Well, what can I say. This certainly is as much a sociological study as a vacation. We flew into Hilo on Saturday. Beautiful approach by plane. Baggage was there immediately and we went straight to the rental car counter across the street. If only all airports were so fast and relaxed. 🙂 I had booked a car through NKT, they got me a very good deal with Alamo, so definitely recommendable. We took off for Volcano Village straight away, a relatively short drive up the mountain. The vegetation is beautiful, as is the landscape most of the time – except for the patches where US civilization got involved. But more of that later. Volcano is tiny and we found very nice accommodation at the volcano Inn. Cheap, clean, in the rainforest. Spot on. Alas, the rainforest is not called rainforest for nothing, the clouds were so low we couldn’t see much further than our own hand. So we had an excellent dinner instead at a place called Thai Thai. Really good, really spicy, authentic Thai, hard to find in Germany. Sunday brought some disappointment when we discovered that you cannot currently walk up to the lava flow. Can’t be helped, so we walked – I refuse to call it hiking – around a bit and admired the scenery. But frankly, nothing too spectacular except for the steam from the current eruption.
And here comes the first sociological part. For Americans, it’s always and only about liability. Each piece of „nature“, I.e. everything that’s not solid concrete, carries at least four warning signs. Most trails and places you are not allowed to enter because they are a) private property and/or b) some person or county or state wants to protect themselves from being held accountable if sth happens to you. Liability is the most important concept in understanding the American psyche. Americans are constantly worried and anxious. They prefer to live a dull life and make life dull for everybody else just to make sure there are no liabilities lurking around the corner. Fuck that, it’s sick and makes me feel sorry. An overregulated society that will bore itself to death. (Of course overregulated only where it doesn’t hurt Big Money, if they applied the same level of diligence to finance and pharma for example, the world would be a much better place.) And to make sure the worker drones are kept happy they have Vegas. But I’m digressing, sorry about that. But let me say it out loud: fuck your regulations and fuck all lawyers. Feels better? Yep.
So anyway, it’s kinda hard to really enjoy yourself because it all feels like driving at 30km/h all the time.