Mahalo For Now

29 Mar 2019 – ParrotFish/Uhu

Sat: serene to be back@WoodValley to take it easy – resting and admiring the work that Loon had put into these grounds over the decades! Learnt more about coffee and other plants.

Lemon tree, very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat…

Sun: Ka’u Coffee Mill just a couple of mins down the road was all I could handle today but worth the visit

3murals here are interesting, just unable to get better shots, so these cropped ones will have to tell their stories of time.

What is it in life that the more I learn, the less I feel I know???

And finally a drive down my favourite nuts – Macadamia and this is the first experience to see&touch the real-life trees, blossoms&nuts.

Mon: slept most of the day until time to head to the Hilo airport, app 55m/88km 1+hr drive. A thousand thanks to Loon for the video&everything here on this BigIsland and for his time driving, showing and sharing his knowledge – sooo blessed with friends like him. Smooth&on schedule flight back to HNL, tkx Huang for meeting me.

Tue: laundry done on this beautiful public holiday and dinner from Safeway.

Wed: appreciations to Huang that ingredients for a Guinness Irish Stew dinner could be found in the Monoa Safeway neighbourhood.

Cannot get enough of this view from here where no one seems to even bat an eye by while I am completely taken in with every breath.

Appreciations to a very special group of young ppl who crossed my path nearly 2decades ago when they were doing their SEAsia Study program traveling thru’ The Silk Route. Husband&fatherhood becomes Adrian, glad to have him&Taylor into Lisa’s life where the of 3 of them make such a lovely family together.

Tkx to Kim for a scrumptious dinner at her uncle’s restaurant – Golden Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown. Kim had pre-ordered enough food to feed an army!

Excellent tofu soup&dishes, oysters,

Chicken, PorkWithYam, BitterGourd,

ParrotFish/Uhu, fresh&done to perfection and 1st time tasting this interesting yummy coral fish which digest the edible portions from the coral and excrete it as sand, helping create small islands and the sandy beaches. A beautiful&popular fish to eat here in HI.

Thu: day of packing&cooking – making a belated St Patrick’s Day dinner for the cousins before flying off. Tkx to Cynthia&Ted for their presence – good that they get to meet the family too.

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all – Oh think twice, cause it’s another day for you and me in paradise – Phil Collins. A thousand Mahalo to HI family&friends – auntie Winnie, cousins DavidW, Wilki&Pattie, Yvette, exHCC-students Huang, Kim, Leah, Lise&family, AT-Hiker Loon – appreciations for his gracious hospitality on the BigIsland. Apologies for not getting the chance to catch up with cousins DavidL&Maria on Kauai, nieces&nephews Christopher, Danielle&their families. Laine&Sheville, looking forward for a next time round and tkx for keeping in touch.


Flight from HNL-PVG, delayed 1hr due to late arrival from PVG –


a chance to explore the airport which has a delightful Japanese Garden and with tempts like today, the open concept is absolutely enchanting.

We do not understand that life is paradise, for it suffices only to wish to understand it, and at once paradise will appear in front of us in its beauty –  Dostoevsky

Hawai‘i The Big Island

24 Mar 2019 – From Hilo To Kona

Tue: tkx to Huang to the airport bright&early for a smooth&on schedule less than an hour flight from HNL-ITO, the Big Island. Appreciations to Loon for meeting me@the airport and for breakfast@Ken’s House of Pancakes – omelette&hush-browns are as usual enough to doggie-bag for lunch!

The famous BanyanDrive –  is a tree-lined street at the shoreline here, also known as the Hilo Walk of Fame for the banyan trees planted by celebrities. These trees have withstood several tsunamis that have devastated this town.

Carlsmith Beach Park where the inviting cool clean spring water meets the lava-rocks and the ocean and where human and turtle can swim in peace – not brave enough to be in the cold water! Reflection of a Monkey-Pod on this pond does make look like the pix is upside down!

Coffee stop@Maureen’sB&B to learn that business has not been good for her recently. Quite a place to upkeep and hope that business will pick up for her.

Farmer’s Market across the street on a public park with lovely Banyan Tree, but sadly some homeless hogging up the pavilion around these public areas which should otherwise be an attractive site.

