Day One
Part One

Going from this side to that:

I’ve made myself to Oahu, rented a car and driven across the Island to what the native folk call “Real Hawaii.” This is the north side. It’s about an hour drive from the airport. H1 to H2, then 80 to 99 and over. After H2, I watched for the exit and was surprised as the road turned from a four lane monster into a rural town street in a flash.

Immediately upon landing in a place….anyplace, I tend to get a sense for some of the culture I’m about to experience. This time, it was the signage….or the lack of it in critical places, that caught my attention. There seem to be many opportunities to make it easier for people like me to find myself around. I’m not judging here, it’s simply an observation. For instance, when leaving the airport terminal it’s not very obvious where the busses to the rental car facilities are. I did a very unmanly thing and actually asked a guy. He told me and I looked in that direction to see a chaotic maelstrom of travelers, but still no obvious signs. I followed his directions and, sure enough, there were busses, but what he didn’t tell me was that the rental car facility was actually just across the street. The busses were for returning passengers only. Again, no signs to suggest such. This would become a theme on the highways, in the small busy towns, even in the grocery stores. It’s almost as if they don’t want to give away too much information. Don’t want the visitors to know too much. Best let them bother the locals for a singular answer than to give it all away. It’s a “need-to-know-basis” thing.

I’m staying at the Turtle Bay Resort. A young man in the same row as me on the plane said, “that’s where the movie stars stay!” Yup kid, you found me out! Went for a nice two-hour walk along the beach this morning early. The resort owns a couple mile stretch of land here. First I slathered on the Sun block. It’s my world these days. I retreat from the Sun when I can, peeking my head out occasionally. When I do pop out in it’s warmth my whole body looks something like a lifeguard’s nose. Streaks of opaque white cream everywhere. I only hope I haven’t left gaps where the tell tale racing stripes might develop. I’m not a NASCAR fan.

Almost immediately upon venturing off I stumble upon a local man fishing. He holds a white nylon net perfectly coiled as he slowly creeps forward a step or two at a time intently staring at a single spot under the surface. He’s watching a fish, but I can’t see it. My angle and distance are not amenable to it. He crouches low, in the same pose he’d use first standing up on a surfboard, then still low he takes a step towards his prey when it turns for a moment away from him. He’s trying to get closer to it. Close enough to throw his net. Slowly he gains on his mark, and now he’s moved into the water, frozen solid with his right armed cocked. All the while the tide is coming in fast. He stays down there in that position for the longest time, legs bent, back parallel to the water’s surface, arm ready to uncoil the net. I watch him for 30 minutes. He throws the net only once. He misses, but is not deterred. And once retrieving the net from the shallows returns again to the rock and searches for the fish. Once again he’s locked on and back in position. The pure elegance of his movements, very much martial or dance-like, fascinate me.

I never did see him catch anything, but I imagine he did at some point.

I’m here for another Leading Bold Change keynote and workshop. It’ll be in Waikiki on Monday and Tuesday. Funny, today I picked up Hawaii’s Business Today and found a small advertisement for the workshop. Here’s what it says: “Society for Human Resource Managers Workshop, featured speaker, John Kotter. “ Oops! I hope no-one’s disappointed when they see me up there. Guess I’ll have to give them a real show. For the moment, I’m not too worried about it.

Later today I took a drive to town, (about 20 minutes,) to get some real food and stopped at a roadside stand for some fresh fruit. A ripe pineapple, cut up and bagged by the master while I watched, a couple papayas, and some fresh bananas, all for nine bucks. I can see why people run away from the mainland to find a place here.

While at the store I also found a new reason for living. I might have to smuggle some of these babies home. Milk chocolate coconut macadamias!

That’s my last word for now. Got a mouthful!

And here’s a little video to keep you company. Just put it on repeat and let it play for awhile.



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