My long time co-worker and friend from m-Qube Ken Lo invited me to his wedding reception in Hawaii.
Hitomi and I were both invited; Hitomi said she didn't have enough vacation days so I planned to go alone. I decided to not take any vacation days off from work, and instead work in the early mornings, and spend my afternoons and evenings on the beach. I brought my kayak and plan to go out on Waikiki Beach and perhaps Pearl Harbor. I decided not to rent a car, given I wouldn't need to go far, and probably public transportation and shuttles would suffice. I also got a room at a youth hostel, with a semi-private room and air conditioning, and internet access.
The flight was uneventful. I played on my Nintendo DS "Taiko no Tetsujin" and cleared another 30+ songs, though mostly on easy mode. Taiko means "big drum" and in the arcade version you strike a mini-taiko with sticks. The songs are a mix of J-Pop, classical music, anime opening themes, children's songs, and electronica, etc. It's a really fun game, but unlikely to be released in the U.S., either due to music license reasons or just the fact it's super-cutesy. When you pass songs, you receive various clothes and decorations for your drum.
I got picked up at the airport by Ken Lo, who had forgot I was coming in and left in the middle of his dinner. I joined him at a Korean yakiniku (grilled meat) place, and met some of his friends who I last saw in Boston. We wandered around the Waikiki Beach tourist area. The night market resembled that of Thailand's, minus the food vendors. The "brand shops" were all open late and no doubt attracting a fair number of Japanese tourists. Like I saw in Thailand, shop signs were in English and Japanese, occasionally Chinese.
We all got sleepy, the people from Boston more so. Ken Lo drove me to the hostel, and I checked in. I got my sheets (no blanket) and made my way up. Getting my luggage to the room was a bit of an issue, given the security gates and narrow stairs. I imagine that the hostel (and its neighbors) were basically established in old, unappealing apartment buildings that were too expensive to remodel. The place was built with cinder blocks, single plane glass. I got a room with air conditioning, which is a locked room off of the main dorm room. The dorm (two bunk beds) had no air conditioning and felt about 85 degrees at 11PM at night; I felt a bit sorry for the dorm people. I wanted a shower, but with all the activity, couldn't snag the bathroom: I'd be up at 6AM so I'd have my morning shower before everyone else.
It turns out the room had no blankets, and I used my jacket and a few extra pillows to snug myself up. I was a little cold. Air conditioning has its downsides.