Manapua Delivered

Mid-day Thursday we waited for some furniture to be delivered. When a hotel here remodels its rooms, a local company takes the furniture and resells it to the public for way less than buying new furniture. They were coming to deliver our desk, chair and ottoman between noon and 1:45.

When the delivery guy called to tell me he was on his way, the conversation sounded like this:

Delivery guy: “We come twel-fify. I go to manapua firs.”
Me:(After thinking for second) “Twelve-fifty you’ll be here. That’s great.”

I figured he was stopping at a place called Manapua for a delivery before he came to our place.

Delivery guy: “You want manapua? I bring you one.”
Me: “What?”
Him: “Manapua”
Me: (yelling at Mark down the hall) “What’s this guy saying?”
Delivery Man: “M-a-n-a-p-u-a”
Me: “I don’t know what that is.”
Delivery guy: “Lunch truck. You want me to bring from da lunch truck?”

Mark had to explain. Manapua is a local treat, most like the doughy Dim Sum dumplings found in San Francisco Chinatown restaurants. Hawaiian style, they are filled with pork or Portuguse Sausage and are often sold from lunch trucks.

The best photo I can find is from The Tasty Island food blog.

How nice are the people in Hawaii when the delivery guy not only brings you your furniture, but offers to bring you lunch as well?

Some days the Mainland seems so far away.

Just Another Emergency Alert in Paradise

Two nights ago we attended a community meeting regarding the tsunami evacuation plans for Honolulu County. Apparently with the last tsunami warning, there were problems. Six of our area sirens are out of commission. Some people were turned back at evacuation points. One person who is disabled couldn’t get out of her house to evacuate to a shelter.
Our legislators were there for the beginning, were introduced, then left.

Ed Teixeira, Vice Director for Civil Defense, was the one who most impressed me. Knowledgeable, responsible, personable. He’s what I’d like all my representatives to be. I wonder if he’s running for office? He’d be good in Washington.

Anyway, the scenario that would cause a high amount of devastation here on Oahu is an earthquake in Alaska that’s over a 9.0 magnitude.

It was a very informative meeting. I signed up for text message alerts from the Dept. of Emergency Management, just in case.

11:30 pm

I wish I could show you what the sky looks like here now. I’m sitting in my folding chair looking south outside my window. There’s a faint line where the tops of the mountains meet the night sky. Every minute or so the flash of lightning beacons over the mountain like a light bulb with crazy wires hanging down under it. It reminds me of my hair here in Hawaii. Where it had been smooth in San Francisco, it’s all crazy, curly frizzy here. I can smooth it out on top but it dangles all wonky below.

And guess what?
I just received a text message from the Dept. of Emergency Management.
There’s a flash flood warning here now until 1:45 am. We’re supposed to take action if we see flooding.

I’ve lived through snowstorms, earthquakes, heat waves…but what action do we take for flooding?

A Reminder to Be Grateful in the Midst of Moving

Don Quijote is a superstore here in Hawaii. We call it “Asian Walmart.” Our day began with breakfast at the Hilton, followed by a stop at the UPS store to pick up some of our shipped boxes, then a trip to Don Quijote.

At the entrance to the store, locals had made a banner and signed it for the people of Japan. People mostly wrote prayers and hopes. One boy wrote that he hopes his Japan Mom is okay. It was a reminder of how good we have it here. Every time I complain about a hotel room or the hassle of moving or how hot it is, Mark says, “We could be like the people in Japan, homeless and sleeping in the cold, worried about everything.”
It was a good reminder to be grateful and to give back while we shopped. The Red Cross Japan Effort is getting more of my money soon.

With our list of items we needed in order to function in our new apartment, we checked out of Don Quijote with a few bags and drove to our apartment in an area outside of Honolulu.

We took inventory of what we still needed over lunch at a local cafe. My idea was to hit Bed, Bath and Beyond and Walmart for the rest of our items. Mark decided it was time to buy a new car. Yes, we have a rental car for a week. After that, we are without transportation. There’s a bus that goes from our town to Honolulu and if needed, Mark can bus it to work, but we decided we still need a car.

