I’m sitting in the Board meeting surrounded by scents of orchids and fresh guava fruit wearing a lei. Yes dear readers, I am having a board meeting in Hawaii. Cue violins.
For once in my life, I am very grateful for jet lag as it has meant I woke up at 5:30 am and had time to go to the beach. Staying in the downtown part of Honolulu, I walked over to the Ala Moana park. It was a quirky tableau of toned and tanned runners, beefy outrigger paddlers, old Asian couples walking, and tourists. I am continually surprised at how warm the water is. I’m used to the cold Atlantic. It’s also surprising how many people are on the beach at 6:30 in the morning, ranging from the surfers to the old Chinese tourists.
One food observation I’d make is how ubiquitous macaroni salad is in Hawaiian cuisine. Saturday night, having refused to pay $5.00 for s stupid snack box on United Airlines, I was STAAARRRRVVVING by the time I got to Honolulu airport at 7:30pm Hawaii time (1:30 pm EST!!!). Having not eaten in 10 hours I was hungry. My boss was volunteering for the Akaka campaign all week and called the campaign headquarters to see how the festivities were (and how much food they had). Typical of an event thrown by Asians and Native Hawaiians, the food was plentiful. On the ginourmous buffet was sticky rice, Hawaiian chili, teriyaki chicken cutlets, sweet and sour meatballs, chicken curry, and the usual macaroni salad. The entertainment at the rally was a blast. The Hawaiian band would just point at someone in the audience and they victim would go onstage and do a hula perfectly timed to the music.
Along with the pervasiveness of macaroni salad, the cuisine(s) of Hawaii is such a kaleidoscope of Asian, Native Hawaiian and U.S. military food. Case in point – fried sticky rice with spam. The majority of the restaurants in Honolulu are Asian of some sort, from Korean BBQs, Vietnamese pho houses, sushi joints and a gazillion Chinese restaurants. A “Hawaiian” meal can consist of Pad Thai, Filipino Pork adobo, pulled pork, and…macaroni salad.
When I am done with the board meeting I will be going to a convention for Native Hawaiians where I am dead set on learning how to make a lei (in anticipation of a Hawaiian luau themed bridal shower I want to throw for Rootbeer). Coming up this week are many,, many 6:00 am swims in the ocean, going to the beach where Lost is filmed, and snorkeling in some crater.