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The Big Island Part 2.1

The Born Identity (Originally Part 6)

The next morning we woke up to frantic banging on the door. "You kids want to go swimming?" Stephanie told us that sometimes in the mornings they like to go swimming at 4 Mile. Its actually called something else, but all the locals call it 4 mile because its 4 miles outside of downtown Hilo (and because they like to confuse us tourists). I told her that I would love to go swimming whenever they want, and she explained that if I really wanted to come that when Jean was ready to go, we were ready to go, because she had been left behind several times by Jean for not being out the door the min. Jean said she was going to go swimming. That being the case, I think Joe and I were out the door quicker than we've ever gotten up, and we made it to the car. However, Jean was not ready. She had set a trap for a rat last night, and come this morning she was ready for a man to take the cage out of the house and put it in her trunk so she could drive it to a park. Joe headed upstairs and came back with a fairly large rat in a cage way too small for him (I can see why Jean didn't want to pick it up). As Joe and Jean came down the stairs Jean kept whispering to the cage "Hare Krisna little fella," and she explained to us that by hearing the name of god the little critter would have a better life. She also gave him some prasadam (it means mercy, but its the food that has been offered to Krisna, but since he doesn't need to eat, he accepts the kinds gesture for what it was and leaves the food for us to share with beings of this world). And she told us that because the rat ate the prasadam, his body was cleansed, and now in his next life he will get to skip many of the creature levels and go straight to being human. Corey brought up a good point when I told this to her which is that people have the power to change another life forms destiny, and that should be something between that being and its creator. So what does that make us? Is it right to have the power of a god over a creature without the ability to create one?

Anyways, we (and when I say we, I mean Joe) let the rat out in the forest near the airport, and then we drove to 4 mile. We of course didn't bring our camera (do not leave valuables in a car, and do not take them to the beach) so we don't have any pictures to show, but luckily Susan did take... one. One? Really Susan? This place was great! Ahhhh! Okay, I guess that was at lest one more pic than I took. Enjoy:

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Joe really loved these reflecting pools they had everywhere. Some even had little bridges you could cross with tiny waterfalls going beneath them with water flowing from one pool to another.

Okay, cheat number 2, here is a pic I got off the internet of the actual beach:

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I really loved the lava rock. Unfortunately 4 Mile is like the only beach on this side of the island that is white/ yellow sand! Everyone was so excited to show us this wonder (you usually had to go to the Kona side of the island for light colored sand, that, and Hilo is mostly lava rock so there aren't really that many sand beaches of any kind). The part that got me was how fringing cold it was! 4 Mile is composed of fresh freezing cold spring water mixing in this rather large tide pool with ocean water. The Hawaiian's thought this place was spiritual because of the fresh spring water and that turtles always swim here because the rocks keep the sharks out. I kept swimming too close to the rocks near the ocean because the ocean water was warm, but then I kept getting my fingers "paper cut" on their edges, so I had to just suck it up and swim really really fast in the water. Stephanie called it invigorating. I eventually got used to it, and then revered to it as manageable (it was a cloudy day so I was kinda cold to begin with). Champak I'm not even sure got into the water (I have to admit, it was tough). You have to go down this one latter, that or jump in from the lava rock, and I had a line behind me, otherwise I might not have got in so quickly. One thing that did help was that Stephanie said to honor the creator of the water you have to first wet your face before putting your feet in. I did this, and it made getting into the water a lot easier now that I had dunked my head. Stephanie only took a scoop of water and brushed hit across her forehead (much more respectful and graceful I guess).

