wanderlust: lusting to wander

Good morning from my Upcountry HQ in Makawao, cowboy country, Hawaii, Maui, USA, Solar System of the Sun, Space

yea, more like space out ya'll... Laying up in bed with the cool-ish morning breeze wafting in and birds chirping, dogs barking, roosters roosting, and... wait for it... COFFEE. So you see, I'm already back in my 'position' when I blog from afar.  It honestly feels strange to blog in Amerika...

Anyhow... ROAR. I'm feeling it. Those of you in the know, know :)  Anyway, yesterday was a major day in many ways for me.  It was a flight finalization to Bahrain. It was a finally get the scale to weigh my bags day. It was a beautiful, sunny day with hardly any humidity.

So, what's a girl to do with these perfect conditions- reach the beach.  What bikini to wear? Where to place my pareo in the sand? Where is the sun? Oh look, the sand is returning to Baldwin Beach on the right side after nearly all summer's absence. Oh the beauty I soaked up.  No wind, no crowds, fizzy water, BBQ tofu, and my book- which, by the way, is so amazing that I have decided to do an 'annotated bibliography' of sorts with it as one of my future posts.  More on that later though.  So, back to the beach.

The only minor distraction was the thoughts of all the shark sightings and/or attacks in Hawaii recently... It got me thinking, when I wasn't reading or daydreaming or forecasting, why is this happening?  What is it? Global warming- waters rising & food chain disrupted?  Fukushima fallout w/prevailing currents bring all that waste here? Sharks getting too hot and going agro on us? Sharks losing food chain food as food chain is dying out due to increase in water temps along w/debris? Sharks have to come near shore to feed now? Have their feeding hours changed due to climate change- is it not typically just dawn and dusk they are out on the prowl for chow? Is it something simple (regional) like El Nino or La Nina? Is it just a natural metamorphoses that has been occurring on a geological scale that we can't observe because it's a long process and we're in it? WTF?  I want answers!

So the weather has changed for the better yesterday.  With that, my sunset-ish run was SWEET. It is the 1st run in a week where I haven't stopped- I'm talking only a 4mile run too... I realize that my days are numbered running here and soon I'll be running through another landscape! During my trot I started to think about my future running routes. What would they be like? Will I have to carry a little sweat towel? Will I have to carry water? Will I actually run at night (I did just purchase a neon yellow tee for this very reason)? Then I started thinking about yoga classes. What will they be like? And then my future apartment, my car, etc.  All such newness coming up in about a week and I'm totally stoked. As a side dish, I was also thinking about work too...

One thing I didn't think about- the Syria conflict.  I gave myself that. I gave myself an hour to not think about it.  Actually it didn't even enter my mind. "IT" didn't even attempt to. There was a full hour where it had no bearing on my outlook. This I enjoyed.  Much of my time this summer has been spent reading what has been happening throughout the region I just left- Gezi Park, Turkish PM RTE, Gaziantep, Syria, refugees, etc. Our political machine seems to be kicking into high gear this week and who knows about next week... My unsolicited thoughts: brains, not bombs. Syria needs aid.  Everybody needs to ask Mr. Syria himself what he wants.  Why not? While we're at it, let's ask everybody again.  Why is this UN Security Council thing not working out properly? A decision should be made together- whatever it is.  Don't stop talking until a decision. Maybe this is how it actually happens, but I get the idea the principles of the idea (of a council) have been lost to pomp and circumstance long ago. We need progressive think tanks. I guess we have them- of all persuasions. So, what is the problem? Is it that THE world machine is just too damn big now? There is no more hand-shaking... What seems to be concrete right now is Russia sticking to its UN Security Council tenet that anything outside of a full UN SC approval is thought to be an act of aggression (no quote on that one, just round-about). Who's the bully? There's definitely more than 1 bully.  And it's not always a single entity anymore, is it?  blah blah blah.  I'm bumming out my zen-morning trip...

