The view from the Banana Bungalow
They call the huge cement canal "The river".
And I Thought WakeUp! Was Crazy
I woke up at 7:30AM, jumped on a shuttle and was back out at the airport by 8:30. I had a 10:40AM flight for Maui and my bag was due in on a Qantas flight from Sydney at 9:30AM. I checked in for my flight with Hawaiian Air and the lady told me that once I collected my bag I could jump the queue and put it on the flight for Maui. I headed over to the international terminal, had a coffee at Starbuck's (I was determined not to but there was nowhere else, plus I'm in America, it's part of their culture right?) and then had a brief chat to the guy at the JetStar desk. Basically he told me to wait until 10AM and if my bags hadn't come out by then, to just get on the flight for Maui and they'd send it over on a flight half hour after mine.
At 9:55 that same gent came out with my bag on a trolley. I may have tried to hug him. And just like that, everything started getting better!
The flight to Maui was only half hour long and was made a
lot more entertaining by the family I sat next to. They were from New Jersey but the Dad was a Hawaiian. I chatted to Mum but their 4 year old son Michael was the highlight. I swapped him my seat so he had the window and went up several notches in his estimations.
I landed in Maui and jumped a cab for the Banana Bungalow hostel in Wailuku. My cabbie told me that Wailuku was inland and that the hostels with all the parties and girls (not that I'm interested in meeting girls if any Northern English waitresses are reading this) were on the beach. He dropped me off at a run-down joint made up of two old shacks. I was impressed.
I was checked in by a young American dude named Jeremy who looked at my hostel world reservation and said, "Oh, you've paid already". I'd paid 10% but wasn't in the mood to argue, so I just went with it. I paid a $10 key deposit, dropped my bags in my room and met him in the TV room for a quick tour. TV room, kitchen, patio. Got it.
At the end of the tour I was introduced
The scene of the kegger
to a girl from Canada named Christine who invited me to come to the beach with a few others. I put on a singlet, grabbed my sunscreen and ten minutes later was sitting in the back of a car with Caesar and Matteo (from Italy) Rob (from The Netherlands) a really nice Italian-Spaniard from Switzerland (whose name escapes me) being driven by Melody (from Switzerland) and listening to tunes picked by Christine. She played the Avalanches and Muscles, I suspect for my benefit, and then Caesar got her to play "Tony the Beat" by the Sounds. These were cool people.
We stopped at Safeway to get lunch then headed on to "Secret Beach", which had a stack of cars in the car park and at least four other groups of people. A sandy beach with two islands off in the distance, one of which immediately reminded me of the "other island" from Lost. Then it occurred to me - they shot lost on Hawaii, it probably was
the "other island" from Lost (don't be that jerk who tells me it wasn't ok, I don't want to hear it).
We got in the water and, for the first time since 2005, I put my head in the ocean without blu tac in my ear.
(Quick aside - after an unfortunate incident on a Balinese beach in October 2005 which you can read about here I have had a perforated right ear drum meaning I have to seal up my ear when I submerge my head in water. I've had two operations on it and a week before flying out the doctor told me that, though there is still a small perforation, he wants me to start swimming sans-blu tac.)
Not five minutes after jumping in the water I saw a head poking ever so briefly out.
"I think I saw a turtle," I said. Christine just sort of nodded.
Then Rob, who had been snorkelling nearby, popped up out of the water.
"There's a huge sea turtle just over there!"
He gave me a quick go with his mask and there it was! Stoked!
The rest of the afternoon was a very casual affair - sun, swimming and a brief snooze.
We drove back to the hostel where we were greeted with the news that tonight was keg night! I asked who I paid for the keg and was met with a blank stare.
"It's keg night - you don't pay, you just drink!"
And thus, it begun.
It's a little hazy but a few stand outs include:
- Playing pool with Jeremy (read, getting my arse kicked by Jeremy in several games of pool).
- Getting pizza with Jeremy and Marcus (a dude from Brooklyn with the toughest American accent I'd ever heard).
- Marcus offering the first word before eating, "Good food, good friends, God bless" and the the final word on the pizza, "good slice - not as good as Noo Yawk".
- The police rocking up and people frantically hiding certain illegal green things that grow in the ground.
- Rob kicking both Jeremy and my arses in a game of killer pool until I started throwing out some smack talk and put him off his game.
But the absolute highlight was Cynthia. She poured shots from a bottle of whiskey for any and all - and these shots were huge! Then she got up on the keg and did a keg stand. This chick was nuts! I finally asked someone who she was...
"Dude, she's the manager!"
John Simpson, eat your heart out!
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