Published: March 1st 2012February 27th 2012
Don't think the fish would've handled it.
Why did the chicken cross the road? If you're to finally come up with the definitive answer, it'll be in Hawaii. You'd swear they are the state bird by the sheer numbers running rampant. Free range (with an emphasis on free, nobody owns them), robust, healthy looking chooks scooting around loving life in a way that chickens do. And they don't mind crossing the road. Problem is they don't always make it. Hawaiin roads are littered with the carcasses of failed attempts.
Except on Oahu. On the other islands these chickens are as prevalent as complaints at a lawn bowls club. On Oahu they are as rare as, dare I say it, hen's teeth.
Which begs the catchphrase of Dr Julius Sumner Miller (boy am I showing my age):"Why is it so?" The prognosis is as plain as the beak on your face. The plight of the Oahu chook has the same roots as this island's other discrepancies with the rest of the state. Urban sprawl and population per square klm. The chickens have been squeezed out by humans and probably squeezed under the volumes of traffic to completely decimate their numbers.
Chickens aren't the only victims. All
those cutesy Hawaiin country towns we found so endearing elsewhere have been absorbed by the spread of concrete, although Haliewa on the North Shore is putting up some stoic resistance. Generally though, the dreadlocks, bare feet, all foods organic ethos and bucolic timber buildings of Hawaiin backcountry towns are unsighted.
The person per square foot pressure manifests itself in increased cement, traffic and tension. The tension in the air, for me anyway, is near tangible, even if Penny might argue the point. Whereas Honolulu, for example, can leave me a little cold, Penny particularly enjoys it. Then again she doesn't go surfing and if you want tension then surfing on Oahu is the place to find it.
Read enough travel articles and virtually every race known to man will at some stage have earnt the mantle "the friendliest people in the world". One group who will never be in contention for that title and in fact would vie for the wooden spoon is the Hawaiin surfer. I'm not sure if it's an unwarranted gross superiority complex or an industrial sized chip on the shoulder, probably a combination of both, but some of these guys could start a fight
I liked the clouds over the mountains in the Valley of Worship
with themselves. The "aloha spirit" is already on life support but completely dissolves in salt water. I seem to have taken the scenic route around some top shelf stereotyping but when you're far more competent at trite than lip service, play to your strengths.
Still went surfing plenty of times anyway, in waves not half shabby even though it can be a mission dodging the masses. My favourite break was Turtle Bay. Not because it's much of a wave but it is only 50 metres from the nearest Corona. Seriously, on the smaller days a bartender could comfortably lob a cold one into your hand as you ride past.
With the week on Oahu, also meaning the month in Hawaii, in it's death throws, so too does the surfing wind down for the foreseeable future. Which brings us to my surfboard. Ye faithful spearmint log, two and a half years of loyal service, rolled over and died. Fortunately the organ donation forms had been signed so the fins and leg rope were removed. Battered, bruised and bloodied, all that remained was for a noble burial. (see photo).
The holiday is over, let the travelling begin. At least
Go left or right
we won't run over chickens enroute to Honolulu Airport.
Our final week in Hawaii, our final week of home comforts (for a while) - hot showers, flushing toilets, comfortable mattress, eating with knives and forks etc will be a thing of the past in a day's time. I have really enjoyed this month and Oahu has not disappointed. I don't have a lot to report because I haven't done much except savoured the days at the beach, finished 3 books, lazed by the pool, sipped the occasional latte, a happy hour or two and ate as much pineapple and mango as I could get my hands on. I think it's called chilling out. I have loved the Skype catch ups and Gary and I are becoming pretty reasonable at "words with friends". Anyone out there with the app and wants to take us on, we are pcgy. Ciao Oahu til next time
By the way, the apartment floor is now sparkling after the flooding but Gary has assured he now knows how to operate the dishwasher.
There are more photos below