Let's see, what's on the agenda today?  I had to alter my plans to go to Palauea and assist in a current archaeological dig. So... this leaves me free. Free to go to my post office box and pick up my 3 new Arabic language reference books (dictionary, workbook, and something else I've forgotten already), and a care-package from King-Cab. Then I am free to go to do my rounds of house-sitting deeds. And then the beach. And then a late lunch... You get the idea.  I have no agenda for the day.  I'm ready to fly the coop.  Why? Because I've got a serious case of:
wait for it...
WANDERLUST: lusting to wander


9 pm and all's well

It's 9 pm and all's well. I'm up at the Makawao HQ lying in my comfy bed after about 2 hours of perusing various websites dedicated to last night's VMA Awards. Yes, I confess, all the Miley talk had me curious so I had to check it out. Not that I give a shit either way, it was just interesting on an anthropological level to check out Homo sapiens' of all spices of life... Of course, from there it went to checking out all the fashionistas. Kudos to Rihanna's low-key fab look. Jessica Biel was also rocking a cool frock, which is highly unusual for her IMHO.

For some reason my fashion police sense is emerging.  Many of you may not know this but my first foray into higher education came at the hands of a local college that had a fantastic fashion merchandising/design program.  So... there's that. One of my besties is a long time fashion designer and I still love to check out the designs she's into these daze.

I have recently returned from DC (maybe I blogged about that, I can't recall) from a meet-up of the Georgetown University English Language Fellow conference.  Since then I've been in wait mode: wait for my visa; wait for my travel arrangements to be made; wait wait wait. Well, it all came together yesterday (Sunday is a work day over on the other side of the world in the Middle East for all of you that don't know).

I received word that my work visa is ready.  Today my flight plans are confirmed to Bahrain.  Next week I board a plane en route to Bahrain and to my next chapter in my volume of life history. All loose ends are basically tightened up.  I run a tight ship- mostly. Honestly I'm all planned out.  I'm ready to be on that plane and just check it out live and direct. 

I am, of course, keeping up-to-date with current news throughout the region. While it's relatively calm there, much of the outlying area is full of unrest.  Syria is on my mind. My time as a next door neighbor gave me insights into the dual nature of the situation(s). After years of the world watching Syria being torn apart at the seams, it seems something is coming to a head- perhaps very soon.  I hope peace can be obtained.

Now, back to Bahrain! I'm thrilled to go there as an ELF.  It's interesting to see my life progress. I mean, we all do it. We are all self-critical as well as self-appreciative over certain aspects of our lives and achievements.  I believe this evolution is monumental. I think you all might notice an ever-so-slight change in my penning perhaps. Of course, I'm just me. The island girl that tires of the island and yearns to be swept away to exotic locales.

In order to start the new chapter, I have to finish out this current chapter so here goes... In my last week here, I'm pondering the beauty of the Islands.  Now, I have 3 residences to do this currently: Makawao HQ, and the satellite HQs in Paia and Kula.  You can't beat that honestly.  When it's hot, you simply flee to Kula. When you want to hit up the beach, you head to Paia. When I simply want to veg out, I stay Makawao.

As I still have a week here, I'm not sure how this chapter will finish out. Perhaps it will be a cliffhanger...


any day now...

Any day now:

Any day now I will slow down and overcome my non-stop jet lag since arriving back in Amerika this summer. It seems every few weeks I'm off again to somewhere far enough away (it's always far when Hawaii is one's HQ) where I"m discombobulated for a few days.

Any day now I will learn to play the ukulele.  Should be a bit difficult this year as I left my ukulele with Ada back in Gaziantep, Turkey. Maybe she can learn to play it and send me some YouTube videos. This would make me feel good.