The Pacific Tsunami Museum – dedicated to the history of 1946 Pacific tsunami, also has a mission to educate people in general about tsunamis. Well worth to catch the 23min video in the old vault, yes this museum is the old bank. US$7 S$9.5 for Seniors.

Mokupāpapa Discovery Center – bring the place to the people and spur greater public awareness of the region and ocean conservation issues. Was following a video attached on a seal@the kiddies corner and interesting to see that the favourite food for this seal seem to be the octopus or maybe a big squid – no words spoken or written.

Ice cream for snack up the road hit the spot. A stop@theSallyShop to pick up some flat-sheets to cover furniture with.

Will be placing my sleeping bag on a nice big bed in an idyllic house in Pahoa surrounded by these beautiful wild orchids and other flowers tonight. With this kind of ambiance, it is nearly impossible to image what was happening just down another road nearly a year ago…

Wed: lava from KilaueaVolcano has destroyed about 600-700homes since May 2018.

Speechless with these pix and parts still smoking. My heart goes out to ppl who lost life and their homes even when&with the newest&youngest land now in formation!

Thu: decent brunch@the local grocery store with a quick restroom stop@Pahao Neighbourhood Facility with and impressive mural. One cannot be too careful with restroom stops where the homeless are about, thank goodness Loon has figured out which are decent to use.

The trees here are quite a feast to the eyes = Paulownia/yellow flowers. Monkey Pod and some pink flowering tree.

Scenic drive along Onomea Bay –  (red flowering trees are Chinese Orchid Trees) with a snack stop.

Short trek around Akaka Falls in its beautiful lush vegetation&GoldenBamboo.

Uncle Robert Keli’iho’omalu is the legendary and beloved patriarch of the old Kalapana village, and the market takes place at his family compound, located near the New Kaimu Black Sand Beach. And here is Loon with the Moon with some fire-dancing in the background.

Fri: TGIF – heading towards Kona stopping at this orchid garden for a quick restroom call. Would you pay US$20,000 for this orchid??? Was just lucky to catch it in bloom, running late for Vernon’s lunch to take time for this garden.

Another charming location@WoodValley/Pahala with coffee, lemons, mandarin oranges, Macadamia nuts, mango, beautiful bamboos on the grounds.

Punaluʻu Beach (also called Black Sand Beach) on this lovely late morning with 4Green Turtles or Honu enjoying the heat and one seemed to have had enough sun and heading back to sea. Felt like one of them in my movements today, with little energy and short of breath…

Keylime pie@Ka Lae – southern most point of the 50USA states and driving thru’ the short 12mile street here, I seemed to remember counting at least 4churches and 1temple!

BigJake’s and here he is with his pet John-John. Their combo BBQ and even sharing this was more than I can handle.

Saying hi to ppl at a time-share…

Loon felt better to had me seen by a doctor – his regular Dr Traub was not available, Dr Crispo took care of me and he was cautious to suggest trying the herbal overnight, and if not better the next day to go for antibiotics and if still no better to be admitted to the ER! A good doctor should cover all grounds and he is worth US$180 S$244 to ensure Loon&I that this too shall pass…

A dip@Kona Pier for Loon, also the spot where King Kamehameha swam in and the start and finish of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship.

Was not feeling up to driving all the way to WoodValley and glad we overnight@Manago Hotel US$91 S$123 – named after the family who founded it and endures as a piece of old Hawai‘i attracting visitors from around the world. With simple clean, no-frills rooms that are accessed by a simple key, where it offers a step back in time. Located in Captain CookTown on the slopes of MaunaLoa at an elevation of 1,350′. It overlooks the beautiful KealakekuaBay and the ancient Hawaiian Place of Refuge in Honaunau.

Has been a long day, did not sleep well and felt nausea all night. Time to stop the herbal stuff and go on to the antibiotics which I was hoping to avoid. Maybe the ghosts here are trying to tell me to slow down – lol

Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us ― Jim Carroll

2019 St Patrick’s Day

18 Mar 2019 – Happy 45th Birthday To My Beautiful First-Born

Fri: TGIF and what a beautiful day, on days like this when the weather&everything around is just perfect, is when Heaven is a place on Earth.

