Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Bloom Is Off The Rose

Update: Not a complete loss, as it turns out. So while I was out I went to a Barnes and Nobles for the express purpose of buying Hawaiian music. Being an aspirant to music snobbery I decided to get something non-traditional i.e. no grass skirts or ukuleles and ended up getting I Don't Mind by a local band called Beat Your Kids. I finally had a chance to listen to it; its not half bad, uptempo punkish/ska-ish, but what really sold me was it had a song called Bruce Lee Ska. How can you not like that?
So I find that I've rapidly tired of Honolulu. More specifically, I'm not sure why people choose to spend their vacations in Waikiki. There's just too many people, everything is way expensive, and (stop me if you've heard this one before) its unbearably touristy. I have to assume that people vacation here because they don't know any better. I know, if its so lame why am I there? Well, that's where the company sent me. So there, nyah! And part of this might just be that I'm jet-lagged and picky. Regardless, I found it necessary to try to escape all the touristy, and was only partially successful. The highlight of the day was finding this little Thai restaurant called Bale, which stands as a reminder that French colonialism wasn't all bad. They have a really good "special sandwich" which beats paying too much for bacon and eggs at the hotel. If you've never had a Thai sandwich, here's what they do. They take a demi-baguette, put some kind of meat on it (ham, pate, and head cheese in this case), and then top it with pickled veggies and cilantro. Muy bueno. But, as I said, that was the highlight of the day. So I did a circuit of the island, driving mostly at random, trying to find something interesting. Most of what is readily-identifiable from the road are shops and whatnot, and they all seem to sell the same thing: boxes of Macadamia nuts and bags of Kona coffee. Bleh... my worry is that I really did have an "authentic island experience". Now I know there's a really good arts scene and I shouldn't be complaining. But that's difficult to get into when you're only there for 3 days and confined to Oahu. Which might be part of the problem... to borrow a phrase: "Hawaii's a great place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit there".

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