Thursday, November 15, 2012

Honolulu memories

Dick had just been wheeled into surgery and I was a basket case. The nurse who had been with us asked me what she could do to help me. The only thing I could think of was I desperately needed a charger for my cell phone. I would need my phone a lot in the next few days/weeks. Cassandra went out and bought one for me, found me in the cafeteria and gave me a bag filled with not only the charger but also things I might need: trail mix, deodorant, lotion, etc. I pulled out my wallet to pay her but she declined. Even more, she sat down and listened to me babble and cry. Her kindness and generosity went above and beyond. The staff at Straub Clinic and Hospital has been excellent, but Cassandra will always have a special place in my heart.

This was my first time going inside a Buddhist temple.  It was on the way from the hotel to the hospital.

For my first excursion away from the hospital, I wanted to walk to a Starbuck’s, but had no idea where one might be. I asked a friendly-looking young man. He walked to the corner with me and gave me directions. Then he walked me all the way so I wouldn’t get lost, we chatted the whole time. At one intersection the pedestrian walk light was about to turn yellow. James, “How old are you? You just ran to beat the light!” He is a “raw vegan” (no animal-created foods and nothing cooked) and credits his change in diet with a renewed joy of living life. Thoughts of suicide have disappeared. He has some great ideas for online businesses who donate a percentage of their profits to charity.

On the way to/from the hospital to McDonald's/wifi hotspot - a daily stop for me.

Two weeks ago, Cesar arrived in Honolulu and plans to stay in the Islands for the next 2-3 years. He wants to start a bicycle coop called Bikiki (I’m not sure how he plans to spell the combination of bike + Waikiki). He worked at a bicycle coop in the Los Angeles area. He is also choosing to be homeless, but he’s way more put together than most homeless people. He has a membership at 24 Hour Fitness so he can shower and wash his clothes. He gets in the shower fully clothed and soaps up, rinses off, takes off the clothes, then washes himself. He puts on his second set of dry clothing and his wet clothes have a day or so to dry. He rented a small storage unit where he can keep some of his other belongings. He rides a bicycle for transportation and sleeps in a hammock. He plans to get a job soon, but wants to work a graveyard shift. That way he can sleep in a park during the day and work at night. Most parks close at 10 pm except for Waikiki Beach which closes at 2 am. Cesar is also a bicycle tourer and has ridden the Pacific Coast Trail or as Cesar described it “from point eh? to point sí.” In the Islands he wants to ride the perimeter of 7 of them and write a touring guide. To get from one island, he will convert his bike to an Akwakat and ride across the channels.


First Chinese Church of Christ in Hawaii:

It was the morning Dick was discharged from the hospital and I had to get his prescriptions filled downstairs. It was a 25-minute wait so I sat on a nearby bench and read on the Kindle. Barbara soon sat down and told me her husband gave her a Kindle as a birthday present last year. Her 81st. She loved it since she’s allergic to printer’s ink. Barbara was so interesting to talk to. I wish I could remember more. Doctors have told her her sense of smell is 1000 times more sensitive than that of other people. She teaches acrylic oil painting as a hobby. She met her husband in New Caledonia. We had a great, though too short, chat which ended with a hug.

1 comment:

  1. Loved the people stories viz Cassandra, Barbara and Cesar. As for the Akwakat - now I've seen everyting................Marion