What a great day! Work was great today, starting with some chill CCAP work while I listened to podcasts. I found this great series on life in Japan, called Tokyo Podcast, which ranges in topics from starting a business in Japan to tattoo culture to post-Tohoku recovery efforts and beyond. These ended in 2012, but there are 50 I have to go through & I really like/recommend them!
Anyways, I had a 10 am meeting with Doug, which meant a lot of progress on my He’eia project and some fun chatting about Buffy, Supernatural and beyond. Afterwords I got super motivated for my project, so some mad ArcMap mapping and spreadsheeting ensued. Heck yeah! Plus I gave out the rest of my not-for-me orange brownies to everyone today & they were a big hit – I was even called a master baker (scoooore!), so hello there self-esteem indeed.
Doug invited me out to pauhana after work today, which is awesome since I am a sad bean with no social plans of my own. Left work with him, some more fun stories and, special treat, Doug’s sing-along rendition of “Robin Hood and ‘Lil John“, 3 times in a row. I am such a lucky duck. We had some time, as well as Doug’s promise, to hit up a locally-processed chocolate shop in Chinatown, so we did. T’was called Madre Chocolate, this groovy hippie-ish place with free samples galore. Praise those people. Everything was sooo good in there, from the fact that it was all fancy chocolate, his recipes, freshly made, large fresh sample pieces of chocolate & cacao beans and just, well, everything. I ended up with a coffee & cardamom (mhmmm, love cardamom) bar while Isa gets a horchata bar, unbeknownst to her. We’re definitely playing the sharing game. Pluuus Doug bought it for me/us, which was so sweet, I just keep getting hit by kindness here. And I’m not talking a tap on the shoulder, I mean, it’s like kindness is coming up to me, throwing me on the ground and absolutely kicking the flaschnoodle outta me, only I love it. I simple cannot state it enough, how absolutely lovely the people out here have been to me. Incroyable.
We then connected with Doug’s observer friend, Evan, after that in a bar whose name I can’t remember. Ross caught up with us there, followed by Andrew, which was awesome! And ugh, I know, I throw around awesome and rad and nifty and chill like I’m pitching for a retriever puppy, but everything out here is just so worthy of such words. So we stayed there for an hour or so, during which I learned that Samoa has these huge-ass bats that crawled around and made you wonder if you were high. Good talk, guys.
The feature of the night, Tchin Tchin, came after that and dayum was it worth it. It’s some hipster, snazzle dazzle place in Chinatown that just moved in and did a fine job doing it. The reviews online were great and it beyond lived up to them, for sure. We ordered some apps, including a bombin’ artichoke & tako dish (biggest pic), shrimp & pesto bruschetta, broccolini (other food pic) and a fantastic smoked prosciutto & some other meat with baby parmesan-crusted breads. I also had a Piso Paradise, maybe? It was some tasty lime cocktail that Runj ordered & I stole, whoopsies. I mean, beyond the food the setting was also spectacular, with lights strung up and an open patio with a wall of succulents, which my pics fail to sufficiently capture but trust me, it was lovely ambiance.
Once we finished up there, which was full of more fun Samoa/general Pacific stories all around, as well as good Japanese food and life talk/travel convos with Andrew, we packed up for dinner, which was to be a separate event. Ross and Andrew tapped out, but at least one of them had a long week so I’ll give them a break.
Downbeat Diner is where we closed everything up for the night, apparently an iconic dinner with what is, I heard, the official food of Hawai’i, a Loco Moco. It’s a pile of rice topped with a burger, over-easy eggs and brown gravy, simple and delicious. More stories, including the fact that on American Samoa the one karaoke place was also a whore house and right next to a tuna cannery. Honestly, y’all would not believe the stories all of these guys have about the Pacific. It’s frickin’ wild. We split after that for real, minus a brief run-in with Doug & Runj’s friends who were waving at us from the bar across the street. Small island, man, I’ll tell ya. Runj took me home after that, and I started writing this! I have to get ready to peace out for Hanauma Bay and Bellows Beach tomorrow with Isa’s family, since they’re picking me up at 5:35 tomorrow. Eep! With that I’m off to bed, I hope everyone’s having a fantastic weekend and loving life!