Today has been an incredibly long day, but its definitely one of those days I won’t want to forget. Today I woke up early around 7:00 A.M and got dressed before going down to eat breakfast with my mom. Today’s breakfast was especially good since there was Portuguese sausage and Korean rice soup called Juk. I got my fair share of coffee and orange juice as well. After eating we went back to the room to get whatever we needed for the day. For today I was going to meet some of my old friends I haven’t seen for a while. My mom was going to go see her old friends as well in Waipahu. I believe we left the hotel just around 8:00 A.M. We first headed out to downtown Honolulu since I needed to go to the school bookstore that opened at 8:30 A.M. When we got downtown my mom parked at the Long’s drugs that was next to the Safeway. We first went around the Long’s Drugs since it was still pretty early and the bookstore wasn’t going to open for a few more minutes. When I went inside Long’s for some reason I had some idea to look for a Frisbee as a way to spend time with my buddies. I asked one of the workers and they pointed out the aisle. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any Frisbees in store. While I was inside though the smell of Long’s was oddly nostalgic since Long’s has this odd unique smell in it. Kind of like a Walgreens smell mixed with that wet A/C smell, a bit hard to explain but that’s how it smelled like. I also looked around at all the snacks, mostly to survey the prices on them since I was looking for the best deal on those. I also got to see the coffee section and it blew my mind. The real legit Kona blend coffee was on sale for $3.50 per pound! If only they had it at the same price here in the states. I believe my mom got a few pounds of coffee here.
After looking around a bit more I walked out towards the HPU bookstore since it should be open by then. It was an interesting and very nostalgic walk. On my way there I passed by the apartment place where some of my foreign exchange student friends lived in. It’s the apartment place next to the shuttle stop. When I got to HPU at Fort Street a lot of memories came back of hanging out with my friends those many years ago. It was an off day so there wasn’t much people on campus. It was weird seeing the campus empty like this since I was used to always seeing a lot of people there. From the MP building to the Sea Warriors Center it was weird but cool seeing it all again. I then headed into the building where the bookstore should have been, I forgot the official name of the building. When I got inside I saw an empty room where the bookstore should have been. It hit me in many ways seeing the empty room. I remembered a lot of memories of chilling with friends inside that room. Seeing it empty was really weird. I kind of wondered where the new bookstore was but I quickly remembered that HPU was making the Aloha Tower place the new central location for HPU. I then headed out that way. On my way there I made a quick stop at the LB building to ask the security guard where the bookstore was. He confirmed my guess that the bookstore was at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. I then proceeded in that direction. The whole walk that way was nostalgic on its own right. I then got to the Aloha Tower Marketplace. When I got inside the bookstore I noticed that it looked very nice inside. It was much more spacious than the previous bookstore. Inside, I was then greeted by Marianne, I was like “Hey are you Marianne?” and she responded positively and she remembered that I was on the guy on the phone the other day asking about my cap and gown. She went to the back room and looked for my cap and gown. Out came her and her supervisor who showed me the cap and gown. It was kind of funny because they misspelled my name pretty bad, something like Levy Galubon. It was weird, but I was just glad that they had one for me. I didn’t check out right away, I still looked around at all the stuff they had. There was a lot of interesting HPU memorabilia. I wished they had HPU postcards though. I ended up getting two HPU t-shirts, one for me and a medium sized one for my sister. Actually that medium sized shirt will give me some problems later on, more on that in another post. At the check out I got to talk to Marianne a bit. She was a Junior and from Philadelphia. She said she didn’t live in the city of Philadelphia but a small town near it. I can’t remember which town exactly though. At the checkout Marianne also gave me the graduation tickets, which are important so your friends and family can get inside to watch the graduation ceremony.
