Posts Tagged ‘Aloha Hawaii’

Hello, Sacramento!

I must be back from Hawaii after that 6-week book signing/lecture tour.
How do I know? Because once again I’m back in a place where we all look alike.

The baggage boy at Raley’s followed me out asking, “Are you in Congress?”

Me: Am I in Congress?

Lad: Yes, are you a Congresswoman?

Me: What if I said yes? ( I suspected he was mistaking me for Rep. Doris Matsui as did that elderly
woman at Crocker Museum who insisted I was wrong when I told her I was not Matsui.)

Lad: My friend got appointed to West Point by Doris Matsui and I thought you could do the same for me.

Me: What district are you from? Do you know who your congressional representatives are?

Lad: No, but I’m from the Sixth District.

Me: You can’t do this alone. Are you in high school?

Lad: I’m a Junior.

Me: You need to see your counselors and let them know of your interest. You can’t do this alone. You need to go through your school. Will you do that?

Lad: Yes, thank you.

Scene II: I walked into a doctor’s office in Sacramento and the specialist assigned to run me through some test began with:

You look familiar.
Are you????

I quickly told her I wasn’t Doris Matsui or any other Asian woman she knows. That this was my first visit to her office. She chuckled and suggested that I need to work my resemblance to Rep Matsui to it’s full potential…that I could have the best seats in town if I used a blazer jacket and pretended to be her.

Yeah, I must not be in Hawaii any more. Drivers no longer wave me “thanks” when I give them space to cut in, nor do they wave me “you’re welcome” when I wave my thanks to them. No one gave me their luggage cart at our airport as that local Hawaiian did when I arrived in Hawaii. “Save 4 bucks,” he said, “Here, use my cart.”

When I called for a cab at a Waikiki hotel, the Valet asked me, “To the airport? What? Don’t you have any friends or family to pick you up? You gotta take a cab?” I knew then, I was not a Hawaii local, having to take a cab to the airport.

I’m confused, folks. Who am I? Where should I be?
Doris Matsui…how about lunch one day so we can compare faces?

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I know I’m in Hawai’i:

Upon arrival at Honolulu Airport, I went straight for the luggage cart with my $4.00 in hand when a local man approached me with , “Don’t waste your money, there are lots of carts on the sidewalk, go get one. ” The sidewalk was empty. So back to my $4.00 to get my cart. He came to me with his cart and said,”Here, use my cart. I’m meeting a friend and I don’t need this. ” I took his cart and said, “I know I’m back in Hawai’i” and thanked him, a complete stranger.

Driving on our freeway at 50 mph speed limit, waving to drivers who allow me space to change lanes, toots from others thanking me for same. We wave a lot of thanks and you’re welcomes on the road.

I know I’m in Hawai’i:

At the formal Alzheimer’s fundraiser event at the Coral Ballroom at the Hilton, the Director of Alz looked at my outfit, chose a red floral lei to match my black and white outfit. I didn’t get a standing ovation but I saw the mayor and U.S. Senator wipe tears from their eyes so I settled for that. At another  session, a person born in my hometown of Kapoho, now covered by lava, sat in the front row. I love the fresh flower leis I’m greeted with at each event.

Only in Hawai’i:

In Hilo, a waitress greeted me with a hug, “I remember you from last year. You’re allergic to MSG.”

I had my nails done and the Vietnamese owner greeted me happily with “Hello Frances,” followed with “Is everyone in Sacramento treating you good?”
I couldn’t remember his name, or the last time I was there.

One night on Maui, my friend Weesie made fresh Maui grown pineapple ice-cream from scratch.

On every island at Safeway checkout, my last name is pronounced correctly when they look at my receipt before handing it to me.

This past week, I had a standing room only session…I had requested a mike and a podium. I got a hand mike but no podium. I can’t handle a hand mike, notes and pages of poetry from my books with two carpal tunneled hands. I need a podium, I said. Person in charge stacked six chairs as a podium. I gulped and said “No, let’s see if you can find me a small table and I’ll look for a box.” Audience kept waiting.  I found an old, dilapidated cardbox box and got my podium.
Only in Hawai’i.

The vastness of space, still untouched by man’s cities and concrete in many parts of the islands arouses that passion that we need to keep our planet as it was at the beginning. Endless blue skies with white cumulus clouds, white crested waves against shorelines, banyan trees too large for my arms to go around, awakened by cardinals and mynahs as they begin their day and mine, plumerias and orchid blossoms waiting to be draped around someone’s shoulders…I sit and feel such  poignancy as beauty and fear intermingle…fear of losing all this beauty someday. Fear that generations from now, people won’t have a clue of what I’m enjoying today here in Hawai’i.
But for the time being, Hawai’i is surely the land of Aloha.

(photo proudly taken at Kahala, Oahu by me.)

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