Continued from here
I thought that getting back to the center was going to be a pain in the ass but it turns out that hitchhiking was cool out there just like in Yellowstone. They had buses but they didn’t go to the back country and you had better luck looking friendly and waiting with your thumb out. It only took 20 minutes for me to catch a lift back to the center in time for dinner and this is when I got to meet the rest of the people.
I should have known that *Cher was going to be a pain in my ass. She was a rich girl who wanted to be a hippy and was living off of her parents’ credit card. People like this tend to piss me off since you really don’t know the true value of something when you’ve never had to work for anything. She also had the most bizarre list of dietary “allergies” I’ve ever seen in my entire life. She literally handed me full page list of things she couldn’t eat and what she could eat turned out to be brown rice and vegetables. Most of it was in her head but it wasn’t my place to judge, just cook, so I kept my mouth shut and smiled.
Then we had *Yoshi who was from Japan. Despite the fact that she was far and away the most conservative in the entire group, she was the “black sheep” of her family. She spoke great English but didn’t understand it very well at times. This lead to me having to stop what I was doing several times to turn around and go “ What the fuck did she just say?!?!” since what she said and what she meant where often two different things and most of the time I couldn’t help but laugh and try to help her.
*Sunny was the other owner. From what I understand her and Fremont had a thing then had a dream and bought the land. They parted ways so to speak but followed the dream and built a beautiful place with the intention of healing people. She was easy to talk to but yet very firm on what she wanted for the center. When things got weird she was the voice of reason.
One big curve ball I had to face was the fact that I was cooking vegetarian cuisine. Granted, I’ve done a lot of this in the past and can adapt to just about any Kitchen I walk into, but it’s not my strong point. I knew that I was going to have to go into the situation with an open mind not only towards the cooking, but to the whole healthy lifestyle that I was going to embrace. I’ve never really been as much of an asshole to Vegetarians as some Chefs but I’ve always been a proud carnivore justifying it with the fact that I have thumbs and fire. But if I was going to make bad ass veggies, I had to embrace it completely and become one myself. It sucked.
Okay, it was hard to adapt at first. My body didn’t know what to think when after years of eating like shit, I was suddenly eating fresh fruit and other stuff that was good for me and it was a total shock to my system. But I did my best to stick with it and in the month that I was there I only ate meat 3 times, in very small amounts and even then I could tell the difference in my body. My body felt better, lighter, less sluggish and more alive. I hate to admit this since I love meat and have since returned to eating like shit, but not all the time. I was able to learn a thing or two about balance so at the end of the day, it was good for me.
The dorm room I was staying in was small but it was private at least. The grounds of the complex where impressive with the main center blending into the jungle and it was clear that a lot of thought had been put into it. There was also a small orchard surrounded by smaller guest cabins. Mud lived in a tent on the outskirts.
In my effort to avoid the drama, I spent a lot of time alone in the orchard with my headphones on taking notes and trying to get the wild pigs that roamed the area to trust me. This made people think that I was anti social which while true on certain levels, was total bullshit on others. For the most part I liked the people, at first at least. But I was there as a Chef which meant that everyone I was around was ether my boss or a customer. This tends to be a pain in the ass for me since once someone falls into one of those two categories; I find it hard to be “myself” since being me tends to get me fired from most places. I’ve always tried to have a separation of Church and State so to speak and keep my personal life personal. I’ve never done a great job at this but I’ve also seen how my failure to do so has resulted in a lot of dumb shit going down that could have easily been avoided and this is part of the reason I “try” to not sleep with my staff.
At the same time I also like to a have a lot of alone time. I had my own shit to deal with and the only thing that was technically “required” of me was that I had a light breakfast ready at 10am and then dinner by 6pm. The rest of the time was mine to do whatever I wanted but the Kitchen was always my top priority.
The first few nights where entertaining as hell as I tried to figure out how to make Vegetarian food that didn’t taste like shit and I used ever resource and trick I had. One of my biggest accomplishments was finding a way to properly cook brown rice. Ironically it’s easier to cook then white rice. Somehow I pulled it off though there were several times where I was clueless as to what I was going to cook at 4 o’clock and would hit the 4:20, have an epiphany and somehow manage to pull it off. Most of the best meals I’ve ever cooked have come about in a similar fashion.