After checking out I still had some extra time before meeting up with my friends so I walked around a little bit. I saw that the new student center was open. Interestingly, it still required the use of a student ID. Luckily, my student ID still worked and opened the door. It took me two tries since I wasn’t sure how the door would open lol Inside was actually a very modern student center. If I was going to this school at the time I would be chilling here for the most part. After checking out the student center for a bit I checked my phone and I got texts from AJ and he said he got stuck in the UB building staircase since it was locked on both ends, due to it being summer time. I gave him a call to clarify it and it was pretty funny. After three years, the first time seeing AJ would be to help him out of a sticky situation; I wouldn’t of had it any other way. I let my mom know that I was done and ready to get picked up at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. After she picked me up I dropped off the things I didn’t need in the car and my mom dropped me off on Alakea street. I walked quickly to the UB building and it probably took me about 10 minutes after the phone call with AJ to get there. As I suspected the staircase to go up was locked, actually, how did AJ get in there the first place? Oh well, I then took the elevator to go up to the second floor and I immediately checked the first fire escape, no one there. I then checked the other fire escape and there was AJ lol It was cool to meet up again. We then quickly caught up on old times and then headed to the FS building. I wanted to meet Professor Hart to talk about my Thesis. When we got there I went to where Hart’s office was before and talked to the secretary. The secretary said that Hart should be in but his office moved down the hall. I then thanked her and went on my way. Unfortunately, Hart was not there in his office. I then met up with AJ and he said that David was gonna be at HPU in a few minutes. In the mean time AJ and I got some breakfast at Jojo’s Café in front of the Sea Warrior Center. While I was going to HPU Jojo’s Café was the spot to get breakfast for cheap. I got a Portuguese sausage meal with two eggs for $3.25! It’s such a good deal and I’m glad to see that its still cheap. Aj and I then ate our food in front of Fort Street Café. We talked about how some things were the same and how some things changed. The Chinese place where we would always get food before is now a Korean place. Kind of funny how that changed out. It didn’t take too long before David showed up and we also quickly got caught up on old times. After we finished eating we then headed out to the MP building. I wanted to talk to both Asselin and Bratton about my thesis as well. We walked up the fire escape and the smell inside that fire escape and just being in there was nostalgic as well. We walked that fire escape to the fourth floor. I instinctively walked to where Asselin’s office used to be. Now its just an empty room, actually they cleared it out and tore down a wall because the room is a lot wider than it used to be back in the day. Back in the day it was about as big as a small storage room, now it was big enough to be a classroom! I then checked my notes to as where Asselin’s office should have been and we couldn’t find it. We then walked around to the office. On the way to the office we passed by Professor Kubota’s classroom where AJ and I took our foreign language classes. AJ had Kubota for Japanese and I had Kubota for Korean. AJ and David filled me in that Professor Kubota actually retired recently. It was really weird but it made sense, Professor Kubota was an amazing professor and taught those foreign languages very well. I actually had a lot of great memories in her classroom due to all the friends I made and the information I learned. We then got to the student office and asked where Asselin’s office was. They informed us that it was in a certain room on the third floor along with Bratton’s. Aj, David, and I then headed down to the third floor. We went to where Asselin’s office was and unfortunately he wasn’t there. We then checked out where Bratton’s office was as well. Bratton’s office was inside a long corridor in a section of the third floor where only Professor’s offices were. I went into this long corridor section by myself. It was a bit weird since I saw familiar professors, namely Professors Marek and Juarez. I didn’t say hi anymore since I don’t think they recognized me anyways, three years for them is like a lifetime since they saw hundreds of students in the interim. I then got to Bratton’s office and unfortunately he was not there either. I headed out and met up with AJ and David. We then headed out to the Aloha Tower Marketplace (AT) again since I had more business to finish there. When we got to the AT we actually explored the area a bit. We actually got to check out the dorm area and to be honest it was very nice. The students going to HPU now got it good, the old dorms at the Loa campus looked very old. These new dorms at the AT looked so modern and clean it was ridiculous. I actually went through this area before these dorms were made and HPU did a very good job in renovating the area. While we were walking the area we saw a Keurig machine outside of a dorm and automatically you could tell that they had a roach problem with it. Hawaii has a problem with roaches and Keurigs have a problem with being roach dens. Seeing this Keurig machine outside meant that it was either broken, unwanted, or that the owners were trying to flush out the roaches by drying out the Keurig outside. Actually, AJ and I shared stories about how our Keurigs got roaches too. We then checked out the rest of the dorm area before heading downstairs. When we went downstairs we then found the Student Life Office or something like that, I needed to pick up my honors certificate. Inside was a nice small room. We were greeted by the office people and they helped me get my certificate quickly. I read the list of people and the dates on their signatures were way back in March. I was just glad to be able to pick mine up. After this we decided to check out the actual Aloha Tower. We went through the motions of the security guard checking out bags and then we headed up the elevator. When we got to the top we got to check out all of the views. Its worth mentioning that in one of our conversations we brought up Kubota’s retirement again and how it affected HPU. Apparently, since Kubota retired HPU doesn’t offer Korean as a language anymore, which is highly unfortunate and must have been a blow to the school. We also poked fun at the idea that HPU hired an instructor to take over for Japanese.
