I had a short holiday in Honolulu over the Australia Day long weekend. I stayed in Waikiki island which was full of tourists and close to everything. I took Uber three times to go to the supermarket and restaurants and I met three Uber drivers.
The first one was a very nice lady. Her car was right next to me when I made the order, so I could not even tell the direction on the map. This lady was from New Jersey and moved to the island five years ago when she retired from a job in Newark Airport. She bought one bedroom flat in Waikiki and worked as a Uber driver. She said she took it easy, started late and finished early, so she would not see those drunkies but all nice tourists. She said people in the island were quite different from the big city, so early today she took an old couple from NY and in order to make some conversation, the gentleman asked her some simple questions, then his wife said: why did not ask those questions if you already knew the answer? Typical New Yorker, the lady driver said, and they made awkward conversations not even behind you, like all old and young people who always do the wrong thing. I laughed hard with her and I thought she had a wonderful retirement.
The second guy was an angry man. He didn’t allow me to touch the boot as someone broke it, then he yelled at the red light as it was too long. Anyway, he was from CA, moved to the island when he was 12. He was running a limo company for tourists but it didn’t not run well at the moment so he had a bit of time to do Uber. He had a bad experience in hiring someone to drive his limo as the employee would not treat the car and the passenger in the way as he did. Despite his busy life, he would go golfing in an hour after dropping me. What a nice island life, I said. Yeah, he laughed.
The third guy was a military guy. I was a bit surprised military people are allowed to have a second job but he said it was common. He moved from Atlanta to the island with the job and then settled here. He would retire in 4 years and he was planning his own charted boat fishing business. Currently he was in the process of getting the captain licence and also studying part time with the support from the government. Everything went so well. He was the first person asking me about the bushfires in Australia and I couldn’t believe someone in the island would care about what happened around the world.
The Uber drivers I see in other cities are mostly Indians who can’t get another job but in this island, all Uber drivers have their stories and they like to share with other people. For me, it’s a great experience to know the island a little bit more.
I recently had trip in Central America, starting from Panama, then Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and finishing in Cuba. It’s a lovely Christmas time.
Panama and Costa Rica are relatively rich countries in the region so nice food and nice hotel and everything was alright. Once I stepped into Nicaragua on a bus, I could see the difference – there was no infrastructure. Even at the border, there was no road or car park for the bus to stop and pick the passengers. The driver just dropped my backpack to the dirt road for security check. and it seemed fine for everyone. I had a chat with some friends in the hostel and realised for the first time that this country was under dictatorship. Soon I realised this was true when I went to the city and saw a square of Chavez.
I had a particular interest to those countries who maintained the diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. Because of the one China policy, Taiwan does not have many friends in the world without diplomatic tie with China, but there are quite a lot in this region. I had a special visit to Taiwan’s embassy to Nicaragua and Honduras and took some pictures. You know there are only less than 20 embassies in the world, even less than the quantity of Disneyland.
The highlight of the trip was Guatemala. I would like to spend a few years there because of its nature and culture. In this trip, I missed a tour to the volcano as the tour was full. Instead I went to a local football game between Antigua and another club. The level of the game was so so but I liked the passion of the fans. It’s a 10 thousand people stadium without proper seats but most people stood there and watched the game to the end like me, supporting their team. The hosting team lost the game in the end but I will still support it.
Cuba was nice but o be honest I don’t like the idea that people had to pay a lot more than local people for everything. China used to do that in 1980s, so for me it’s so old fashioned, communist and ridiculous. It was an experience, but put it in this way, at least Cuba is not a backpacker friendly place, so bring lots of money before entering the country.
Am I coming back? Yes, I think I will learn a bit more Spanish next time. Also I would like to have more adventures in Guatemala.
My study load in 2019 was full time but that inlcuded summer and winter school. In the coming year, I am going to do 3 subjects in one semester. To be honest I am struggling with two units now but the university removed the study load limit in the third year so I am going to have a go in the new year.
For those units, I hope none of them is going to be as boring as Evidence. I also start selecting my electives now and Advanced Company Law is my first one. I hope I can keep all my electives under commercial law and Chinese law. There are some offshore units which are quite interesting too but I will only consider those units next year.
In the new year, I will tell myself that I need to study every week, not those two weeks before the exam. Yes, this is the new year resolution.