Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Akalaka woki woki...HAWAIII

The title is my Hawaii song. It does not, in fact, contain any real Hawaiian words, but it is fun to hula to, and may border upon the sublime should you strum a ukelele while singing; I can't be sure.

For 10 days I have been to that lush and tropical island. While the rest of the country languished in the growing cold, my days were greeted with the sun-kissed humidity of a rainforest. And roosters; lots of roosters decided to serve as my alarm clocks. Some were set to crow triumphantly at 5am. The more considerate ones decided to spare me until a half-hour later.

But my purpose there was not for the idle work of the vacationer; no, I was there for business, and spent entire days cooped up within a windowless and temperature controlled nondescript building of dubious purpose. In spite of this, there was time yet for some rest- meals, mostly, but a few times there was an idle hour to recklessly embed temporary footprints along the sandy shore or appreciate the greenery. And always present, from any vantage was the wild and trackless sea, stretching out towards the bounds of vision and thought. And chickens, which I had previously mentioned. From time to time they could be observed at the edge of the road, pausing perhaps to consider if they wished to fulfill that ancient joke and become nothing more than a punchline, or if destiny had some greater purpose for them.

From a societal standpoint, it occurred to me as we drove past fields with high-grown and blossoming sugarcane that, if located within the contiguous United States (and not, as one Simpsons character said, in "the freak States") Kauai would be somewhere in the middle of Nebraska. It's exceedingly rural, with little in the way of infrastructure that has been built in the past 30 years. Charming, in a what-a-quaint-little-small-town sort of way, but also a little disturbing in a this-place-is-willfully-frozen-in-1978 sort of way.

The people are friendly and courteous. The weather is warm, sunny and only slightly marred by unexpected storms, the pizza is vile trash that shouldn't be foisted upon living people, and the land is a tapestry of breathtaking scenery layered upon itself. Island living has a lot going for it; a simple life, lots of delicious fish, good weather and a culture that encourages topless native dancing. But I am a worldly man, and I fear that I am deeply entrenched within a society that only serves to drive me more towards that end. Without a convenience mart in a 5 block radius at any time, I might wither and die like the mayfly with the cresting of the spring sun.

I am returned; renewed by my travel, but invigorated by the sights and sounds of home.

3 Comments:

At 12:49 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

Welcome back! Glad you managed some sand between the toes. We've missed your unique style of prose, Mahd. Who better can ponder with such eloquence if destiny had some greater purpose for chickens... maybe KFC? :)

 
At 5:59 AM, Blogger Knows It All said...

I love this post. THanks! Sounds like a good trip if you have to go for business!

Enjoy your home and the holiday!

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger sheriff of nothing said...

That sounds like a great way to spend your working days!! even if it is only for a short time...

 

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