1: And Then He Sucked on My Ear
I wish it was the story of some strange Hawaiian island seduction, but it’s just how some Russian guy tried to help unclog my ear!
The first stop on my “Tevas and sarong ’round-the-world odyssey” was Hawaii, to visit a friend and obtain my scuba certification. I was finishing up my last dive (which I did pass!) and couldn’t clear one ear. If I didn’t finish this dive I wouldn’t pass, and I was leaving in two days. The instructor gave me two options: quit, or dive as far as I could stand the pain and complete the last exerciseÃ¯Â¿Â½
So, when I got back on board I was gripping in my head in pain, and a fellow diver who spoke no English offered to help. He proceeded to grab my nose, gesture for me to blow and when I did so, he put his lips to my ear and sucked hard trying to help my ear pop! As I sat there stunned by what happened Ã¯Â¿Â½ he did it again! While the rest of the divers thought that was such a cool solution to the problem, I wondered if I could still hear out of my left ear. As he stooped to give me another dose of his Russian clogged-ear cure, I quickly assured him that my ear was much much better… but I think it actually cleared the next morning. Who knew people are SO friendly on dive boats!
Other friendly folks I met on board were some Air Force pilots, who after a half-dozen beers told me about their adventures, which included being allowed to come home with personal stuff after “missions.” Most recently they returned from Sydney with a coffee table, and last month with cases of beer from Germany. They were headed to Columbia in May, and I couldn’t help but wonder what they’ll bring back then.
Having been to Honolulu before I really wasn’t doing the tourist thing, but rather spent time trying to brush up my high school Spanish before I left for Peru. So far I’ve memorized “Donde es bano?” and “No me moleste por favor.” Oh boy.
But for those travelling to Hawaii, make sure you take a hike up Diamond Head (just don’t do it without water or eating, as I found out the hard way). The beaches of Waikiki are okay if you like the hotel tower after hotel tower kind of scene Ã¯Â¿Â½ but for true Hawaiian scenery, rent a car and go up the coast. You’ll be treated to coral reefs tucked into coves, wide sandy beaches and some stark rocky precipices where the ocean spray shoots hundreds of feet into the air. There are surfer beaches so dangerous that novices have been known to break their necks, and little hideaways that take a concerted effort and sure footing to reach. And most of all, there’s great snorkeling where you can see many varieties of brightly colored marine life.
Things I lost already: my reading book.