Monday, October 25, 2010
Our house is a two bedroom, two bath little bungalow that is very clean and well kept and has all the things we need. There is an ocean view out the window as well as from the back patio. The highlight is the large backyard. There must be 10 or 12 different fruit trees. Going around the yard there are bananas, avocados, lemons, limes, macadamia nuts, tangerines, guavas, and a couple of ones I have never heard of. A neighbor walked over with a jug of fresh squeezed guava-orange juice that is tasty. The avocado tree is loaded and I asked when we could harvest them. The old Hawaiian guy told me when they fall on the ground they are ripe. Perfect example of Hawaiian philosophy. When you live in paradise food just falls at your feet.
The town of Pahala has seen better days. It looks like many small Central Valley towns that progress left behind, not always a bad thing. There is a post office and a store, but not much else. There are usually a group of old timers hanging out by the post office "talking story", waiting for the fruit to drop at their feet.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Yes, here we are in Hawaii. Found Costco, found the beach, found the farmers market, found the ER, got Stan a bike, I got a work desk. On we go.
I've always liked birdwatching, nothing serious, but I do love the wee things. There are some very pretty ones that perch on my tree during my work day and it's been fun figuring out what they are. Yellow-billed cardinal, Japanese white eye, saffron finch, just the ones I've figured out so far. And we thought Kauai had a lot of chickens, but the roosters here in Pahala are plentiful. Beautiful things, mostly in cages, crowing far enough away to be a pleasant sound, albeit 24-hours a day. We had been pondering what they were for and had decided they must be show birds, they are so pretty. But my mind kept niggling on the fact that they were all roosters. All roosters. Surely not . . . After talking to a local the other night, surely yes. Cockfighting is alive and well somewhere around Pahala.
If I had thought Scotland was a different culture and that my height and shoe size made me stick out like a sore thumb, this is a very different culture and I think will take a little longer to settle into than Scotland.
And by the way, who said roosters say cockadoodledoo? They are very clearly saying happybirthdaytoyou, 24-hours a day.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Settling in on the Big Island. You don't realize how rural and isolated it is here until you have to drive 50 miles to go to a decent grocery store. We took a drive to the grocery store yesterday when Julie got off work. You drive from sea level up to 4,000 feet and then back down again, through Volcano National Park, to Hilo to get to Foodland & More. Be sure to gas up while there. From our side going up is like driving through the deserts of Arizona (except for the view of the ocean) but once you crest the summit and head down the other side it is like a tropical rain forest complete with the rain. It rains from 3,500 feet down to about 1,000. I have never seen flora change so quickly. Amazingly beautiful on both sides, one in it's lushness, the other in it's starkness.
So we did our shop at Foodland & More and ventured over to the farmers' stands next door and picked up some local bananas, sweet potatoes, mangoes, onions, tomatoes and pineapple. As we were loading (?) our car a gentleman walks up and said his car ran out of gas could we help him out and buy some weed. That's right Maui Wowie, Big Island Green, Kona Kush. "Check it out brah, right here, good stuff, help a brah out". Ahh Foodland & MORE.
Coming next the House, the Beach and the Golf.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
We interrupt this normally somewhat amusing blog with the following announcement. Given a choice between living where there are more sheep than people or living where there are more cars than people, give me the sheep. I will admit to almost swooning in the produce section of Albertsons, but beyond that, I find no charm here in Orange County. None. Zippo. Nada. Can't be done. I will even take the UK Laundry Beast over this form of madness.