After checking out the views of the Aloha Tower we actually went to the Computer Room/Aloha Tower Sea Warrior Center. It was cool seeing the new computer center, it was super spacious compared to the old one near the MP building. It’s interesting that they put a game room/Sea Warrior Center in the computer center. The only thing separating the Sea Warrior Center (SWC) from the computer room was literally just a door. Inside the SWC there were two ping pong tables, a pool table, lots of lounge chairs, and a TV on the wall. AJ and I hit up the ping pong tables first, it was pretty cool and we played for a bit, actually at one point we combined the two ping pong tables and tried it out. It didn’t really work out too well of course but it was fun trying it though lol After playing pingpong AJ wanted to hit up the pool table before heading out. As we were leaving the game room/SWC I noticed that the computer room was pretty empty. I also wondered if they heard all the noise we were making in the SWC because of how quiet it was in the computer room.
Afterwards we then headed down to check out Nashville Waikiki and the Palama Express Market. We first saw Nashville Waikiki and it was a bit underwhelming. It was a largely open room with a pool table, bar, and I think tables. The décor was very scant and hardly resembled a honky-tonk in Nashville. The honky-tonks in Nashville were all compact, grimy, full of décor/character, and loud. I can’t blame these guys for trying though. I was talking to my friends and poked fun at Nashville Waikiki, saying that they should hire a group of chain-smokers to fill the room with cigarette smoke to make it more authentic lol Afterwards, we checked out Palama Express. It was interesting to be inside Palama Express, I remember going to the original store up in Pearl City so many years ago. At Palama Express I was looking for things I couldn’t get back in Michigan. For the most part, I could find just about everything back in Michigan, which kind of shows that we do get a lot of imports here. The only thing that really stuck out was this gum called Grenade gum or something like that. AJ and David really hyped it up and convinced me to want to try it out. AJ said it was cheaper at Long’s so I decided to put it off for later. Unfortunately, that later never happened since I kind of forgot about these Grenade gums after we left Palama Express. When we left
Palama Market we actually headed out to Chinatown. At Chinatown we talked a lot about our old memories there. Like how we used to hang out with Vicky at Downbeat Diner. Or that Pho place where Vietnamese Kevin and AJ had to run out on because they forgot to bring money lol While we were walking to the marketplace in Chinatown we actually ran into Volcano Shakes, which was a new place in Chinatown. Before we walked in I quipped that the shakes would be 1 million dollars. I wasn’t far from the mark lol Volcano Shakes was actually a small hole in the wall right next to a lot of other merchants in Chinatown. Actually, it was a very cramped space. They had a lot on their menu but their centerpieces were the Volcano Shakes, which were about $15 a pop. The catch about these shakes was that they were huge and ridiculous. I forgot most of them but their was Smores themed shake and a coffee themed shake as well. We went for the coffee shake and AJ treated, thanks bro! They told us that the wait for the shake was 12 minutes. In the mean time we walked towards the marketplace and it was crowded during the whole walk there. The marketplace itself changed a bit since the last time I was there. My favorite noodle place and shake place were no more. My favorite shake place was this $2 boba place and it got replaced with two other stores. At the marketplace we then got seating and it was about twelve minutes so David got a spot and AJ and I went out to get the shake. When we got there they were actually still making the shake. A cool thing about Volcano Shake is that all the ice cream was made in store. Also, while we were waiting there I told AJ about how we could still eat dessert after a big meal. While I was saying that the guy at the counter was like “that’s interesting I’m listening in”. He was actually a pretty cool guy and easy to converse with. I said that we could eat dessert after a big meal because our bodies take in sugar differently than all the carbs and proteins, because of this we could intake more sugar after we got a fill of food. Afterwards, this Australian couple came in and the counter guy told them about the long wait and the Australian couple were cool about it. Actually, they were about to make an order for a Volcano Shake as well. Interestingly, the counter guy at Volcano Shake said that they were still working out a system for their waiting customers. He said that today he was trying a line system to see if it could generate interest. I wonder how that played out. Afterwards, we eventually got our Volcano Shake, I think the whole wait was probably around the twenty minute mark. The shake itself was pretty big and ridiculous, there were donuts in it, biscotti bread, lots of cream, lots of ice cream, and coffee as well (espresso to be exact). To be honest, it was worth the wait and cost. The Australian couple were also amazed and took pictures of it too lol Seriously, if you are in the area of Chinatown you must check out Volcano Shake! We then got the shake and met up with David at the marketplace. When we got there we tried out the shake and it was amazing. Actually, at the time I wasn’t thinking about the caffeine in it but looking back at it, the caffeine in the shake was pretty potent. Overall the shake was amazing and enough for three people to dive in on.
TO BE CONTINUED