We had to leave after only like 20 min. because Jean had to get to work, but it was a nice swim length for me for the temperature. It was good for Joe too because his fingers and feet were blue (really really blue, like we were worried about him blue). But after drying outside on the lava rock (not so comfortable) his color came back. Jean was being a riot talking about looks and peoples concept of beauty and why men think this and women think that and how she was brought up with the mentality that looks often relate to your level of intelligence (the better you look, the dumber you are) and yet she doesn't feel that way herself. While sitting perfectly balances on the lava rocks, back straight with no signs of strain (even though her knees were curled up near shoulder high as if she had her back resting against something), and she put her right arm in the air above her head and her left arm bent slightly behind her waist, both making the "hang 10" sign, and she said with her best Katharine Hepburn impression (I'm not sure if that was intentional, or if thats just her empowered woman voice) "I have a great mind, and a beeea-uuuu-tiful body!"

After we got back I saw that we had a new message on our phone (damn it!) and I checked the message. It was Josiah, and our mail had arrived. He said he could drop it off in a few hours in downtown Hilo before he went to class (he was a marine biology major at the local university). So it was set, we would get our identities back today. When I got out of the room and headed for the shower Stephanie and Champak were just getting ready to head out, and Jean was already at work (she does insurance... what are the odds that we would be staying with someone who could help us get travel insurance?) "So, what are you kids up to for the rest of the day?" Stephanie asked. "ka-i-ds? Why you call th-em ka-i-ds?" Champak asked with her thick Russian accent. "I call everyone under 30 kids." she replied and then made sure that we weren't offended (we weren't, its hard to be offended by Stephanie. Even when I was telling her that we didn't have a towel because we wrapped our laptop in it to keep it from getting banged up, and how sad it was b/c we had only just gotten that towel b/c we finally stayed at a nice enough hotel where they wouldn't miss the towel. "Well, thats why you got your stuff stolen, its Karma people." she told us. Karma... we had all of our valuables taken from us including our identities because we took a towel from a hotel that charges you enough to cover any amenity you take regardless if you take them or not. And still, it was hard not to like her. She even made me feel bad about it because she said its not about the towel or the extra sugar packets you take from Starbucks, its about the attitude. Its about walking around in the world thinking that it constantly owes you. The world doesn't owe you anything, and when you finally stop trying to get back everything you loose to your own poor decisions (like paying $3 for a cup of coffee and expecting Starbucks to pay you back using their 2% milk creamer in your cereal... yeah, that was me...) you can realize that it was your choice (to buy the expensive coffee, Starbucks didn't make you do it), and accepting your choices and their consequences without feeling that you deserve something better, will change your whole outlook on life. Then when something good does happen to you (karma for having a cleansed spirit) you can be happy about it rather than thinking that you've only just made up for all the shit thats happened to you and now your even with the world. And, she probably said it better, but hopefully you get her drift and understand why its hard to dislike her. You would also know why if you ever saw her. She is one of those people who you can talk with like old friends and she always manages to find something funny to talk about, so you are always smiling when your with her. Thats the trick that sometimes gets me though when I tell her something bad I did to get back at the man, and then she reminds me that she has a little Hare Krisna in her (they aren't too cool on you taking revenge, they kinda like to leave things like that up to karma).

Anyways, we told her that today we planned to get our ID's back (Yeah!) at the Governor's Lesion's office. I got involved with things on the computer after my shower, so Joe ran out and met Josiah at the bridge (landmarks are sometimes easier to meet at than try to give directions with all of these Hawaiian names), and when he came back I was done with whatever it was I was doing on the computer, and we went through the goodies my mom sent us. 3 $100 gift cards from American Express, 1 Discovercard, my birth certificate, and a Christmas Card from Russ and Judy (the people who fixed our motorcycle and let us stay in their RV for the night and made us breakfast while we saw Rushmore). Joe's package from Canada had a lot more stuff in it, so while he sorted that out I organized all my new things into my new purse. He got his old passport, his birth certificate, his SSN card he laminated in high school to be responsible (but then his parents showed him the note on the card that said invalid if laminated), and a old passport photo.

