While other people go places because of meditation retreats, food, or beaches, I went to three distinct lands because I wanted to Eat, Pray, and Love my way into Obama’s childhood. That sounds so much creepier than I ever imagined, and is not true at all. Still, this year, I managed to spend time in places Obama lived while growing up (he also attended college in L.A. and NYC, both of which I have spent time in this year as well. Duh.), and here, now, I shall draw incredible comparisons.
-Because of his often varying stances on war, gay marriage, and rights, Obama has frequently been called a chameleon. In Hawaii, I found many a chameleon on my backyard.
-As a child, Obama learned in 6 months how to speak the main native language, Bahasa Indonesia. As an adult, I learned in 6 days how to eat Indonesia out of their national food supply.
-Barack and Michelle had their wedding in Chicago. This year, I photographed a wedding in Chicago.
-The islands of Hawai’i are pronounced “Huh-vie-ee” by pretentious people and locals. My favorite treat in Hawai’i is pronounced, “Lilikoi, strawberry, and pickled mango shave ice on ube ice cream, small please.”
-Obama was born in Hawaii. Not similarly, I was born in California.
-Throughout his career, Obama has received many signs threatening his efforts to improve our country. In Hawaii, I found awesome signs, like this one.
-As a young adult,Obama attended Occidental College in L.A. As a not-that-young-anymore adult, this spring in L.A. I occidentally overate my fill of petish, an Indian delicacy my friend Vic and I discovered years ago.
-Throughout his presidency, Obama has been about equal rights, no matter your gender, income level, or color. These chicks in Indonesia were not a natural color.
-Obama has tried for gun control, but after being thwarted at every attempt, it seems the government is slow-moving at best when it comes to recalling the second amendment, fighting for stricter gun laws, or changing the way our country fights such crimes. This Hawaiian turtle can’t even.
-In Indonesia, the country’s flag is red and white. My favorite color is green.
-While in NYC as a youngster, Obama became familiar with the city’s famous skyline. While in New Jersey as an oldster, I became familiar with the fact that Times Square is better enjoyed from far, far away.
-Obama grew up in the gorgeous blue-green waters, deserts, mountains, and rainforests of Hawaii. This year, I got to live and photograph in the beautiful waters, rainforests, volcanos, and landscapes only Hawaii has. Note that I didn’t use apostrophes in “Hawai’i” this time ’round.
-As a child in Indonesia, Obama kept a pet ape called Tata. As an adult in Indonesia, I kept desiring a pet monkey but quickly abandoned the dream after 3 of my friends got bloody scrapes from these cute devils.
So thanks, Obama,