1


Well, I'm back from Hawaii, and my web site is down. Anyhoo, I put some photos on my yahoo photos site , as usual. This trip, to the big island, was one of my best vacations ever. It had it all - hiking, adventure, crazy sights, rainforests, markets, relaxing on the beach, drinking tropical drinks, eating great food. All my life I've been kind of a snob about going to Hawaii - it just seemed like a waste of a vacation to stay in the States, not exotic enough. I sort of looked down on people who loved Hawaii, I classified them with the people who went to Paris and ate at McDonalds. Now I'm a convert. It's exotic enough - the Big Island is anyway, I think the developed islands are too touristy and civilized for my vacation taste. The weather and the attitude there really do give it enough of a feel of being another land, and the conveniences of being in the good old USA really are nice (eg. reliable services, good roads & safe driving, etc.)

The most striking thing in the end about the Big Island is the incredible variety of landscapes. The rainfall goes from 140 inches a year around Hilo (the lush rainforest) to 10 inches a year around Kohala (a barren landscape of lava where the best sandy beaches are hidden). Literally if you're bored of where you are or don't like the weather, you can drive half an hour and been in a radically different climate.

We spent our first four days in Hilo, the very wet rainforest side of the Island, where we hiked and swam in waterfalls, explored, etc., then drove over to the Kona side for four days where we lay on the beach and snorkelled and did all that.

I've heard that the Big Island is much friendlier than other Hawaiian islands, that it still has the "Aloha" spirit. In fact there were a lot of friendly people (more so in Hilo than the Kona side, which is more touristy), but there were also a lot of pissy rude people in the service industry. That's fucking lame. If you're in the service industry, you should be thankful that the tourists are providing you sustenance. If you don't like it, quit your job and live in poverty. There are plenty of times when it's perfectly reasonable for the locals to hate tourists. When you're trying to swim at your favorite beach and a bus full of tourists pulls up and they all pile out and start trashing the place - now you can be pissy and hate the tourists. When you are serving them a Mai Tai and they're being perfectly friendly, you have no right or reason to be pissy, so fuck you and you just cost yourself a generous tip.

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