Sunday, 23 November 2014

Going to Church? WTF? (or Sunday of the Dead in Kona)

Yesterday's afternoon nap and going to bed at 9 pm have the effect that I'm having my breakfast coffee on the veranda at 4:20 am.  OK, that's only 6:20 am Vancouver time PLUS it is Sunday, today, so maybe there is a Hawaiian Service starting at the Painted Church at 7:15 am.  No pictures to show so-far because it is pitch dark here at 5 am.

I'm going to church AGAIN?  But I've been to a service not even 12 months ago! Let's say that a combination of factors moves me to get close to one of those establishments again.
en route (I love that expression ;-)

1) A gaudily painted wooden building without windows but with a view of the ocean and people singing in Hawaiian and playing Hawaiian instruments is probably the furthest removed from the standard mental image of a 'church' as it can get.
2) When I had sent a post card of the Painted Church to my spare mom 2 years ago, she liked it so much that she could not stop talking about it.
3) 2 people very close to my heart died this year and even this hard-boiled (heart-boiled?) scientist and atheist is subject to agnostic moods.
4) My calendar says that today is Sunday of the Dead.

And remember, so far it's only an intention of attending.

When I get to the church a sign provides me the information that I could not find in the internet:  Hawaiian Service on every 2nd Sunday of the Month. Unfortunately it is the 4th Sunday of the month today.  And while \I could sit through a Catholic service with all its getting-up and sitting-down in the Hawaiian language, where I can't understand a word and make up my own meaning, I can't do so if the words are in English.

The landing spot of Captain Cook is only a few km from here.  I drove there by car 2 years ago and flew over the cliffs in the flying lawnmower last year.  This is where I point the front wheels of the car now.

Ocean below The Painted Church in the still early morning hours

The white pinnacle is the James Cook Memorial and it is located almost at the end point of the outcrop in the picture below

There it is: The tiny white thing in the green area on the left.

I am told by a local native that there is no path to the memorial along the water's edge.  Apparently there is a path that starts close to where the local road joins the major road at the very top of the hill.  He tells me not to leave the area too late since will pigs tend to come out of the shrubbery when it gets dark.  On my way back I look out for the path and I actually find the trail and a sign.

I have a little bit of water with me in the car but no food.  I plan to be back tomorrow morning with food and water and determination.

Grandma is awake when I return at 9 am and after a quick breakfast we head to the water right in front (behind?) the hotel. I realize this is the first time Grandma has left the apartment since we arrived late Thursday evening.

I then take some junk fat bacon and my bicycle to ride to the old Kona airport, where last year I had seen a lot of homeless owner-less cats.  But that visit had occurred before sunrise. Today it is 10:30 am and no cats are in sight (They were talking about killing them all ;-(  Assuming that they're all hiding from the hot sun, I leave the bits of fat under some shrubbery.

I get my feet wet again and then spy a middle-aged Hawaiian couple with a pick-up truck full of coffee sacks spreading some black plastic on the old tarmac. Then they start pouring the contents of the sacks onto the tarp. The contents is white to beige in colour!  Are they drying Macadamia nuts? 
I head over there to investigate closer.  

No, they are indeed drying coffee beans.  First they are dried, then an outer shell (similar to that of wheat grains) is removed, and then the beans are roasted. Only then can one make coffee with them.

They are both extremely friendly and the husband (I assume) keeps giving me this slightly grinning looks that are meant to say "You are putting me on, right?"  "You did know all that, didn't you?"  "How can any adult your age not know what a coffee bean looks like?"  "Are all people from Canada as ignorant as you?" "Are you saying that all these years the Wife and I have been planting and harvesting and drying and roasting coffee for IGNANTS?"

I escape with a heart-felt Mahalo before I imagine other things the man could have said to this OVEREDUCATED German/Canadian.  So next time you see one of those urban Yuppies ordering a Latte-Macchiato with some syrup at Starbucks right next to an Italian coffee place (To this day I can not understand how TWO Starbucks survive on Commercial Drive, Vancouver's Italian neighbourhood), think of this man in Kona and give the Yuppie the content s/he deserves or even better ask them about the stages that are involved before they can order their drink.

my pic ;-)

On the way back I stop in the centre of town for some Thai food and wish I had stopped at da Poke Shack instead.  You can't really get more IDEAL FISH TERRITORY than Hawaii.  There is fresh fish everywhere and it is NOT expensive, unless you go to WHITE restaurants or shop at Safeway.  Why then does the restaurant's menu only offer their curries with Pork, Chicken, or Tofu.  True, they have a Tilapia fillet curry as a special but 1) it is TWICE the price of the other curries and 2) Tilapia is a FRESHWATER FISH,
Tilapia 'harvest' they call it
which means that this fish was grown in some farm in Thailand/China/ Where-ever and most likely was shipped here in a deep-frozen state. Are you starting to see what is wrong with that?  I have encountered the exact same idiocy in an Expat-restaurant in Mui-Wo, in Kelowna, and it is pretty much standard in Vancouver.  I miss France !!!!

At 2 pm, my cell phone rings and ends my afternoon nap. An 808 number (Hawaii) has left a voice mail message.  I can think only of the hotel and of the bicycle rental place as people who have my phone number.  No. It was Alamo Rental Car.  They were kind enough to inform me that I forgot my wallet in the rental car when I returned it.  Nice people!  BUT, I can't remember returning the car. To my knowledge it is parked in the hotel's parking lot and a quick double-check reveals that my wallet is in my backpack.   But behold, it was actually a Mr. Koenig who lost his wallet.  Fortunately it was Mr. Glen Koenig who is out of a wallet and I am left with a correct re-collection of my whereabouts of the last few days.

Digressing in depressing news:  About 3 hours ago I stumbled upon a news story that a 12 year old had been fatally shot by a 1st-year police officer in Cleveland because he was carrying an air-pistol (BB gun).  At that time neither name nor race were mentioned in any news reports. I was willing to bet money though that the child would be black. It seems that in today's world, white kids don't get shot for carrying fake guns. I took Grandma shopping for clothes and food and upon my return I re-checked the story. And I was right again. Shame!

When I was 12 years old, a far-removed pseudo-cousin (he was 17) and I used an AIR RIFLE to shoot sparrows off the roofs. We only hit one, and the remorse we felt after that was so great that we buried the poor tweety in a shallow grave.  Too shallow, as the dogs later dug him out again.  Anyhoo, I was fortunate enough to be white and not to live in Cleveland. Otherwise this blog might not exist. Think about THAT!

I need some fresh air after reading that news and head down to the tide pools again.  No turtles or white-spotted box fishes avail themselves for my viewing.  But there is something else in there; something I first can't believe seeing:  A Moraena or Moray Eel!

This thing is about as long as my legs

After it has seen me it goes to hide in its hole, like Moray Eels like to do !
From now on I will look twice when putting my toes in the water !

I decide to end the day on my bicycle. No flying eels in these parts !

Good night, sun. Good night, world!

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