YMWW #4: Settling In

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

(Originally posted on Facebook)

In my first entry, I talked about how I wasn’t really excited about the move until I got here. That was only part of the story. What I didn’t mention was that while excitement finally hit, apprehension didn’t completely dissolve. One week ago I had arrived, but I was not settled. I have the fortune of staying with family (more about that later), but until I get a job and a place, I’m still in Visitor Mode. I did not come to visit.

Wait, what was that, Anthony-From-Two-Days-Ago? You already got a job?

Yeah, that’s right, Recession, my friend Craigslist and I just joined forces and kicked your ass with a job at Whole Foods Market at Kahala Mall! I’m not sure what my position is called, but I work the Asian food section (Kikka Sushi) in the prepared foods bar in the back of the grocery store. While I don’t make the sushi, I do make everything else: teriyaki meats, Korean barbecue, Chicken Katsu Curry (!), and many other dishes you can throw over a bowl of rice. Oh, and I do soups.

It’s a lot of work with a billion different things to do—and a lot of recipes to learn—but it keeps me busy and brings me money. Believe it or not, I was almost getting tired of having no responsibilities. I couldn’t wander around aimlessly forever (though it is one of my favorite activities). And even though I am on my feet all day, I nearly burn or cut myself constantly, and I still can’t make Chicken Katsu Don, I am grateful that I have something to keep me occupied. Plus, I get to wear a sweet kimono/chef jacket hybrid.

The best part about it, though, is that I’m half of the way to being settled in, and I’m definitely not in Visitor Mode. Having this job has allowed me to look for places to live, and I have a few in mind (one of which expects me to move in on Friday, but I’m still keeping my eye on some other places). Along with getting here, learning how to navigate, finding transportation, and getting a job; finding a place to live is the last piece of the Settling In puzzle, and it’s nearly complete. But, as you all know, I didn’t do it alone.

This is the section where I’d like to thank my family in Hawai’i: my welcoming committee, my tour guides, my landlords, my cooks, my transportation providers, my friends, my security blanket. All rolled into one. I know I loved them and appreciated them already, but that realization hits with full force all the time here. For example, the Hawaii contingent of my family gets together every Sunday for tennis (or not) and dinner at Auntie Judy’s place and a few nights ago, I joined that tradition. And as I stood there playing pool in the backyard with one cousin, while another cousin barbecued steaks to one side of me, aunts and uncles played mahjong on the other, and numerous others were scattered about, it dawned on me how lucky I was to be a part of a tight-knit group in this wonderful place. I know of other people who tried out the “dream move” to Hawai’i, only to get lonely and leave. I’m glad that ain’t me.

So, to Auntie Norma, Uncle Carlos, Uncle Mario, Auntie Judy, Dean, Jill, Jon, Brad, Avery, Ellis, Arden, and Austen: thank you. For everything.

PS: Roxy model!

I know what you’re thinking, but she didn’t ruin that nice family moment. . .

. . . seeing as she’ll be a part of the family some day. What up!

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