Friday, November 28, 2008

Culture Shock – November 27

“Excuse me, how much would it cost to take us to the clock tower?”

“Let’s see…four of you…that will be four dollars each.”

“My friend, you joke with me! The clock tower is 2 miles down the road.”

“Umm no…you see, I’m going to use a meter and I’m telling you that it will probably cost that much.”

“But if you use a meter you will probably drive around the island first!”

At this point in the conversation, my friends came up behind me and told the cab driver we would accept his offer – it was only $2 more than the bus that would for sure take us around the island – slowly – first.

Unlike when we made stops for gas in Puerto Rico, Mauritius, and Singapore, we were allowed to disembark during our Thanksgiving stop in Hawaii – which has definitely been the biggest culture shock on the trip. I mean…they all speak English. I spent the first half of the day volunteering with 20 other SAS students at the Salvation Army. My favorite part was serving coffee – because, culture shock #1 – Americans really like their coffee. But then we ran out of coffee and everybody started to hate me so I ran away to the break room and ate…wait for it…LAY’S POTATO CHIPS!!! They were seriously only two PMS’s a little too late, but still perfectly salty and crunchy all in one.

After Salvation Army, our guide dropped us off at Safeway. I had gotten a little excited by the Lays and bought a whole big box of mini-bags of them. Very American of me. And Cabot Cheddar Cheese. Ahhh…but it costs 8 bucks for a small brick in Hawaii. Eff you transportation costs. And wheat thins and crunchy peanut butter and American gossip magazines and normally flavored gum and…no alcohol because, culture shock #2 – America’s drinking age is 21 and people actually card for it. But there was no reason to buy alcohol anyways because, culture shock #3 – it’s illegal to drink in public.

The best part of being in America for Thanksgiving was being able to use my cell phone and call my family. I guess some of the girlfriends are getting pretty serious…because my mom said that there were six people over for dinner and last I counted there are four people in the fam minus me – unless you were there Geoffrey? But that would still leave space for one girlfriend…

And now I’m back at sea.


Jennifer said...

I believe you mean to say the best part about thanksgiving was getting to call me!!!! koo said you said we had an absurdly long conversation. you know you loved it

Jen said...

Wow, that's quite an adventure! Glad you got a few tastes of home before you went back to sea. :)