"The Hapa Haole Journal"
Saturday, February 10, 2007 5:19 PM
The HHJ: Fire or Ice
My toe hurts. My little bashed-in-Oregon
Somehow, during the accident-that-almost-happened, the scab got ripped
off my little, almost-healed toe and now it hurts just being there
barefoot or wearing flip-flops, no socks; definitely no shoes, not
walking around, just sticking out, being a toe whether I stand, sit, or
I spend a few days in my room working on Journal entries and trip
photos, enjoying my new travel tea press. Made by Bodum, I find the URL
in the accompanying paperwork and cruise on over to see what other
products they make for travelers. Thinking I could save some money, I
email, asking if I could buy a tumbler lid as a separate part. That way,
I could have both press and tumbler by merely swapping lids. The answer
comes back the next work day. Yes, the lids interchange, but are not
sold as separate parts; I'll have to buy a traveler's tumbler in order
to be able to get the lid.
Not so bad. The price is low enough that a separate part + shipping
would cost more than the entire tumbler. I add it to my LA list and get
stores from the website.
When I go out again, my first couple of stops yield neither bombilla nor
Bodum tumbler. Entering my first Bed Bath & Beyond, I'm amazed at
all the things I never knew I needed. I don't find a tumbler, but leave
with a shower curtain liner with metal grommets ($5.99) because I keep
tearing the holes no matter how gently I try to pull my shower curtain
I also buy a 120/240 volt immersion heating coil with a heat guard to
protect countertops from being burned after the coil's withdrawn from
boiling water in the cup or mug. At $7.99 + tax, it's a great price. I
don't remember the cost of the one I left home with, but it didn't have
a heat guard and I've never seen them in at home or on my favorite
travel websites. The new one I bought in San Francisco cost $13.95 + tax
and the one at Magellan's is $12.85 including a European adapter plug
(which I already have someplace at home) but no heat guard.
Because most freeze-dried meals need 16 oz
(I'm getting a lot of motel camping experience) as well as my new
tumbler, I'm boiling one cup of water at a time. That's how I killed the
coil I brought from home. I
lifted it out of one cup to insert it into another not knowing that it
automatically shorts out if the coil part of it isn't submerged while
plugged-in. It's a safety feature. The second coil will enable me to
boil 16 oz. of water at once, albeit in two containers.
An immersion heating coil is one of my Have-to-Pack items because it
allows me to make tea/hot chocolate/add-boiling-water and other soups,
instant oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, mashed potatoes, freeze-dried meals or
whatever in my room if it doesn't have a microwave. They're about
5" long + cord and weigh only about 5 oz. so are very packable. I
don't use the coffee-maker if provided because I prefer having my
whatever without the smell and taste of coffee as so many are designed
After a few more stops, I quit looking for the tumbler and switch to the
bombilla. Entering a health food store called, Follow Your Heart, I find
it to be a combo cafe, health food store, jewelry, toy, gew-gaw, type of
store. Lots to look at, most related to the Buddhist and other East
At first, the employee I asked didn't think
they had any, but I saw the light bulb go on and he showed me the only
style they carried. Heavy and short, it didn't come apart for cleaning,
but that's okay. At least, I now have a better idea of what I'm looking
at online. The holes on the spoon-style look like rooibos could slip in.
More cruising parked me at the Westfield Promenade which didn't have any
stores of interest to me. Picking up the phone for Information, I asked
for directions to Target. The concierge figured out that I was at the
wrong shopping center and gave me directions. I was close, but no
When I got there, Target didn't have any travel tumblers, either, but it
did have a small electric kettle. Gee, I just bought a second coil. How
much more convenient to be able to boil all the water I need at one go?
Not likely to fit if I go back to air traveling with only a carry-on
bag, but right now, I've got the car.
Checking out the rest of the Westfield Center, I spot the Concierge and
stop by to say thanks for the great directions, learning that this one
opened one week after the one in San Francisco. Although all shopping
malls and centers are owned by some company or another, Westfield is
trying to garner name-recognition so customers will know what to expect.
This particular one has a section rather intimidatingly named "The
Canyon" on the lowest level and has the best furniture for
customers' resting comfort that I've encountered since the Kahala Mall
I return to Target and buy the Bodum Mini-Ibis kettle for $20. The final
item on my list is a car top carrier.
I was already thinking to get one before I left home (such things to fit
my car don't exist there) and had been looking since Bellingham, WA.
Because of the difficulty finding one, I was thinking to hang it up, but
with all the things I bought along the way, have been finding it more
and more troublesome to space-engineer everything every time I want
something in or out of the car or trunk.
Over the next few days, I discover how great this little kettle is and
experiment with my tea traveling kit
deciding that my best option for air travel is the smaller 8 oz. Bodum
tumbler with my Teeli brew basket. Wanting to free myself from Los
Angeles to return to the coast, I locate the tumbler on Amazon and
decide to buy it on my next to get free shipping.
I also do little errands such as visiting
Walgreens and the IRS office in Van Nuys.
At first, I was annoyed that I'm spending so much time here instead of
near the ocean. The Santa Ana winds caused wildfires that demolished
four multimillion dollar homes in Malibu. If I had left earlier, I
wouldn't have seen the scorched earth that I saw. What a shame.
However, I gained an appreciation for staying here. The spent time
possibly saved me from the first snow in Malibu in the past 18, 20, or
24 years depending on which TV station was doing the reporting. One said
that it wasn't snow, but tiny ice crystals clustered that looked like
I also gained a deeper appreciation for God's timing. Having originally
planned to leave home on Aug. 24 and return around Thanksgiving, but not
being able to leave until Oct. 5 and taking as long as I have, enabled
me to meet Princess and Bernard Fowler as well as the others who were
away when I would have passed through. I haven't counted the days, so
I'm guessing that my planned departure may have meant a squeakingly
narrow window of opportunity to meet Seon.
For sure, my original plan would have had me
experiencing the nasty
ice storms at home.
I really, really hate the cold; especially ice storms.
Thank you, Lord!