Thursday, June 18, 2009

Story # 190: Laie, Hawaii

Let me take you on a quick tour of this place I know so well, Laie town. 

Basically, the most notorious place in this town is the Polynesian Culture Center (PCC). This place is always packed with tourists from around the world. I worked here for about 3 years. The first time I entered PCC for the employee's orientation, I was so amazed. I couldn't believe I was working at a tourist spot, like Disneyland, minus the magical fairy tale enchantment (PCC is magical in other ways). Then, I began to hate the sight of its back gate where all the employees entered when I was working as a custodian. I worked night shift there and had to clean bathrooms. Therefore, I HATED PCC. 

However, as I flee from the custodian job after a year and 4 months into the building of IMAX theatre, one of the best jobs you can ask for at PCC, I suddenly liked PCC again. I love my co-workers and my generous boss who brought food for us EVERY afternoon like it was his responsibility to feed hungry female students like us. I was a theatre usher, then I became a projectionist who sat in the projection room, in the dark, in the cold, and always fearing the mouse in the kitchen next to the dark room. Then, I started to dislike PCC again. 

When my mom came for my graduation commencement, I took her to PCC. This was probably my first time touring PCC as a tourist. I wasn't working at PCC anymore. I was a writer for BYU-H newspaper. On that tour, I liked PCC again. Very fondly. I went to every village, participated in every activity they had for tourists. I learned hula dancing under the tree, shook my hip vigorously to the Tahitian dance on a stage in front of a lot of males, tried fishing with the coconut bread but failed, watched the IMAX show for the 500th time, got on the canoe ride on the lagoon, played poi balls and hit my face, and enjoyed the night show for free while my mom slept through the Tongan dance. I loved PCC. 

Enjoying my root beer shaved ice. 

The IMAX show I so familiar with. I can still sing the songs and know the dialogues in the movie. It's a good movie though, about protecting the ocean and the coral reef. 

According to the canoe pusher, Elvis Presley once sat on this tree for one of his movies :) 

I thought I left PCC for good, or at least for a long time, after I left for Malaysia. But I soon came back to its ground. I went back to visit my boss in IMAX and my my friends who worked there only after a year I left. This time, I know less people in PCC. Most of my friends were gone, graduated, transferred. But I loved PCC still. I took a tour on my own, as a tourist. I watched the canoe dance show, wished I was dancing on the canoe, and sat on a bench and enjoyed the serenity when the tourists left the lagoon to go on their tour. I love PCC because it is everything Polynesian, it is everything Hawaii. Don't ever come to Oahu without visiting PCC. 


This is one of the dorms. HALE 5. 

I love how you would never be bored in the bathroom doing your business because there were always things on the wall for you to read. 

Ah, my home. I lived in the dorm for the whole time I was going to school. Don't give me "What? you entire 4 years?" because I love living in the dorm. I feel safe there. It's like living in a gated residential area complete with gym, swimming pool, tennis court, and security. No worries about being murdered in the middle of your sleep by some psycho serial killer who climb through your window. Only, don't aggravate your roommate. 

The entrance to BYU-H


This is the stake center where I went to church every week. It's in the university. 

This is the place where I learn all of the things that I need to know about the real world--you can conquer the world as an English major/ everyone, every company, needs people with skills like the English major/ English majors will never fail to find a job/ English majors understand the importance of literature and have no care about money/ the world is all about writing 20 pages research papers.....
(this is what I learn in the real world: the real world is crueler (not more cruel, mind you) than the professor asking you to rewrite your paper because your thesis is not narrowed down). 

I have so many memories about this place. In just 3 short years, my English vocabulary expand and my grammar is close to perfection (jk!). AAAAAAAAA...i miss my professors, my classmates, my classes, my school, MY STUDENT LIFE! 

Michiru and I. She is still a student and I am just a student-wannabe. 

And my professors were right. The world needs English majors. Ask my friends who ask me to edit their papers. And though I am not allowed to work now (issues with the US immigration), I will not fail to find a job (in your face, people who under-appreciate English majors). 


This is where I shop most of the time. I came here so often you might think that I worked here. I know where everything was placed on in every aisle. I guess this is true for most BYU-H students because there's no other shopping place in Laie.  

The uniform is so Hawaiian. I love it! 

I remember I was accused of stealing their magazine once because I had the same exact magazine sent to my mailbox that same afternoon that I had put in my unzipped bag before I went to shop. Luckily, I had proof that the magazine in my bag was MINE! It was addressed to TING EE WEN, BYUH####, 55-220 Kulanui St.     
Note to self: Zip the dang bag! 

Malasadas!!!! This truck is usually outside of Foodland. I missed it so much when I was in Utah and I was so stoked to see that it was still there when I went back this time. Malasadas is...scones, I think.


is under construction this time I went. It was usually white and beautiful. I love it. This was the place I went to to find peace when I had any difficulties in life. This is the Lord's house. I felt like if I could just step into the ground, I would be protected. Indeed, I have. 

Inside the temple visitor center 

This is a movie theatre in the visitor center. They called this the Asian room. No idea why. But they have really nice decoration in it. 

There was an photo exhibition of a photographer from our church. His photography are awesome! I don't think I should post all of the pictures I took of his photos because it might be illegal. 

Statue of Christ in the temple visitor center. 

Go visit Hawaii. It is one of the things you should do before you die. 

Happy Friday and I hope you enjoy Hawaii. 


Leighton Whiting said...

Makes me wanna go back...

vivii said...

Aloha !! Welcome to Tha IMAX Polynesia..My name is Vivi and I'm from Thailand. Today's presentation of the Polynesian Odyssey is brought to u by PCC Vacation......Hi ^^ I used to be an IMAX usher as well I was working there for a year and now I'm a tour guide..IMAX is already closed for the renovation and will be opening again around April...

Nice to meet u ^^