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Monday, March 13, 2017

PLANET EARTH IS PURGATORY

Wait a minute, what happened to My Weekend in Purgatory, Part 2?  Well, you can go straight to the ultimate truth by scrolling down to the final three paragraphs so that you can read the punchline.  Or, humor yourself by continue from here to eventually get to the end, for what follows is Part 2.  

Caught The Bus at 1010 and arrived 35 minutes later at the Sheraton Waikiki:


One of the advantages of being a Starwood Permanent Platinum member is that they show you to a room where anything you can fit into that paper bag is yours:


Also, even though I made this reservation two days ago, they gave me a suite, and because I asked for a view of the fireworks tonight, they moved me to another suite:


You can only very barely see the surfers in the top photo.  The sound carries, and even up to the 26th floor you can hear children screaming on the beach and the pounding surf.  However, the room has two lanais, that Japanese toilet, good and free internet service and 2PM checkout.

Do I go out to lunch, or do I go for take-out and enjoy this view?  I decided to walk to Waikiki Yokocho, located a block away, to find something:


There are still a few more restaurants getting ready to have grand openings, and there are lots of ramen places.  I settled at Umami Teppan:


I ordered a  bento of black pork tonteki  and they provided water and miso soup while I was waiting:


I asked why all those goldfish (kingyo).  


It was explained that this fish symbolized a long and happy life.  Watch me soon get a goldfish aloha shirt.

So I had a wonderful lunch on my room lanai:


Just what I wanted, and the small special touches made this meal exceptional:  corn and green onions over the rice and grilled bean sprouts and onions under the tonteki.

I next went up to the Leahi Club Lounge, and the view from there is even better.  I had some wine, beer and a few appetizers before the Honolulu Festival Parade:


At 4:30PM I walked a block to the parade.  I found an excellent spot where I could lean over to support myself: (by my walking cane):


By the way, across the street to the left at the end in the basement is where Waikiki Yokocho is located.  To my surprise, soon after 4:30PM the parade arrived, led by Clarke Bright and the Royal Hawaiian Band.  He actually recognized me, and came by to shake my hand:


A long, long time ago he worked for me at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute when he was a student at the University of Hawaii.  He now is bandmaster.  Next came the city that will later tonight put on the fireworks:


Nagaoka is located close to Niigata:


I've never seen so many dragons before, more than two dozen...small ones...large beasts....strange ones:


That last one also has former Mayor Peter Carlisle.  There were keiki mikoshis and larger ones:


For most of the participants, this could well have been the thrill of their lives.  Japan dominated, but there were parties from China, Korea, the Philippines, hordes of students from all over the world, and even the U.S. Navy.  There was one group in particular that brought tears to my eyes.  Called Love Junx, you need to take a close look to understand why.  The organization and effort to bring them here for this event gives you hope for the future of the world:


Teams so large you couldn't see the end, lots of drumming and cute girls:


That young girl with her father did a lot of waving and dancing and really enjoyed this parade.  But after two hours, I was weakening.  Try standing for that length of time.  So I walked to the beginning of the parade and took photos of what looked like the final two:


I really don't like parades, but this one was memorable.  I then went to buy some Ninja Curry to have my dinner on my hotel lanai to await the fireworks from Nagaoka:


Steak curry with ahi sashimi, hot sake and cold Kirin beer.  Waikiki at night:


March 12 happens to be the night when the Moon is full.  At 8:30 you couldn't see the sand on Waikiki Beach, because it was packed with people:


Then came the fireworks:


These were the most impressive fireworks ever for me.  I could feel each thud in my chest, for this was happening right in front of me.  The reflections added to the beauty.  It did occur to me that an errant rocket could reach the Waikiki Sheraton.

I woke up early to watch the sunrise from the Leahi Club Lounge:


I then took my usual walk on Waikiki Beach, from the Sheraton on by the Royal Hawaiian Hotel:


With the Westin Moana Surfrider, Starwood dominates Waikiki Beach.  8AM on the Beach, and almost no tourists.  Duke Kahanamoku's statue:


My final meal at the Sheraton Waikiki was lunch on my lanai from an Osaka Ramen restaurant in Waikiki Yokocho with a plum at the end:


The 26 hours I spent in Waikiki felt like a delightful three days, maybe even heavenly ones.

The value of this weekend was that the answers to Purgatory and Heaven are beginning to clarify.  At one time, I thought that only 15 Craigside was Purgatory.  Then it occurred to me that Waikiki should be added.  Finally, the obvious hit me:  THE ENTIRETY OF PLANET EARTH IS PURGATORY!!!  This is all finally beginning to make some sense.


What then about Heaven?  If you can get up to the Club Lounges of the Ritz Carleton Tokyo  and Sheraton Waikiki, those are like gateways to Heaven. Does this mean you need to be rich to get into Heaven?  Well, Mother Theresa's life indicates that there are other pathways, too.  For most of you, though, you still have a long and tempestuous haul, especially those who are terrible people and happen to believe in reincarnation, for you could well retrogress into life as a cockroach in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).  The good news, though, is that in the definition of Purgatory, everyone at this level will eventually get to Heaven, or the religious equivalent, if there is one...and it must exist, for here is a somewhat credulous announcement from NASA:



Clearly, the logic flows that Earth must be Purgatory.

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