Showing posts from May, 2010

Cloth or plastic?

So in a little while, Kauai will be banning plastic grocery bags because they are pointless litter and choke sea creatures and befoul our lovely island, littering highways and beaches and clogging our already maxed-out dump and reveal our moral decrepitude and innate slovenliness. Every store offers righteous little reusable cloth ones to replace the plastic ones. The cloth grocery bags offer a new vision of the future-- where we'll all recycle, shop at farmer's markets, apply sunscreen, and pay our bills on time.

The other day I was driving down the main highway and I saw something tangled in the guard on the right. It was a cloth grocery bag.

Old chucking-bags-out-of-vehicles habits must be hard to break.

A bunch of Hui

Mahalo, Ola, Pono, Aina, Ono, Piko, Pau....I hear Hawaiian words all the time. And mostly from non-Hawaiians. But I only hear the same handful of words over and over--the Hawaiian-word pool that we can pick from is limited.

There are some Hawaiian words that Haole imposters, like myself, always feel free to bandy about.
Aloha is one of those words we've beaten into submission-- especially pronounced, "Hello-hah." Because it is un-American to pronounce a word from a non-English language correctly, "Hello-hah" lets you make a limp-wristed effort but without having to fully commit to a non-English word. Win-win.

Malama is another one we say a lot-- and we use it to suggest, like finger-wagging school marms, that others could be taking better care of things. Malama Aina, Malama Kai, Malama Pono, Malama ola-- don't forget to pick up after your doggies, people. Don't mess up the ocean, be righteous and eat more vegetables! And Kokua-- you better cooperate!


BYO Mexican

I took my kids to the May Day concert at Island school the other day. The school is private, expensive, lofty. The auditorium was bright and clean, and all the parents were in their aloha best-- matching aloha print shirts and dresses for the whole family, and lots of folks yoked with leis in mounds on their shoulders. May day is lei day in Hawaii, after all.

I was curious about the crowd-- who sends their kids to this school? Rich or frightened parents, I suppose-- jittery overpaid transplants, anxious underpaid locals, everybody gnawing their nails about our state's 3.5 day school week and shelling out more than I paid for graduate school from preschool onward.

We got there half an hour early and the bleachers were already full of proud parents and grandparents-- we found a spot on the last row in the far corner. Soon after we sat down and started our I-spy game, two Mexican ladies walked over. Real, genuine Mexicanas, with that rich accent, and wide Indian cheekbones! Yes, Hawai…