Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hawai'i Day 4, pre-Bikram

This is my first post from Hawai'i. The past days I've just been up at crazy hours, sleeping in the wee hours of the morning and waking up at the middle of the day. Yesterday and the day before that, however, I went on tours of the island and city, and watched Cirque Hawaii. I couldn't take pictures while Cirque Hawaii was going on, but I did take pictures of the island, and of city landmarks.

Other than that, I also met new friends in a nearby bookstore, when I asked what the minimum wage is here (I'm trying to get a job working as a temp). R and L: They're a nice couple, retired (i.e. older), and multi-racial, which in Hawaii is nothing new, but refreshing to me, anyway. Seeing I'm a student, they bought me soup, tea, I felt I had to buy them food the next day, as well. But they're nice and helpful: they even took me to the grocery, let me use their discount card, showed me Sears, then brought me home via the bus, invariably teaching me how to ride it! We talk about the Asian language, more often than not--which takes up the whole afternoon, 'til evening. I might give them a call, see how they're doing, 'coz at this rate, I won't make it to the Bikram Yoga Class, which is kinda far away, anyway. Plus I still have to launder my clothes (and figure out how to do it). Indeed, it's different being alone--there's no one to take care of my needs, be it food (nutritious meals and NOT heavy snacks!), hygiene, laundry, even fixing the bed--housekeeping apparently won't come over unless I'm here, argh.

However, it's been a good experience so far. Like on my 2nd day, I was squinting against the sun on my way to the shopping center, and this [black] guy said, "Don't look so mean! Smile!" And when I did, he said, "That's better!" and smiled too. O_o Or yesterday, on my way (supposedly, but in the end, I didn't find it, eating at a -pricey!- Thai restaurant instead) to Coconut Café and Ruffage Natural Foods, these vegan-friendly, organic eateries, I helped this nearly-blind old man up to a bench ('coz nobody was helping him and he was struggling to get on his hands and knees a distance away, on the grass, even). Then I got a bit lost getting back to my hotel, but as my 1st tour guide said, "You can't get lost; it's an island!" And I guess he's right: I did find my way back, after all.

In a way, this is a test of my ability to be independent and self-reliant. Agh. It's hard, and I admit I tend to like staying in for the better part of the day, but I'm sure I'll learn. Along a similar vein, I have to believe in myself, have conviction, otherwise how will I be able to get others to listen to me, moreso as I've signed up to become a yoga (especially Bikram yoga) teacher?! As Baron (of Studio Ghibli's The Cat Returns) said, "Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear."

Thanks to the bookstore people (while I was looking for Spirited Away for a friend but watched it and ended up loving it!), I am now fascinated with Hayao Miyazaki's work! I've watched Spirited Away and The Cat Returns; now I want to watch/buy (but $$$!) Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle (especially this one), Nausicäa, and Princess Mononoke (Neil Gaiman is supposedly a collaborator in this). I also want to get the soundtracks of Spirited Away and possibly Princess Mononoke. I should try to get a job first, though.

But back to quotes. The first one is from another manga/anime cross-over addiction, Bleach, as recited by Abarai Renji. The second quote was sent to me by a friend at Easter. The first one I feel is one for times when I'd be low, while the second is to remind me why I chose my path.

We! are about to head to the battlefield!
Believe our blades will not shatter.
Believe our souls will not be cut!
Even if our steps separate,
our iron will remains solid!
Promise! Even if the ground may split,
We will come back alive to this place!

-Gotei 13 chant

"If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and the doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be." -Joseph Campbell

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