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Thursday, October 21, 1999

Reichart*, Kafka, and Garrett*-berries

We haven't seen Kafka in a few days. Did we take him out with the trash? Perhaps he has metamorphosized again.

I finally made contact with Reichart*, a friend of a friend who I've been told alot about, and him about me. He has a house on Maui, and is here this week. We met him at the Napili Market, just north of the hideous giant pink hotels north of Lahaina. He gave them to me as a land mark, but I had no idea just how hideous, how giant, or how pink they were. No idea. It just can't be imagined, it has to be seen.

Anyway, we three checked out the local surf spots and found them all flat, but we managed to find a beach with some barely-surfable little waves and had fun getting run over by spongers and cutting our toes on the rocks and such. Garrett* forgot the fins for the second board, so he and I traded off while the other played tag-team talking to Reichart*. Conversations with Reichart* move at light speed, so you need the time off to catch your breath.

We trekked down to Lahaina-proper for dinner at "the finest restaurant on Maui". Everything was quite good, a couple of things great, but way overpriced compared to similar fare on the mainland. Reichart* entertained us with more stories, mostly his own success stories with a particular emphasis on ethics (yes, you can be ethical in business and still succeed!). He's a much better speaker than listenner, but all in all a kind, rational, and interesting fellow and it will be good to have him on the island. And to top it off, he treated us to dinner (which is good because it represented our food budget for the entire week).

When we returned home, we had our first message on our borrowed answering machine: Laila inviting us out to Casanova's with her friends. But alas, we were home way too late. And another piece of news in the message: The contraction Shanti had when we were there yesterday was the beginning of labor, and she later caught her own baby boy in a relatively uneventful bathtub delivery.

Garrett* has gone to bed, hours ago. I'm sleeping on the couch in the livingroom as of yesterday since the upper level of the bedroom, where I was sleeping, seems to have sprung a leak in the rain.

In closing, here is a note from Garrett* from a few days ago:

>Yesterday morning I was driving back up the mountain after finding a calm
>ocean.  A small forest covering a hill caught my attention.  I had seen it
>before from a distance, a couple of square miles of tall trees surrounded
>by pasture on the side of the volcano. Decided it would be fun to tromp
>around in.  The eastern side of the forest was eucalyptus, and the western
>side pine, with the two meeting in a contentious line over the middle of
>the hill.  I hiked up through the eucs, having to scramble up the steep
>hillside near the peak, and came into the pine forest at the top.  The
>pines were evenly spaced, and I leaned against a tree that was canted over
>at forty-five degrees.  Then I noticed, down at my feet, a really weird
>looking berry or mushroom looking thing.  It was bright pink, and looked
>like a marble with a diameter of a centimeter and a half.  There were a
>couple of others like it scattered about, but I couldn't see any bush that
>they could have come from.  I picked it up to examine it.  It was soft and
>kind of squishy, but seemed too perfectly spherical for a nut or berry,
>and had no visible stem scar.  I squished it between my fingers, and this
>bright pink juice squirted out when it burst.  Odorless.  Then I laughed
>at myself.  A paintball pellet!  I looked up and around at the trees, and
>they were marked intermittently with small faded splotches of color.  I
>had wandered onto a deserted battlefield.  It fits.  This whole island
>seems like a playground for big kids.  As I walked down the other side of
>the hill, through the pines, I thought it was kind of disrespectful for
>these people to leave all this artificial crap, the expended paintballs
>and paint, all over the forest.  Then chuckled to myself when I noticed
>that all the pines were layed out in neat rows, just like the eucs on the
>UCSD campus.
>This is a funny place.  Beautiful and wild, but everything here got here
>from somewhere else.
Incidentally, Reichart* tells us that Costco ships their fish around (on the mainland and to Maui) in the bellies of Federal Express airplanes (recall the mystery of the $6/lb fresh Atlantic salmon in Maui...).

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com