Another work trip, this time to the picturesque Hawaiian Islands, specifically, Oahu.
No, this isn’t a boondoggle. There are military units stationed here that need training essential to their readiness, and it’s a lot cheaper to send a small complement of instructors to Hawaii than to pack up several hundred trainees and all their gear and deploy them to a stateside training complex for a couple of weeks. Say what you want about military budgets and government waste, but the folks in my organization are penny pinchers of profound diligence.
I’m working 10-14 hour days, including a commute that can total three hours of crawling along gridlocked highways. That doesn’t leave much time for touristing beyond walking/jogging distance on my daily constitutional.
No matter. The weather is relentlessly pleasant, and there are lots of nice things to see if I keep my head up and my eyes open.
It’s harder to enjoy the natural beauty and multicultural charm of this island in the absence of my lovely wife. The world always looks a little brighter when I see it, in part, through her eyes. I’ve spent less time this trip contemplating the interplay of sun, surf, sand, and tropical flora. Instead, my attention is drawn to overcrowded roads, urban blight, and tourist kitsch.
There is, however, the food. Barbequed chicken glazed with mango, fresh seafood, exotic curries, and all manner of other cuisine that’s gained a little sweetness and savor from a long simmer in this melting pot of the Pacific Rim. There’s even a restaurant around the corner that offers pancakes the size of manhole covers, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s more ohana than this boy can handle, but I might drop by some night just to watch somebody else tackle one.