Tkx to Leah for delicious BTL sandwich, blueberry-cream-cheese scone (the best I have tasted)&strawberry muffin in the calm&serene atmosphere on the hill side of Manoa. Good to catch up, a very belated congratulations to her marriage and all the best to her&her hubby.

Waioli Kitchen & Bake Shop: highly recommended and tkx to Leah for introducing such a charming&delightful place.

Appreciations to Maya Soetoro-Ng (Obama’s sister) for being such a spot to be photographed with us. Was informed by Leah that she was sitting next table to us and being an admirer of the Obamas, was an honour to talk to her.

Sat: so very sad with these shootings in Christchurch/NZ – condolences, thoughts&prayers are out to all affected. Heard from cousin CHAN WK&family and that they are safe&well. What kind of demon could have been so evil to destroy and harm life like this? 🙁

The scenic route –  John Burns Freeway H3, on route to Kaneohe.

The guys were getting the oysters ready on the grill while Huang had to shuck 3 for me as I preferred them raw – even better eating them under the beautiful orchid by the Saraca-Sorrowless Tree! For dessert and the first I have tasted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cream Pie and it was delicious. The Mochi ice-cream Huang brought were also yummy.

Thank you to Wilki&Pattie for a scrumptious homemade dinner of CornishHens, Ox tongue&tendons, home-grown cucumbers+other veggies, these were consumed in good company&conversations. Back to Manoa via the LikeLIke Highway just before midnight and crashed for 7hrs. Tkx to Huang for driving.

Sun: Happy Paddy’s Day Parade downtown starting@Ft DeRussey Pk. Some of these pix here are credits to Huang.

Not enough green on me, but better than nothing – only in HI will you see someone in a green Speedo trunks on Paddy’s Day!

Only one High School Marching Band+a few others not school bands.

Too many cars at this parade.

Fish&Chips@Waikiki Beach Walk – that was the nearest to Irish food that I felt like! No the green drink is not for me!

Dole Plantation with the best pineapple ice-cream for me.

Various pineapples+coco trees and the best are these Rainbow Eucalyptus with natural colourful artwork on their trunks. Somehow with the trees and the weather here at present makes me feel like I am in Paradise!

Mon: A mother will even give upon herself and her dreams, but not on you and your dreams.  Happy Birthday Linn, words do not justify how much I love&miss you – 2018/SC,USA and 45yrs ago in Dublin/Ireland. Now to repack for the Big Island of Hawai’i.

Random pix from ManoaValley with some of these trees going into the Amazing Trees blog posting. Will try to remember to get the names of the trees when I see Loon this week.

imagesIn Waikiki strolling pass a Sunday Mass Service when I said a silent prayer to those affected in the Christchurch/NZ shootings.

Thought of Yoshie too, who is always trying to invite me to her church services. Now that I have stumbled upon one, so she does not have to invite me anymore… hahaha


Ala Moana Regional Park

14 Mar 2019 – Ward Village – Manoa Valley

Mon: lunch@Merriman’s on the first floor of Kakaako’s Anaha luxury condo tower (751units) in WardVillage.

60-acre (24ha) developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation. Once completed, this beachfront development will have luxury residences, retail stores, entertainment venues, pedestrian friendly streets and public open space. According to Leah – walked here numerous times and never saw anyone swimming til now haha. Somehow I seem to be in the right places at the right time and there was even a single duck in the fountain – for real.

Delicious lunch in wonderful company of Huang, Kim&Lisa, beautiful&fragrant flower Lei are much appreciated with dessert@Ben&Jerry’s across the street, cannot resist my favourite CoffeeCoffee! Thank you to these 3wonderful young ppl who crossed my path way over a decade ago when they visited SE Asia with the HCC students lead by David. Was so blessed to be able to accompany them for a few trips and got to know them and have keep in contact every since.

In Hawaii, we have something called ‘Ho’oponopono’, where people come together to resolve crises and restore peace and balance – Duane Chapman

Lovely walk around the AlaMoana RegionalPark – panoramic shot credits to Huang.

Watching surfer-dudes and life go by.