Any day now I should be updating my blog with a proper post about what I did this summer... This seems a daunting task so far as I've done so many things that are, in my humble opinion, worth mentioning- ahem... *patting myself on the back*  Just know that I have been writing about all my doings and I should be able to transfer that into my usual, traditional baffling postings... Some highlights though:

Driving across (most) the country in a semi-truck
Gambling while driving across (most) the country in a semi-truck
Hanging out at my mom's place with my brothers
Working in DC to prepare for stint as a Georgetown University English Language Fellow (Bahrain)
Lounging like a lizard on various Maui beaches as such a denizen does when they are home on RNR
Zipping around Maui's roadways on a cute, red moped gathering the most unusual observations
Touring some of Amerika's most famous sites (I am talking microbreweries here)...
Experiencing cocktail culture with MisSimone at various non-famous Maui watering holes
Island hopping with friends

etc. etc.

Any day now I will get it together to make it to my tax appointment. Oh wait, that is today... Don't worry Salma, All I need now is a calculator and I'm good to go

Any day now I will find a meaningful relationship with a member of the lesser species... "meaningful" being the key word there

Any day now I will start compiling all my writings from throughout the years and start to think about "the tell-all book" that will eventually rise from the ashes of it all... Lemme know now if you want a specific code name...

Any day now I'll figure out the 'tickings' of this mad, mad world and save us all, or just myself- IDK. I suspect it has something to do with Red Velvet Cupcakes, tequila from the Blue Agave plant, great inner circle of friends, great inner circle of family, a health regime consisting of running/yoga with a base of wholesome foods, Acai smoothies, a decent job, & access to first class while flying.  If so, I'm doing pretty good- except for the first class shit. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this in bed after a full day's journey from Washington DC-Maui yesterday so yea, I'm jet lagged, again.

Any day now I'll stop buying books that I always have to lug around while moving to various locales around the globe. For instance, in DC last week (frickin AWESOME city BTW) I went on a walkabout from Woodley Park to KramerBooks- one of the AWESOME independent bookstores of the area (never made it to "Politicians and Poets"- next time). I bought 5-6 books I believe. And then, at the GU ELF ( Georgetown University English Language Fellowship) convention, I bought about 5 more... Oh yea, you guys are going to be seeing a lot of GU ELF here, so please familiarize yourselves with it.  In fact, I know I read somewhere in the handbook that I need to make a statement about 'my views are my own', etc. for me to keep up with this blog- forthcoming for sure, if I remember...

I want to keep with this thread here by mentioning that we (expats) all do what we need to to not only 'survive', but to enjoy our time living where we do.  It's not a vacation, we want to feel settled.  For me, that usually consists of a cat and books in the apartment.  The cat thing I haven't gotten around to yet, but the books- the books are key elements to enjoying my time at 'home.' I know most of 'us' use Kindles, etc, but I just can't do it.  I need books. I need pages to turn.  I need paper clips to mark my spot.  I need books messing up my floor in a late-night fit of wonder and amazement.  You know this kinda night expats- it consists of lying on the couch at first and reading something which then leads to something you remember (from a book) and then the intense desire to FIND that bit of information that isn't quite 'right' in your mind.  You know you have it somewhere... While you are searching for said piece of information, you come across your Aleister Crowley Thoth set of tarot cards... YES! WINNING! Now it's time to put the voodoo to the burning question of, "Why did that relationship with that weird guy turn out so weird?" "Was he  a spy?" Or, "Why does he still live with his mother?" Or, "Why does he drink so much tea and not beer?" Some more favorites:

"I wonder how old he is?"
"Why won't he go home?" (Rasmiyeh has secret knowledge to this burning question and I am forever in her debt for her assistance with this).

You know, this goes on for a while. Candles become involved (yes, I bring my own stash of soy candles from Mana Foods here in Paia on the lovely island of Maui.  I typically bring "Tuscan Blood Orange" and "Mexican Chocolate" (those 2 being of the large, slow-burning variety) along with about 4 little candles of different scents). This has to be BTW. If you forget this key component in your luggage, you fail at all those anticipated "Bewitching Hour" (as I so affectionately call them) moments.

So, when that passes, then you get hungry.  Why am I continuing on with this?  IDK. I forget.  Let's get back to the original line of thought...