I settled into a routine pretty quickly but was hesitant to take any classes for the first few days since I knew how completely fucking out of shape I was. It was clear that I needed Yoga more than anyone else in the place but my own ego held me back. I finally had some personal drama happen and needed something to relive the tension and I didn’t give a shit anymore. It turns out that while I’m not as flexible as I was a few years ago, I still had the drive and mental fortitude to keep pushing myself past my limits. Fremont had serious issues with my attitude and personality and it was in class that he tried his best to make me his bitch but I kept getting back up. I don’t know if you have ever physically exhausted yourself to the point where you collapse and starting laughing as if you were stoned, maybe that’s what they call a “runners high”. I’ve done some crazy shit with my body, hiking 20 mile trails, 3 day benders, but nothing kicked my ass as hard as a two hour class with that motherfucker. One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever gotten from anyone was him telling me that he had been trying to, but he couldn’t break me. No matter what he did to me I kept getting back up. The truth was that I was pushing myself harder then he was.
The Sunday market in Pahoa is something that you MUST check out if you are ever on the big island. I hated the tourist scene on the west side of the island and was glad that there was none of that in the area that I lived in. The market was the center of the town and it’s where locals came to stock up for the week, eat, gossip and enjoy Sundays. The produce was mind blowing and it made just about every other farmers market I’ve ever been to look like a joke. Everything was local, and by local I mean within an hour or so from the market so most of the stuff there had been harvested only a few hours before. The farmers clearly took pride in everything they grew and where as passionate about growing it as I was about cooking it. I can’t even begin to describe how it smelled, it’s something you have to experience firsthand.
In the background, at least in my mind, was Vicky. Her and I talked, texted, emailed everyday counting down the hours until I picked her up in Hilo two days after my birthday. Despite knowing it would never work in the real world, we where taking a week to live out a fantasy in paradise.
It was after a rather intense conversation with her that I was able to meet Rasta D. I’m still not sure if he was from New York or Jamaica since he had a heavy accent and rapped most of what he spoke so I could hardly understand a word. But he had really good weed and wasn’t a boss or a customer so it gave me someone to chill and be myself around.
Okay, let me re-phrase that, he had weed that wasn’t total shit but it still wasn’t what I considered to be great. Good weed on the East side of the Island is hard to find. You have a lot of people growing it out in the jungle and the climate is right, they just didn’t know how to process it, dry it, cure it, etc so most of the stuff was still wet and hard to smoke and didn’t get you that stoned. But shitty weed with good company is still good weed and I was shown the local custom of smoking out of a Mango branch which is like natures Chillum. You just put a small pebble in the wide end so you don’t suck the weed through and you’re good to go. Little things like this make me smile.
The other Local I met was Able who was spending a lot of time at the center since he had a thing for Yoshi. He was a hippy kid but had a brain that still worked and though he was a bit odd, his life still had purpose and he still had goals. He also had a 12 story bamboo tree house which was fucking awesome. When the world ends, this is going to be the guy who builds the Thunderdome with some hemp rope and whatever else he can find.
It was clear that I would only be staying for the 4 weeks and then moving on. I saw it coming and I’m glad it happened. My biggest concern was that I wouldn’t have a way to get back home to Seattle but Sunny agreed to pay for a plane ticket and let Vicky and I stay there for a week after the contract ended so I didn’t get completely screwed. I’ve been put in much worse situations then this so I was relieved to say the least.
Then one night when I was cooking dinner, Carrie showed up. She was a cute little blond in her early 30’s who’s boyfriend paid for her to come out for a week by herself (cause he’s a dumbass?). Right off the bat we hit it off and started flirting heavy. But she was a customer and I was the Chef. At the same time, Vicky was encouraging me to sleep with other woman since, well, the thought of it turned her on. But she was still a customer and I know what I’ve said about it being okay to sleep with your customers but there is a big difference when you are living with those people. The entire time I was in Hawaii, I erred on the side of caution which is the same reason I didn’t fuck Christy ether. It wasn’t worth the potential drama that could have come about and I’ve seen it happen too many times. Carrie is a super cool chick and I’m glad I didn’t make a move on her.
Things got a lot weirder but you just have to wait a few more hours till the last part gets edited…..
*** Like us ? Love us ? SHARE US WITH THE WORLD!!! Click the links below and if you really want to help you can click here.