In good company of magnificent trees and the soothing sound of the waves as they crashed on the rocks.

Tue: woke up to this absolutely stunning rainbow in ManoaValley, had to just rushed out of the house in my PJ to capture this shot before the colours fade. It is no wonder that HI is known as the RainbowState – later in the day without the rainbow…

Whether a visitor or ‘kama’aina’ (resident), the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands inspires the heart and mind…

A walk down to Safeway in rain&sunshine within that short 15mins walk. 1st time seeing a Poinsettia this size and it is not even near Christmas! The Bird of Paradise seem at home here. Appreciations to Yvette for taking time to meet and glad to be able to catch up before she heads to the mainland for spring-break.

Nature is where it all begins for the Hawaiians – they call themselves ‘keiki o ka aina’=children of the land’ – MJ Harden.

Wed: tkx to auntieWinnie for meeting up to lunch – delicious ChickenAlfredo crêpe. Appreciations to Huang for picking me up and for the ride back to David’s.

And for the drive up to PuuUalakaa StatePark and panorama pix credits to him.

Seemed to have some memories being up here with May, Linn&Jeff+Katy when we were celebrating Thanksgiving in 2002.

Thu: tkx to Wilki&Pattie for a productive shopping day@Ala Moana Center, pink Tshirt from Uniqio, US$10/S$13.50, The LEGO Store US$19/S$26

Our usual US$1.50/S$2 lunch@Costco. Tkx you for the scarf&nuts from Wilki&Pattie.

Was introduced to another shop, DonQuijote – good for getting gifts, US$55/S$75 spent there. Noho me ka hau’oli=Be happy.

Could not believe it, another stunning double rainbow – definitely a full stop to get out of the car for another shot. Somehow rainbows put me in good moods as #6&I used to enjoy our time in his younger years with The Rainbow Connection.

Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side
Rainbows are visions
They’re only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we’ve been told and some chose to
Believe it
But I know they’re wrong wait and see
Someday we’ll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me…


10 Mar 2019 – Aloha

Fri: away for less than a month, no need to cover things but painted the bathroom floor and that should be good&dry when I get back. Hope that the old cracked duck-taped suitcase with a cover will survive this journey from SIN-PVG-HNL-ITO-HNL-PVG-SIN. (SIN-HNL-SIN-US$736/S$1,000, HNL-ITO-HNL-US$158/S$215) Had to pay S$60 extra charges due to error in name on ticket!

Sat: T3 SIN-PVG on ChinaEastern flying time nearly 5hrs arr into T1 dark&wet 0400hrs. There is even a BreadTalk here in this airport@T2. Had plenty of time to get to know this airport before catching the Metro into LongYang St (CNY6/S$1.25 app 35mins with one change).

Had a wonderful day thanks to Christopher for taking&showing me KerryParkside, a mall with some tasteful decorated shops and a hotel.

Also a good day to be indoors – did not have any clothing for the rains&cold weather. Looks like a bakery here is ready for Easter!

The world’s fastest train, Maglev running at 430kmph (267mph) took about 8mins for 30k from town to the airport, (CNY40/S$8 OW). The last time here and on this train was May2009.

Driving the train doesn’t set its course. The real job is laying the trackEd Catmull

Perfect timing to collect my backpack@the left luggage (CNY30/S$6), PVG-HNL flight (8+hrs) dep on schedule arr into HNL ahead of schedule@0800hrs and check-in bag was already waiting for me. Aloha from where a beautiful rainbow welcomed me. Tkx to David&Huang for meeting me@the airport.

Small chicken taco+Mexican coleslaw lunch in town before heading to Wilki&Patti

KaneoheWilki has green thumbs, his garden is lush&green and this is in the area&surroundings where the movie JurassicPark was filmed. The amazing yellow flowering tree is a Saraca asoca tree, also know as Sorrowless tree. It is believed Shakyamuni Buddha was born under an ashoka tree in Lumbini Garden. In Hinduism the ashoka is considered a sacred tree 

Picked up Thai-food for dinner back@David’s in Manoa. 1st time tasting these CocoPuffs from Liliha Bakery – little cream puff shells with a creamy chocolate filling and topped with buttery macadamia nut Chantilly frosting are just heavenly. The original recipe is a highly-guarded secret. Tkx to Wilki for bringing dessert. Crashed by 2300hrs after hardly any sleep on both flights.