At the bus station we did what travelers must do at the Hilo bus station, we asked the people who work there what bus we needed to take and when it would come (too much information with bad directions to try to figure out yourself). Then we got on the bus and got off practically right in front of the building. We had to try a few different buildings first before we got good directions to the right one, but once we were there they had clear signs to her office. There were a few people in line before us, but when it was our turn to tell the woman at the desk what we needed, Kathy stepped out from the other room where they take your photo and asked us "Are you are the couple Larry from the post office called me about?" She recognized our story and took us right into the photo room and talked to us about what we needed to do. Through the game of telephone and my distress at the time, I guess I missed that we had to go to the SSN office first, get papers that say what our SSN is, and then bring that with our birth certificate and police report to her office to get new ID's. And that office of course closed at 3:00pm (it was now quarter till). We would have to wait to do that until tomorrow.

On the way home we couldn't find the bus stop (they don't label them on the Big Island), so we walked too far down the street and decided to just walk home after we realized where we were and how impossible it was to find the bus stops. On the way home we passed the french crape shop that we'd been wanting to go to, and now that we had some extra money with my Discovercard (yay credit cards!) and the American Express gift cards, we decided to splurge (ruff day at the Governor's office). This restaurant always had live music going and you could watch the chef prepare your crapes, and all the tables had white cloths and crystal glasses on them like something straight out of France, and the prices were really reasonable. Looking at the menu I was ready to get either a desert or a dinner crape, but I guess Joe never had one of my mom's dinner crapes, so he was surprised when most of the menu had some sort of vegetable or meat inside the crapes and not cream cheese and fruit. So we ordered a real dinner crape and we thought our water looked really familiar. "Is your name Horhay?" He smiled and told us, "Ahhh, no, you must be thinking of my twin brother." I laughed and told Joe I knew he looked familiar! Then I saw it in his eyes... it was Horhay. He subbed for Charles for the second day we stayed at the hostel when we first came to the island. He was from Brazil (I believe) and was working in Hilo at several different jobs while he figured out what he wanted to do with his life. I didn't know this about him before, but he came to Hilo because he had an internship helping set up the small radio telescopes we saw at the top of Mauna Kea! (How fucking cool is that?)

But after his internship he was glad to get out of there because he was tired of the constant sick feeling he got from the constant altitude changes and temperature changes on top of how isolated he felt. He said that working up there and spending hours by himself in front of a computer configuring the telescopes made him realize that he was a people person and that he needed human interaction in his jobs. Hence why he works for the hostel, a french restaurant, and a coffee shop even though he has a college degree in Astronomy. When I told him I wanted his life b/c my ultimate job would be to work part time for the observatories on Mauna Kea and part time at a coffee shop, and he said that he could maybe see if he could get me a job at the coffee shop. But after he told me which shop it was, my excitement failed. It was the same shop that Charles had said he could get me a job at our first day on the island. It was worth trying back then when we were going to be here a month, but now with only 2 weeks left, I decided not to worry about it. And then... the check, and they don't accept American Express or Discover, and neither of us had the $10 in cash either (this is our first day without cash b/c now we had credit cards now and we didn't like carrying cash in my purse b/c that screams take me!) Our place was only 4 or 5 blocks away, so while Joe sat there listening to the music and drinking some more water I ran home, got some cash, and ran back. Horhay had another laugh at my expense when he saw me come back in the restaurant with a $20 in my hand (I guess it was pretty obvious what I was out doing).

