Friday, August 28, 2009

Bus Stop

I ride TheBus to school every day. I've heard both good and bad spoken of the Hawaii bus system. True, in Honolulu the buses are crowded, but in my two weeks' experience it's worked great.

Yesterday morning I was almost to school. The bus was filled beyond capacity so the driver only took some of the passengers at a stop and instructed the rest that there was another bus on the way.

One woman who didn't make the cut was on her way to work. She and her husband were so angry that they stepped out in front of the bus and refused to move unless she got a spot. The furious driver opened his window, hung out his upper body and screamed at the husband and wife to get out of the way. They wouldn't budge for at least five minutes.

The girl next to me was worried about losing her spot in an O-chem lab she needed. She complained a bit while frantically texting a friend to have the professor hold her spot. A bigger Polynesian man next to the rear door hollered up to the driver to let him out so he, the able Polynesian, could remove the human obstacles. I called Deb to let her know about the awesomeness of it all.

Of course, the couple eventually backed down. I think they realized that an angry bus driver behind the wheel of a who-knows-how-many-ton bus would probably eventually snap and run them over. I made it to school with time to spare. As I stepped down from the bus I looked up the road a bit and saw another bus of the same route. I'm assuming the angry lady got to work just fine, just as our bus driver told her she would.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gus the Gecko

As we settle in our new place in Hawaii, we have been making a lot of new friends. This little guy, a cousin of the Geico gecko, met us by our front door one evening. We named it Gus. After playing with it and taking some photos together, we let Gus go on our back lanai, or porch. Often, when we leave open our door to the lanai , we'll find one of Gus's brothers or sisters or cousins has made it into our kitchen. Deb and I are very fond of the local mo'o, geckos.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Getting settled into a new place requires attention to a lot of little details. Like getting a new driver's license, for example. My jaunt through the Honolulu DMV was remarkably quick and relatively painless, though not without a few moments of wincing.

First, I had to score at least a 24 out of 30 on the written driver's test to pass. I scored a 26. Cutting it a little close, are we?

Second, somehow I managed to forget the ever practical advice to dot all is and cross all ts. I got my license back from the guy at the desk and didn't notice for at least ten minutes that I had signed it Nalhan. The signature appears twice on the front of the license, so if I ever get pulled over by a police officer the first thing I'll hear after License and registration, please, will likely be, What, are you an idiot or something, brah?!

Third, you'd think my mother never taught me how to dress myself because I managed to get to the DMV, work my way through a few lines, barely pass my test, sign my license with Nalhan, and retrieve my newly printed Hawaii driver's license--all before noticing that my fly was down. Sorry, Mom, for reflecting poorly on your ability as a parent. I'll start using again the Things to Do, Check, Secure, and Double-Check Before You Leave the House checklist.

In other news, Hurricane Felicia in the North Pacific is now a category 4 and is on its way to Hawaii. Fortunately, "from Thursday on [Hurricane Felicia] will start to weaken to the point that is expected to be a tropical storm or weak hurricane at its closest point of approach to the [Hawaiian] islands late Sunday or Monday. It's still a little too early to know the intensity or track of this system." (Source)

I asked my friend Josh, a Hawaii native, what he thought about the hurricane. He said comfortingly, "It's hurricane season, man!" On Monday we heard the test sounding of the disaster warning sirens. I asked Josh about it and he replied, "That's the last sound you'll hear before you're hit by a hurricane or other similar disaster." That, too, is a comfort. I remarked that I'd much rather hear the Scorpions' Rock you like a Hurricane, but that wouldn't apply well if a tsunami hit us, would it?

Image credit:, specifically here.