March 20th, 2002

amsterdam

Brian over there is wearing 37 pieces of Aloha.

I don’t know where to begin. Too much has happened to do a total play-by-play, but I’ll do a Sportscenteresque highlight show for you guys.

Things I have learned:
Aloha is not just a word, it’s an attitude. People don’t just say aloha, they emit aloha. As it turns out, I have scads of aloha. Aloha is letting someone go ahead of you on line. Aloha is giving a surfer two of your Madonna bracelets and being told that you will forever be his friend and that he will never forget you. Aloha is sharing the meal you cooked with the wife of the guy who runs the hotel/hostel you spent the night at. I have aloha, baby.

“Stoked” is a word that is used in all seriousness. Thanks to movies such as Point Break, I was not surprised to hear it being used in the sense of “The waves are good today. I’m stoked.” Or “I’m totally stoked about going to this luau tonight.” However, it was used in the transitive form last night in a way I had never heard before, e.g., “That chick is really cool. I’m sooo stoked on her.”

No substitutions please. Hawaiians seem to be easily confused when a plan or a set program changes. Do not ask for a side of hash browns instead of the bacon in an Egg-rice-meat breakfast combo (and yes, a place that regularly serves rice with breakfast is a place I could live in for the rest of my life). Do not suddenly discover that you have exact $1.34 for the bottle of water you are purchasing after you handed her $2, as the cashier will stare at you and the $2.34 for a good three minutes, then look at you like you are insane when you tell her to simply return one of the dollar bills to you.

If someone asks you if you are going to “watch the moon” shit is about to go down. Friday night was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. After $1.50 beer happy hour, Dale and I headed to the beach to shoot the shit for a while, when a man on a reclined bike asked us the above question. We didn’t think much of it at the time, sat and watched the moon and the stars. First we noticed that Orion is far closer to the horizon, and that you can actually make out his head and shield from here. We also noticed that only one of the dippers is visible above the horizon. The moon was setting very low and we could see it being grayed out as it set. A while later, I realized that the moon usually sets like the sun, from the bottom up. The moon was setting from the top down—and suddenly I realized that what we were seeing was an eclipse. The fingernail-crescent at the bottom got smaller and smaller, brighter and brighter, went bright red, blacked out completely, then rose for a few more minutes and blacked out again. It was amazing.

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