Last night we boarded a plane that would take us across the Pacific Ocean to arrive at our destination at 6:45am May 6th Japan time, 11:45am May 5th Hawaii time. As we landed, I was ready to eat breakfast. We ate lunch. It was very strange. In fact, that flight had taken us back in time. Yesterday, on May 5th, 2019, we went to Nara. Today, on May 5th, 2019, we are going to spend our first day in Hawaii. Look at the timeline below to see how we went back in time.

This is the closest we have been to home both figuratively and literally. We are now technically in the United States of America. It felt close but so far away from home. We ate lunch at Teddy’s Burgers, a place that we went to in Seattle but that actually started in Hawaii. The burgers tasted exactly the same. As we approached the counter, the manager who would take our order spoke to us in an American accent. It felt so strange. As we drove to our house, all the street signs were in English. People spoke American English. We were “home.”

On this trip, we got to think about the United States with outside eyes. It is our home, but we mostly got to put our feet in the shoes of travelers who could have been from Tanzania, Bali, or Spain. Hawaii (or the United States) felt strange.

The people at customs were the least friendly compared to any other place we’ve been to. They were kind of bossy. Though the man at immigration was friendly. He saw how long we had been gone and asked us where we had been. He told us how he has family very close to Polcenigo, in Pordenone, and his other half of family was from Greece, on the island of Rhodes. Even though Americans are quite America-Centric, they are still essentially a nation made up of other nations.

Apart from customs, Hawaii was very welcoming to us. It is interesting to look upon the United States with new eyes, but also to think about where we are. As we drove to our place outside of Honolulu, I looked at the countryside. It looked like we were in either South America or the islands of Southeast Asia. Janet commented on how it felt more like the slow-paced pole pole lifestyle of “Island Life” that we learned about on Zanzibar. On this trip, we have now stayed on five islands: Britain, Zanzibar, Bali, Japan, and now Hawaii. Three out of five of those are pretty pole pole. Zanzibar, Bali, and Hawaii. They have a lot of differences, but they all have pole pole in the air.

Hawaii has a lot for us to see. We are now staying in a spacious house outside of Honolulu, with a big TV and clean water coming out of the tap, both things I now appreciate.

Below: Teddy’s Burgers!

 

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Below: Time Zone Timeline