Sun: slept thru’ 8hrs last night which was needed and welcomed. ManoaLibrary for a book sale.


Farmers’ Market and was introduced to Kukui nuts (candle-nuts) and purple Anthuriums which I have never seen and had to get a bunch for US$3/S$4.10.

A walk in the ManoaValley neighbourhood to check out these stunning trees.


Cannot get enough of these roots of this tree which is also my landmark to find the way to David’s.

In the garden, the yellow Hibiscus are soon fading; the Avocado tree+fruits are still going strong that even the birds know where to find them! Some for my daily breakfast and they are good.

Bougainvilleas&Waterlily are doing OK in this garden, but seems like end of the season for this Plumeria/Frangipani@the neighbour’s garden. Strangely enough, here in HI, so far what I have seen, these plants usually are either full of leafs without flowers or full of flowers without leafs?

Edited 26Apr: fascinating to learn that Plumeria/Frangipani is in the tomb plant family (Apocynaceae)!!!


In my SIN childhood days, it was known as 死人花=dead people flower, probably because they grow abundantly&easily, and thus the usual flower used for funeral wreaths then. Grandfather’s 1950 funeral@5Temenggong Rd

To Switch From SPgroup

7 Mar 2019 – It Takes All Kinds 

Sun: The Necessary Stage’s Theatre presented It Takes All Kinds performed by Theatre For Seniors. What is your recipe for a successful family – a good performance with beneficial messages to anyone who dares to look&question into themselves!

Nice to be able to attend this performance in the neighbourhhood’s theatre and to say hi to Haresh. Short walk with Clement for a bite of durian (227KatongDurian) and cendo (Glory) on EC Rd.

Mon: on bus16 and was amazed to be able to connect to WhatsApp on this particular bus. Had to msg Sue just to check out that it really worked and it did! Tkx for curry lunch with Boon@TanglinClub to Hong. Nice to catch up and hear about his recent travel-adventures on the roads&the seas in N&S America. How coincidence to bump into Andrew as we were trying to catch up too, but as it turned out he is busy with Swiss guests the next few days.

Appreciations to Calvin@Campers’Corner for sponsoring these gears for the Hawai’i (BigIsland), HI trek. Sure am going in style as I age! CC BambooTrekkingPole, Cocoon TravelSilk-Sheet&Pillow, Nemo SwtichbackFoam&UltralightSleepingPad, Helinox ChairZero and to top it all, got to borrow this palm-size air-pump. All these gears are not only good for trekking, but perfect to have if you are stuck anywhere (especially airports!) and need to lie or sit down in comfort – multi purposes is the way to go.

Tkx to Tony for explaining&helping me to change my power supply from SPgroup to Switch. Hope that starting from 15Mar (2yrs contract), the power bill will be cheaper and that the perks like one free AC service, free AIA PersonalAccidentalProtection are true to their words.

Tue: a life-moose living the good life in Oslo/Norway! #6 is all excited&happy to see this real animal in his neighbourhood, I too would be if a moose visits my neck of the woods! The stuffed ElgEgil/MooseEgil from school had been accompanying him home for a week in Sep since he started school in 2017, but nothing like the real thing!!

World Fastest Internet Speed – #1 SIN, my birth-country (60.39 MBps) – SIN is one of three surviving city-states in the world, including Monaco and the Vatican. #4 Norway, my other home (40.12MBsp) – Norway is suspected to have the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, estimated to be worth $1 trillion by 2020. No complains about the speed of internet here in SIN or when in Norway.–

Happy Bday Gel and tkx to Leonard for fixing whatever problems this PC has been thru’ and also tkx for dinner@I12 TimHoWan.

Wed: very early 70Bday (Jun) gift to KK as our paths will probably not cross on that day. Also something he needs for his age!&travels since the disappearance of his last one during our 2018visit to Italy – lol. Age is certainly no reason for us trying to plan our next trip, hahaha.