When we got back home we got on the internet and we watched videos on how to use a Mac (I'm pathetic I know, I worked on a Mac at work, but I had them set it up for me like a PC b/c I didn't feel like spending the time to figure out how to use one (which btw I love!)). And then we loaded an episode of Castle (oh Castle, how you make us smile and forget life for 45 min.) Then Joe practiced some Kung Fu while I went furiously fast from sight to sight regaining my bookmarks and sorting out my credit cards and bank accounts. A few hours latter it was about time for dinner, so after Joe was done making that he dragged me away from the MacBook and forced me to eat his delicious meal. He said I could eat it at the computer, but I didn't dare! No food near the Mac! (Yeah, thats probably going to last just as long as no food in the Hybrid... Joe at in it the day after I bought it). Tonight was our night off from temple b/c they canceled Wednesday temple for their Gurudev's birthday party tomorrow, so Stephanie went out to dinner with some friends and when she came home Joe and I really liked the smell of her leftovers. She told us it was from this really great health food restaurant that is called the Tai Garden or something, but she calls it Tiffany's Tai-Fusion because the chef is Tiffany and she cooks Tai food fused with American food (like her Tai-fusion pizza, which she said if we go we must get). She said that its really cheap and they give big portions, so Joe and I were pretty much sold. We figured it would be a good place to go after Friday's festivities (all day on the bus going to the SSN office at the Prince Kuhio Plaza shopping mall, then back to the Governor's Lesion's office for the picture ID's) We would do it tomorrow, but for whatever reason they had tomorrow off (probably furlough Thursdays for them).

In the morning we searched though our stuff and decided that first things first, we were running out of food and needed to go grocery shopping. But on the way through downtown Hilo we ended up finding this amazing health food store instead of the KTV, and Joe maybe spent an hour looking at their assorted whole leaf teas. I found a strawberry and hemp granola mix that I kid you not, reminded me of childhood happiness. Not just my childhood, and not just happiness, but childhood happiness. It was in a bulk bin, and it was on sale, so we filled a whole bag. I could use a little childhood happiness. We also found this pancake mix that was whole wheat and all you needed to add was water! I was nervous to buy it because maybe know that there were powdered eggs in the mix, and then she would kick us out! Joe thought I was being silly, but he agreed that if we bought the pancake mix that we could hid it in our room and only use it when everyone else was out (which happens a lot b/c people who live here have jobs! Imagine that!) Then we went to the art gallery next door and switched on and off who would eat the organic cereal we got with soy-milk, and who would get to browse through the gallery. After that we browsed through the free museum dedicated to the preservation of Hawaiian beaches from peoples trash (it was really sad and gross, one part they had on display all the things they found in a seagulls belly. There were toothbrushes, bottle capes, combs, cleaning gloves, just everything that shouldn't be in his tommy). Then they had a huge wall showing all the islands and how they are being cleaned up and how people are collecting nets from the ocean to keep animals from being tied up in them. Very uplifting, but the music they had going got a little repetitive (Hawaiian old man chanting that reminded me of the Native American music).

Then that evening Stephanie drove us pretty far to this one family's house for Gurudev's birthday party (he is in India, but we celebrate it kinda like how Christian's celebrate Jesus's birthday even though he's been dead for like 2,000 years). This time it was over Gore's house, and it was really sad to meet him because he was recently paralyzed from the head down. He was one of Gurudev's devotees who travelled to India with him, and one day he was out in the Indian ocean surfing, and he was smashed by a huge wave over 40 feet high. It broke his neck, and he is lucky to be alive. But now he is bound to a wheel chair, and even though the incident was only a year ago, he had become maybe 1/5 the size he used to be. They showed me a picture of him only 2 or 3 people behind their Gurudev (thats a title, not a name btw), and even though there were hundreds of people walking behind their Gurudev in the picture, he was so easy to spot because he was about 6'6" of big and strong surfer dude. And even though his jaw was sealed shut, he sang the chants all evening, and his voice was one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. And later in the evening after the prayer session we had a huge dancing chant, and when people would be standing on the sides not participating in the run up and down the living room, he would take his sister aside and tell her to get everyone off the walls. So every time you'd see him call his sister over and whisper something in her ear, you knew you were going to have to do something. At one point some people started jumping up and down, and even though we were all dancing already, Gore called his sister over and they made everyone jump up and down! The floor was thumping with excitement and the children were loosing their minds with how much fun they were having. So for his passion and love of life though his tragedy (that I in no way compare to my own, because there is always someone who has it worse, and sometimes you need feel the pin pricks even though others are feeling slashes), I salute him, and would one day love to have a CD of his music.

Posted by - Rain 20:51

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