Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Senza Meta"

Here we go: 2 posts in two days!

Today was really incredible. Wonderfully, and coincidentally, both of my afternoon classes were canceled, and I was finished with my academic day at 12:20. So, with an entire afternoon suddenly free in one of the most beautiful places in the world, what was I to do?

I made the decision to be senza meta, or "without destination," as they say in Italian (quite possibly the ONLY phrase I remember from my year's study of the language). I walked out of my dorm, and hopped on the City A Express bus just as it arrived, and got off in the historic section of downtown Honolulu. The plan was to not have a plan, but just walk around, see things and take pictures.

... Pictures which apparently could not be taken. As soon as I hopped off the bus, I saw the funniest statue portrayal of the Liberty Bell (a little slice of home in the center of the Pacific), but my camera would not open. It refused to take pictures even though I just uploaded the latest ones this morning and changed the batteries. After consulting with Mom, I figured it was time for a new one. I would have waited, but my trip to Koho'olawe is in 5 days, and I really want to take pictures there. So, I was directed to a Long's Drug store, and purchased their cheapest digital camera for a whopping $80.

And then I was on my way. And here's the photographic evidence taken with my new piece of technology:

This is the 'Iolani palace, where the king and queen lived while Hawai'i was still a monarchy:

Here, I made friends with Bo, the head of Palace security, who saw me awkwardly taking photos. They were just closing, and he told me to come back another day when I could get a full tour. He also offered to take a picture of me:

From here, I stumbled into the Hawai'i State Art Museum, again just before closing. I had 15 minutes to look at some beautiful pieces of artwork such as these:

... The guard there was nice enough to let me stay a few extra minutes..

Next stop was the Hawai'i Supreme Court! This spot is most notable for the famous gold statue of Kamehameha I that stands outside:

From here I went to the beautiful Hawai'i State Library. My plan was to check out a good book and sit outside and read for a while before heading home. However, getting a Library card is apparently tough nuggies these days, and you need a piece of ID or Mail with a Hawai'i address on it. I didn't have those things, so I left Love in the Time of Cholera behind and sat here for some time instead:

(This is in a garden behind a church. There were services going on inside, so I tried to be as discreet as possible.)

When I was ready, I then made moved to go home, and was pointed to the magical Number 4 bus coming towards me and going in the direction of campus.

Overall, it was an excellent afternoon and terrific way to spend my free-time. It was fun traveling around the city, acting like a tourist with my clumsy camera, and making friends along the way. Everyone I've encountered in Hawai'i has been so friendly and excited to help. From the first guy giving me directions to the drug store for a Camera, to Bo the security guard, to the man working at the art museum allowing me to stay a few extra minutes before closing, to several old tutus (grandmothers) directing me to a good bus stop, everyone was approachable and happy to help.

I'm excited to explore and see more of the city away from the commercialized beaches and tourist hotels... But for now, I have to get back on track with my schoolwork before leaving for Koho'olawe this MONDAY!

1 comment:

  1. "The plan was to not have a plan" is one of your best character traits, Maya. It takes a particular kind of faith and courage to stay open to whatever adventures the universe has in store for you. I am so proud (and envious!) of you, and happy for you every day. Love, mom