Off to Honda Windward it was. Such a great experience. We spent four hours there and felt like we made new friends. Sitting and getting to know people is a big thing here. We “talked story” with the Finance Manager while our car was being readied and the paperwork was being completed. His son had recently moved to San Francisco and needed a good auto mechanic. I gave him the name and number of the best, most honest mechanics in San Francisco – Richardson Automotive (415) 929-1210.

I dropped off my new car in one of our two allotted parking spaces at our apartment complex. We then took the rental to Bed, Bath and Beyond at the Pearlridge Mall.
Don’t follow the directions off iPhone maps. We drove around Aiea and Pearl City trying to find the mall. We turned off the phone and followed our instincts and landed in the parking lot at 6 pm.

TWO HOURS and two shopping carts later, we left Bed, Bath and Beyond. Dinner was at Ala Moana Mall Food Court, only because it was quick, there was parking and security to monitor our stuffed car.

We stopped at our trusted friend’s place to pick up a few remaining items and drove back to our apartment.

At 11 pm, we were hot, cranky, tired and just wanted to unload the car and get to sleep. Forgetting about the conditions of the people of Japan, I was focusing on my returning sore throat and feeling run down. Mark drove into the parking garage and up to the top level to find his parking space. The painted numbers for each space had been faded by the sun and we couldn’t read any of them. We drove around looking for any number we could read, but the spaces weren’t numbered exactly in numerical order. I got out and crouched down to try to read the faded yellow numbers better. Mark and I hardly ever get irritated with each other, but this was pushing us. Finally, I stood in a space and yelled for Mark in the car on the other side of the rooftop. We found it!

Tired and cranky, we unloaded what we could and dragged ourselves to our place. We plopped on the bed and turned on the AC unit in the bedroom. It sounded like a sick jet plane ready for takeoff. There was no way to sleep with that on. Begrudgingly, we stripped the bed and brought the sheets and pillows into the guest bedroom. Good thing we got a two bedroom place!

The AC unit was quiet and soothing and we were fast asleep in no time.
I woke up a solid eight hours later to the sound of tropical birds chirping. Mark made coffee and we sat in our new fold-up chairs watching the morning sun over the green mountains of Oahu. Ah, this is why we moved here.

Our thoughts are still with the people of Japan and we hope they recover soon. I am grateful for the new place to live in a beautiful setting with only two beds, fold-up chairs and a small table. I am safe. My loved ones are safe and healthy. All is well.

Honolulu Here We Come!

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

After two nights at a hotel near SFO, we made it to Honolulu Airport with four suitcases and four carry-on bags.

I’m surprised at what my absolute necessary items are; my checkbook and extra checks, some cash (because I don’t have a bank account in Hawaii yet), my journal, laptop, my back up hard drive, two bath towels and two coffee mugs. I had a change of clothes for four days.

We rented a car and drove to our new apartment. We needed to pick up our keys from our landlord. Happy, happy, we were in Hawaii and heading to our new place. Not happy, the place hadn’t been painted after the previous tenant moved out.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village became our home for the next three days. We needed to let the paint smell leave the apartment and we had no furnishings.

We lugged our belongings with us, stopping to leave our most precious items with a trusted friend. The Hilton was so accommodating and it was nice to have a place to crash that had everything there.

For dinner that night, I did what every native Californian does – I found Mexican food.

Our new place is unfurnished, and since we sold/donated/gave away all our items, we had to go shopping. I went to bed anxious to purchase bedding and dishes.

Ah, my well-planned intentions were foiled. I woke up with a sore throat and stomach pains. I was sick.

I slept all day in the comfy Hilton bed and I thank God for the Jewish mother who came to Oahu and left her Matzoh Ball soup recipe with C.J.’s Deli in the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Mark made sure I ate my soup and went to sleep. The next day I was able to open a bank account and meet the delivery men for our new bed.

For our last night at the Hilton, we went to dinner on Waikiki Beach. The sunset welcomed us to Oahu.

Remind me to tell you about last night…and our 11 pm tour of the parking garage.