Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Hawaiian Holiday - The Non Dalai Lama Section"

Day One…


Lounge at the beach and read. 


Back on the beach. 

An afternoon dip in the ocean. 

A dip in the pool. 

Exercise in the gym (optional). 




Days Two To Eight…


Possible Reaction Number One:  I am so envious.

Possible Reaction Number Two:  You flew five and a half hours for that?

For me, it’s an ideal vacation. 

But there’s not much to write about.

I can tell you that the weather was sunny with a steady temperature of eighty-four degrees, the heat of the day tempered by the zephyrous trade winds, or as it’s called in the tropics, at least by me, God’s air conditioning.

I can pass along some beach chatter.  At one point, Anna observed,

“[Her husband] Colby’s bathing suit has sharks on it, and Dad’s bathing suit has fish on it.  Colby’s bathing suit could eat Dad’s bathing suit.” 

I was too mellow to read anything into that.
I can relate how, at breakfast, the restaurant’s longtime hostess who knew us from our previous visits, welcomed us back, and inquired how we were doing.  I replied that I was really enjoying our less than “Fully Occupied” April visit, as compared to our traditional and more frenzied Christmas week stays, adding.

“No restaurant reservations.  No fighting over beach chairs.  (See Earlier Post:  “Too Big For My Bathing Suit – a Two Parter.)  No being thrown off the Katzenbergs table.” 

This was a residual sore point.  On an earlier visit, while I was breakfasting, this same hostess had approached me with the news that I had mistakenly been seated at a table that the Katzenberg family (Jeffrey Katzenberg being the Dreamworks co-founder) had reserved for their entire two-week stay, and I would therefore have to move, which I begrudgingly did.

“You remember that?” she exclaimed, a note of anguished surprise in her voice.

The surprise was not that I remembered.  I recall all my slights and humiliations.  The surprise was that she remembered.  I guess it was no fun doing the tossing either.  We were now eternally bonded, twin victims of a Katzenberg bruising.

I watched a hotel guest swim out to a dock-like raft, anchored about fifty yards from shore, after which a “Jellyfish Warning” was posted on the beach, restricting people from going into the water.  I wondered if the hotel guest had to remain on the raft, till they took the “Jellyfish Warning” down.  What if it took days?
Waiting for my bagel to toast, I struck up a conversation with a hotel guest visiting from Australia.  Angling for a “Commonwealth Connection”, I mentioned that I was originally from Canada, to which the Australian replied,

“I lost my spleen in Canada.”

I immediately felt terrible.  Well, not immediately.  First, I thought,

“Why is he telling this to a stranger?”

But then, I empathized.  Nobody wants to be reminded of a missing internal body part when they’re on vacation, and there I was, thoughtlessly dredging it back up.  Expressing interest to soften my inadvertent faux pas, I asked him where he had lost his spleen.  He said, “In Toronto.”  To which I replied, hoping to distract him with a joke, “My brother’s in Toronto.  Maybe he could look for it.”  It did not seem to help.  My bagel popped up, and I strategically moved on to the lox station.
I spent the first two days catching all the rays I could.  I spent the rest of our stay avoiding them, in hopes of averting an unwelcome diagnosis.

What is the appropriate protocol when a young woman stands directly in front of you, wearing a bathing suit, composed of a neckerchief knotted around her waist, and a string?  What exactly am I supposed to do?  And if the answer is nothing…how?

The number of letters of the English alphabet used for writing the (previously unwritten) Hawaiian language was reduced from seventeen letters to twelve in1826.  In 1825, if you looked up Oahu on a map, you would find a town situated on its south shore marked “Honoruru.”  (I did not make that up.  You can find it in Sarah Vowell’s book, Familiar Fishes, page 99.)

Discomfort in the taste department restricts me from talking about the toilet in our upgraded hotel room.  It’s Japanese.  It’s from Toto.  Look it up.  It does things.

Walking to our car after dinner, we noticed a neon sign in the window of a Hawaiian Pawn Shop.  On the top left portion of the sign, it said, “Cash.”  Below that, it said, “Loans.”  On the top right portion of the sign, it said, “Gold.”  And directly beneath that, it said, “And Ukeleles.”

Can you imagine what a fish feels like when they find out they’re the “Catch of the Day”?


A local 7:30 A.M. news broadcast offered a remote broadcast on a new Whole Foods opening in nearby Kailua, but nothing was happening, because the store didn’t open until nine.  The on-site reporter promised to return with an update on the store opening at eight.

By the seventh day, our big excitement was watching a crab ten feet in front of our beach chairs industriously relocating sand.  “That is the most entertaining crab I have ever seen,” observed Anna.  There was no one in our party who would disagree.

There was a noticeable different between the vibe during the Christmas week visit and our current visit in April.  It was easier in April, but there was something missing.  Was it the jangle of holiday excitement, a packed house of visitors, the hotel’s service staff ready to deliver their “A” game? 

Yes.  April was a decidedly more “hang loose” kind of affair.  But there was something else that was different.  Absent the Hollywood high rollers, who could “Green Light” movies and ink “multi-pic-pacts”, what seemed lacking was a pervasive sense of suspicion and hostility. 

In a way, I missed it.

But take that as a curmudgeonly quibble.  We are talking “Top of the Line” perfection.  When dying people are told they are going to “A Better Place”, I imagine that place being a lot like Hawaii.  I don’t know what dying Hawaiians are told.  Maybe “You are going to a place a lot like this.”  Were I a dying Hawaiian, I would likely respond, “In that case, I’d just as soon stay here.”

Aloha, Hawaii.  It is nice to know that you’re out there.


Anonymous said...

"What is the appropriate protocol when a young woman stands directly in front of you, wearing a bathing suit, composed of a neckerchief knotted around her waist, and a string? What exactly am I supposed to do?"

Did you get pictures? Can you post them here?

Zaraya said...

Dear Mr. Pomerantz; you find material even while relaxing. Is comedy everywhere? I guess I would prefer that it is instead of tragedy.


ankshisc rsiners said...

Good stuff, aloha!

Frank said...

I can almost hear Tony Bennett crooning "I left my spleen in Canada".

otche ateserst said...

You were wearing sun glasses, weren't you?

Earl Pomerantz said...

A genius writer "Huckleberry Finn." And after a number of years, neither he nor his descendants are permitted to benefit from that effort. The publishers can still make money, but the person who created the work of art cannot. Who does that benefit? Who does continuing to pay royalty payments to the originator hurt?

Anonymous said...

nice idea.. thanks for sharing.