June 05, 2003
Travel Diary Day 5: Surfing

20.00 Hawaii-Aleutian Time
This morning I scheduled a private surfing lesson with Chava Greenlee. A huge (but not fat) 6'2" Hawaiian who, along with his father, constitutes Aloha Surf. Apparently the method he teaches for standing on the board is differs from other instructors. Instead of hopping up, he advocates doing a push up, the planting the rear foot in the middle of the board, and then bringing the front foot forward and planting it. The board itself is about the size of the USS Nimitz, or perhaps an Essex class carrier and with a board that huge, it was easy to get up on the first try. I see why surf instructors guarantee a person standing up their first lesson. It really isn't that hard.

For beginners, instructors wait for a small wave, tell you when to start paddling and actually push the tail of your board toward the beach. This last little kick is what I think makes it easy for beginners to stand. Not to say that I didn't boof a dozen other times. I think the hardest part is judging waves and just all the paddling. After towing Jim around for 6 hours, I was pooped. At the end of the lesson, Chava left me alone to work on it myself, except another surf school arrived and my relative lack of skill, and the thought of taking the head off a 11 year-old sent me to shore for a cheeseburger at the poolside grill. My second hamburger, since I'd ordered one from room service when I got home late last night (and it really wasn't that bad--it was genuinely medium rare, the fries were crisp, and the entire dinner was hot. Of course it cost something like $200).

So today wasn't a particularly epic day, but was fun. I've gotten too much sun over the last couple of days and the cold that I've been fighting (and seemed to have disappeared this morning), is manifest as a mucus-heaviness behind the face, and nasal drip out of the left nostril, if you care to know.

One annoying thing: whenever I eat at the hotel (I have a $100 credit that one of the employees was good enough to remind me to use), they assume that it's for two. Two days in a row I've had to scratch out the second $20s for my invisible wife's breakfast. Perhaps Hawaiians can see things I can't remark in corporeal form. They might as well charge me for my 5 children too.

To use up my voucher, I ate at the Japanese restaurant here. When my table was ready, the person that seated me asked the hostess where the second party was, and the hostess just told her that my wife was coming later.

They even know my extacorporeal wife's schedule! Perhaps she should have said that my wife is still having her pedicure and that because she changed her mind mid-way between Hyacinth Pink nail polish and Coral Red, she's late.

Just now a woman started berating another woman for having shut-down one of the public computers. I can't see the reason for such rudeness. The first woman started getting dramatic about how she couldn't use the computer now. "I don't know what to do?" her voice rising.

"Here, let me help you", I snapped my laptop shut, walked over, and turned on the computer.

"I thought that grille was locked. You know she shouldn't have shut-down the computer"

"It was probably habit. It should work now." She fidgets as it boots. Just as she's about to raise another crap storm, it transitions from the boot screen to the desktop. I'd guess that she has a sub-clinical DSM-IV Borderline Personality diagnosis. Her husband looks as if he's been pecked to within an inch of his life.

I have no time for rudeness.

Posted by erich at June 05, 2003 03:16 AM
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