Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Last Full Day in Hawaii

Today was Oleg and my last full day in Hawaii. Due to Oleg's awesome booking skills, we spent as much time as possible in Hawaii with staying the fewest nights. We flew in really early the day we arrived, and we're flying out really late the day we leave (tomorrow).

Most of the day today I felt like doing something productive, so I looked up a bunch of I.T. companies in Hawaii and sent off emails asking them if they are interested in contracting with the company my friend Aaron and I formed. It's really low probability that I'll hear back from any of them, but that's better than the zero probably of accomplishing anything hanging out on the beach. This vacation has been really, really nice but 9 days is a long time to chill out. After this short post, I think I'll hit the hotel gym for an hour or so.

Other than sending off emails, today Oleg and I went on the Oahu Ghost Tour titled "Orbs of Oahu." The tour was pretty interesting and fun. The guide (Uncle Joe) did a very good job of telling creepy stories about (probably) historical events related to Oahu that resulted in things being 'haunted.' Unfortunately, Oleg and I did not see any ghosts, which is the outcome I was expecting due to my extremely skeptical viewpoint towards ghosts. The tour guide did a good job on explaining, in a very supernatural way, orbs present in pictures people were taking. All in all, I think this tour was very fun, kind of creepy, and a nice way to see some of Oahu at night.

Probably the best thing related to the tour happened yesterday. Oleg and I were scheduled to go on the exact same tour one day earlier, but I gave him my ticket so he could go with a girl from rural Idaho. I thought it would be really cool if the girl became scared and Oleg had to protect her. Since neither one of us actually believe there would be anything to protect her from, issuing protection should be relatively straight forward and possibly involve a lot of physical contact. Unfortunately, things did not quite turn out that way. The girl was actually extremely, extremely religious (Roman Catholic) and deathly afraid of ghosts, demons, evil spirits, leprechauns and especially demonic possession. During the initial stages of the tour, the guide requires everyone to sign a liability waiver in case of any injuries on the tour. I considered this reasonable, since there was a bit of hiking through wet terrain during night and slips and falls could easily occur. The girl Oleg was going with did not want to sign the waiver, since she wanted full legal recourse available if she was possessed by a legion of demons (or perhaps only a single demon) and an exorcism was required and a herd of swine was run over a cliff by demons.

I am not joking about her fears; this girl was seriously afraid of the Hawaiian guide chanting to protect her from the spirits. She considered it against her religion and 'voodoo.' I didn't want to correct her, telling her voodoo primarily a Caribbean religion with African roots, and we are in the Pacific. Such subtleties would have been lost. As a result, she got off the bus before the tour began and started walking back to her hotel. Oleg, being a nice guy, got off the bus as well to make sure she made it back safely. You might be asking yourself "Brian, you weren't there. How do you know what happened?" To answer such a question, I talked with the girl on the phone directly after she left the tour since I was hanging out with her brother while he was driving. She sounded very scared and shaken up on the phone, and wanted to talk with her brother. After her brother safely parked the car (I'm a big fan of non-distracted driving) she spoke with him and I could hear his side of the conversation. Oleg, her brother, myself and her all went to dinner together after the event and they filled us in on bits and pieces. Oleg also filled me in on the details of the story once we were alone later.

Initially, I was kind of pissed at the entire ridiculous situation. I dropped about $45 per ticket and some back country yokel girl let her superstitions get the better of her. After watching a movie, calming down and thinking about it I realized that there was nothing to feel bad about. Ninety bucks isn't a big deal - my friend and I were hanging out in wonderful Hawaii where everything is beautiful and perfect. I started to feel gratitude in my heart that I am no so superstitious, my friends are not and neither is my family. In addition, I now have a funny story to tell. To further remove any motivation for negative thoughts, Oleg spoke with the tour organizers today and we were able to reschedule at no additional cost.

All in all, everything turned out great. I am having some technical issues related to the videos I took for the guide chanting - I really wanted to incorporate the audio into some sort of multimedia presentation, game or something. That might work out, but if not, there are some really awesome videos about the ghost tour on youtube. We didn't have a digital camera with us, so no pictures.