Happy Bday and condolences to LAcousin LindaPuiChung for the passing of her mom, auntieKeng (106). Oct2013 was the last time I saw her during a visit in CA.

Was also just informed by Hong of RichardLEE’s mom (100+), known to us younger generation as 家姐 passed on Jun2018, belated condolences to Richard&family. Saw her last in Sep2017 – may she too RIP. These aunties have had good life and it should be celebrations to their life, including porpor (99). Prayers are with auntieAnna&cousinKaren who is now on her way to KCH as uncleKunn is kept on a ventilator.

Thu: getting things in place&shape before leaving the comforts of my 4-walls! Some words of wisdom to live by –

ByeBye Feb 2019

2 Mar 2019 – Hello Spring

Wed: looks like the construction of SingHealth is completed. Walk-In (ie no appointment)@NDC due to a minor complication after last month’s extractions. Was impressed with a young female dentist who went out of her way to handle my queries&anxieties posted to her. Thank you to Dr WL Tan who took care of me Wed 27Feb 1400-1500hrs Level 2/Room 4.

A Dog’s Way Home – A dog travels 400 miles in search of her owner, beautiful scenery. They say dogs are man’s best friend and this movie shows it. A recent survey also demonstrated that dogs are much more intuitive, Sick, sad, or hurt and all they want to do is make you feel better.

Hachi, another movie about a dog based on a true-story and you will see what unconditional love is about. Some think that I do not like dogs and that is not the case, just do not like dogs not well-disciplined or trained!

Thu: early breakfast@airport with Clement. On EC Rd checking out this new eatery on route for a popiah lunch@Glory before heading to GV@I12 for Mary Queen of Scots – Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution. Too much political intrigue&manipulation for me!

Fri: 1st Fri on the 1stMar, TGIF and a good weekend to all. Tkx to my Irish (Carmel)&Norwegian (Kirsten&Mette) for their share with pix of blāveis/BlueAnemonesnøklokker/SnowBells and daffodils. The anticipation of Spring after a cold dark winter with such fond&touching memories of a sweet Irish student (Balbriggan, who would bring me her first daffodil blooms from her backyard.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze… – Wordsworth

Happy Bday Hannah, who is on her Bicycle-Honeymoon with Heiko somewhere in Georgia. They started their journey from Germany in Oct2018 and plans to be in SIN early 2020. Safe journeys to them and tkx for sharing their honeymoon+pix.

A long day started with shopping in Chinatown (all that for less than S$50), tea with Jeffery@Barcook/Clarke Quay Central. known for its bread and quite decent Chinese egg-tarts. Was hoping to find the candy store, Sticky but it is no longer there.


Tkx to Theresa&ChengJun for this scrumptious dinner. The size of these abalones are quite something; have not had the duck gizzards since mother was alive. Like mother, Theresa is from HKG and she gets some of these foods from HKG; the lobster noodles were to die for. With Ivy&Les’s champagne&wine, I was in F&B-paradise. Was ready for dreamland by the time I got off the bus@ECoast 2300hrs – 12hrs away from my shelter is not my usual day but it is also not usual I get to taste Salon 2004 Champagne.


Sat: a day to relax and sort out things before another busy week ahead, also to pack for the hike in Hawai’i (BigIsland)/HI, USA. Only once a year promotion@Suntec for supplements, headed there around dinner time hoping for no lines and was in luck. S$248 for 4boxes+2free here at this Health-Show. Amazed that I managed to get in&out within 45mins on different buses; 196 to NichollHway and 36 from TemasekB total fares 88cents. Even if I took 196 within 45mins, would still have to pay another 88cents, that’s how it works!

Mar family&friends special days

5 Mar – Happy Bday Gel
6 Mar – Happy Bday Linda
9 Mar – Happy Bday Sue Lynn
11 Mar – Happy Bday Ken
14 Mar – Happy Bday Ellie
17 Mar – Happy Bday Pat-Lynn and Beth, Happy St Patrick’s Day
18 Mar – Happy Bdays LinnYi Sheng & Al Sosa
19 Mar – Happy Bday Thomas Heggelund
21 Mar – Happy Anniversary to Ivy&Leslie
31 Mar – Happy Bday Josephine