May 5, 2005

paradise

I am in my bedroom at my parent's house as I compose this entry, and the atmosphere is simply unsullied. My father had purchased a banquet table to place in the large empty space in my room before the window, and while it had first appeared intrusive and unbecoming, it is actually very pleasant to sit down and do computer (and other) projects while having a gorgeous view out the window. It's also drizzling and somewhat foggy, pouring intermittently, and a nice crisp mountain breeze is floating in through the slats. It's a very inspiring atmosphere, indeed.



After spending an hour yesterday wandering by foot around my town, my modest little settlement built upon an isolated volcano in the Pacific Ocean, I arrived at the following conclusion: I love living in Hilo, Hawaii. The place is little short of perfect for me. The natural beauty, cultural diversity, general political orientation, and peacefulness of the town are all things I would miss should I choose to leave any time soon. I may choose not to leave in the near future, as it is hard to imagine I could create and maintain such an enjoyable and comfortable livelihood anywhere else. My primary incentive for moving elsewhere is little more than an ambition to see what I might be missing. This summer mainland trip, however, may take care of that for me. I am developing an increasingly strong feeling that I would quickly find myself regretting moving away. It may be interesting to live in such places as Seattle, San Francisco, or the northwestern wilderness eventually, but for now, it is seeming much more sensible to stay here and get at least a couple years work experience in a serious job. That I can get a decent job with my undergraduate degree is simply an assumption, though. There must be something I can do on this island that caters to my interests and expertise. I do know that the amount of money I make does not matter nearly as much to me as my own happiness. Moving away and establishing my own residence in a foreign land would create much more pressure on me to find a high-paying job to support myself in an unfamiliar territory. I believe that if I am going to put myself in such a situation, I should have a very good reason. I don't believe that I do, yet. Also, considering that I am already settled in and feel very secure here, I don't believe I should take the chance of trying to fix something that isn't even broken, despite what my wanderlust is telling me. I should listen more closely to logic in this case.

And for heaven's sake, I live in Hawaii. I have had many people in Phoenix, Arizona ask me why the hell I moved there after living in Hawaii. I could only respond with, "well, I guess I got tired of living on a rock most of my life and wanted to see what it was like living on the mainland. Plus, I have relatives here I can stay with." I could never honestly say I enjoyed the city, as it was too large, noisy, dirty, dry, boring, devoid of culture, and full of thieves and beggars. The surrounding nature, however, I could find pleasure in. I miss many of the places in Arizona I used to go regularly or occasionally. I miss the extreme wildness of some of the places, and the many different flavours of surrealism that can be experienced in desert valleys and on plateaus. But there are many more things about living there that I don't miss. Phoenix is truly an ugly city. Its largest green spaces are private golf courses. Its largest, fanciest buildings are resorts the middle class couldn't afford. Everything is made of drab-looking concrete and the streets are mostly arranged on a grid. So much of it looks the same, and very predictable. Temperatures soar in the summer, and it rarely rains. It's a huge city and still offers very little to do, unless one enjoys shopping at upscale clothing stores or playing golf. I am truly glad I decided to get out of there immediately after finishing community college. As I have mentioned many times before, I do not regret ever going there in the first place; it helped me gain a lot of character during my transgression from childhood to adulthood, and I experienced many fabulous things in Arizona.

Yesterday afternoon, after my lectures had mercifully ended for the semester, I decided to take a little walk down to the farmer's market which operates only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I wore nothing more than a pair of shorts, my blue-tinted sunglasses, and my iPod out the door, remembering to be quite thankful that I could do such a thing year-round here and be very comfortable. It happened to be one of those sunny days that I treasure, where the verdant surroundings become even more blazing green beneath the sun's rays, and the ocean appears a sharp dark blue as cool, refreshing trade winds sweep across its surface and onto the shore. My music completely drowned out any outside noise as I made the ten minute walk into downtown. I stopped at the bridge for a little while and gazed down at the river, becoming hypnotised by its flowing water for a spell. Even the bridge showed character with its graceful curvilinear features, looking as if it had been constructed in the late 19th or early 20th century. That is to say nothing of downtown, though. It still looks very much like a plantation town from the early 1900's, and this is clearly deliberate. Many of the buildings have been restored in such a fashion that still preserves the old-time look. I cannot help but to feel proud to live in a town whose entirety does not look like ten thousand other American towns; mostly made of concrete and full of fast food joints on every block. The buildings simply attest to the amount of cultural diversity that can be found in Hilo. Here, very few minorities are even considered a minority. Equality, in fact, is much more prevalent. After a simple walk around the block, one will have likely seen people from a dozen different nationalities. This is something I appreciate greatly, for I would much rather live here than a town that is strictly dominated by "white culture." Talk about drab. I actually prefer to classify that as absence of culture.

The town is naturally beautiful, as well. Its largest green space is in the form of a public park not far from the sea. Much of it overlooks a river, and is full of lovely shade trees and intersected by interesting bridges. And contrary to Phoenix, it's all very green. Trees and little patches of green are everywhere because the area experiences at least as many rainy days as sunny days every year. A long line of coconut palm trees line the bay front, separating the football (real football, not American football) fields from the bay front highway. Just a little up the slope can be found a series of waterfalls that are very easy to get to, but where privacy can still be obtained most of the time. The uptown region is slightly less pretty, as that is where Wal-Mart and a series of fast food restaurants reside, but I happen to live on the opposite side of town.

The farmer's market was selling a large quantity of different fruits and vegetables, many I have never heard of in my life. Regardless, here's to healthy eating. Since it was the first time I had ever seriously explored the local farmer's market, I was surprised at how expansive it seemed for being held on such a small lot. All kinds of nice Hawaiiana items were being sold, and I did enough cash to purchase a couple necklaces. Someone also had an impressive collection of knives, and I would have bought a wolf-themed pocketknife had I the money on me. Maybe next time.

I am, in fact, happy with the residence in which I live. It's a tiny apartment cell, but I do not mind, for I find it is very cozy and whenever I feel I need more space, I simply venture outside. It's also relatively quiet, and about as close to downtown as it can get without being considered as past of downtown. The chorus of the coqui frogs against the chirping of the early morning songbirds is breathtaking. Currently, I see no reason to move out of there anytime soon.

I love my Hawaii. I don't care who else runs around here; it is my own personal utopia. Is there anything wrong with considering it all mine, as long as I share?

3 comments:

Con Man said...

If you move...

WHY YOU SHOULD MOVE TO SAN FRANCISCO:

1. It's left.
2. It's left.
3. It's left.
4. Personally, I don't really have a large notion for furries, but you probably like that, and yeah. There are alot of furries.
5. It's by the mountain.
6. It's by the ocean.
7. There's a mountain that I and my liberal-hippie-etc. aunt go to that less than 15 minutes or so from the San Francisco area (assuming there's no traffic) called Mount. Diablo, and it's a great hiking places.
8. I heard you like hippies, well, welcome to Hippy Central.
9. It's also near the ocean.
10. There are some wonderful camping places around, despite it's a city.
11. There's always many things to do.

The only bad thing that I can think of about San Fran is the terrible, terrible, house price.

But the people here are excellent to talk to, unless you live in a terrible neighborhood with 'thugs'--otherwise, the Bay Area is wonderful.

Lithium said...

Digital Blasphemy was a good choice, Raptybby. I used to use that particular image myself, but lately I've been going all "no background" for faster boot times. (Yeah, like I don't have enough time to waste as it is).

Lithium said...
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