The next morning Yvonne and I caught the bus to town and she took me on a short walking tour. It amazed me that none of the flood damage was visible except for some construction along the riverside. Yvonne told me that the river had overflown into the streets and flooded many of the shops in town. A lot of their inventory was lost and stores were ruined. Even now, many were fighting a battle with their insurance companies on the claim.
As Yvonne and I walked around town, we kept bumping into people she knew. I wondered if the town could really be that small, but it turned out that she is involved with a couple senior groups. After a number of chats with her friends, I looked forward to such an active social life when I was older. It seemed like so much fun.
We headed to the mall where we were to meet another one of her friends. Today they usually spent at the movies, but none of the movies were good so they decided to have lunch instead. We met at the Myers café and shared some beef nachos and fries. I also had a chocolate milkshake, which was excellent. Before heading home, I picked up some souvenirs – an Aussie flag pin and an Aboriginal flag iron-on patch – for my collection.
At home, I was left to my own devices for a couple of hours while Yvonne went to visit a friend in the hospital. I relaxed and watched one of my favorite films, “Love Actually.” Aussie hospitality continued to amaze me. In Hawaii, and probably America in general, I think opening up your home to a stranger is a foreign concept. Perhaps it’s because Americans are overly cautious and/or paranoid about strangers these days? We are suspicious of anyone we don’t know. With this attitude, we’ll soon become isolated and fail to learn and grow as a society. It’s such a shame.