Soooo yes, books. Any day now I will figure it out.  This will segway into my next point:

Any day now I will have the MOST PERFECT luggage assortment. Honestly, I have loads of experience with this.  Imma say right now that one can't possibly go wrong in securing a quiver of Da Kine Rolling Duffel Bags.  I have 3. Currently 2 are in Gaziantep, with Ada, awaiting my return... So that leaves one left for me here- to accompany me to my next home, Bahrain. Now, while I was at mum's this summer enjoying the perfect North Woods summer temperatures, I was also doing loads of research.  My brothers were amazed that I could spend so much time researching something so unassuming as luggage.  Well, my time paid off.  I purchased a French carry-on (Lippault) microfiber 4-wheel drive roller (not sure what you really call them). It is cool (like the material from the famous Prada bags). The color is eggplant.  It is effortless.  So, now that I have my carry-on, I need to purchase a large checked-luggage 4-wheel drive roller.  This is, of course, to carry all those friggin books... and candles... etc. etc.  I will also use my shitty Istanbul back-alley purchased large, flimsy rolling duffel as a 3rd if needed...

Any day now I will receive my international drivers license. I thought I would come back from DC to an int'l drivers license in the mail from AAA. BUT I didn't.  It was returned because the photocopy of my Hawaii DL was too dark... Damn. Imma gonna get that photocopied, again, and send it off, again. And impatiently wait all week for the int'l DL.  I might emphasize IMPATIENTLY again just because. This is emphasized because I'm, apparently, going to be driving a car in Bahrain.  This is part of the 'in kind' wording of my contract.  This is a pleasant surprise- I think. BTW, I don't even need an int'l DL to drive in Bahrain, but I still want to IMPATIENTLY wait for it.  I love amassing documents for some unknown reason.  I believe it stems from my mother being a librarian during my childhood.  This is also the source of all my book collection addictions as well I'm quite sure. Damit.

Any day now I will receive my visa for Bahrain. It is still being 'processed.' All I know is that I'm leaving in prolly less than 2 weeks. That's good enough for me. That's a hella lotta beach days to IMPATIENTLY wait for my int'l DL.

Any day now I'm going to transfer all my info from my old Mac Book Pro to my new Mac Book Pro. Yes, I experienced a Mac Attack while in Georgetown with Leslie.  We walked from Woodley Park to Georgetown specifically so I could drool over some new Mac products. I was not let down, of course. We couldn't walk back afterwards as it started pouring rain while we were eating falafels and chatting up the Turkish-loving dude that worked at the falafel joint. He was impressing us with his broken Turkish. Anyway, it was a DC moment that I got to share with a new friend (that would be Leslie) and not the Turkish-loving dude. We saw some more ELFs caught in the rain and were swept away in the safety of a DC cab (I'm thinking here only of my Mac Book Pro's safety).

Any day now MisSimone will get up and make us some coffee and we will start our crazy day.  Might I add that every day spent with MisSimone is a crazy day! Imma miss those crazy MisSimone days.  When she does get up this morning we will:

drink coffee
talk about Mexican food and margarita's from last night
talk about what a disaster her living room is
talk about where to travel next
talk about the need to get our shit together because we both have tax appointments this am with Salma.
talk about Katie-girl's wedding plans and all the fun I will miss cuz I gotta be on a plane for 2 days...
talk about how we are NOT going to shop today after tax appointments, yet going into Paia to shop...

etc. etc.

Any day now I'm going to post pictures, most likely randomly, on my blog of my most excellent summer. I'm so behind.  I still haven't posted pictures from Portugal w/Solo_ojo from January/ February.  What a loser.  I also realize I've been remiss in my duties of updating my blog all summer. I apologize for this, but like I said earlier, I do have collected journal entries that should easily turn into blog postings (inshallah)...

Any day now Imma make it back to Alaska to see Svia- who I think about often and when I do, I smile.

signing off,