Feb 6, 2011

Being A Tourist

My cousin, my cousin's husband, my cousin's husband's sister, and my cousin's husband's sister's husband are all here vacationing with us this week. (Did you get all that?)

I woke up on Friday and found the latter two mentioned on my living room floor and woke up on Saturday and found the former two on my office floor. I was pretty disappointed today when I woke up and found I didn't have any extended (or very extended) family on my kitchen floor. None in the bathroom either, though that would have been a little disturbing.

When family comes to visit us, which happens anywhere from once to three times a year, we pull out our book of Everything You Need To Know To Be A Tourist In Hawaii. Everyone has something to add. Mei likes to give them the rundown on malasadas (think doughnut holes, puffed up, deep fried with powdered sugar and some kind of filling)

and Ted's Bakery Chocolate Haupia/Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pies

so that they'll go out and buy some so we can eat them too.

My mom warns them about things. She tells them about people who have gotten lost in the mountains, or have dived into the ocean and hit their head on the rocks they didn't know where there (always look first!) or got a terrible infection from corral scrapes. She also tells them about places that they should eat, like the shrimp trucks, Haliewa Eats, etc.

My dad tells his famous rip tide story:

Ahem. Back when dad was body-boarding in really big waves (and mom insisted that he have an equally big life insurance policy) he was out at the beach one day when he saw these two military guys, buff and tattooed, swimming against a current. The life guard was on the beach trying to explain to them through vague gesticulations that they needed to swim parallel to the shore. They weren't getting it and my dad paddled out and saved them.

Moral of the story: Even when you're a big, buff, tattooed military guy, you don't fight against the water and win and if you try you're going to end up being saved by a communications professor who is much smaller than you.

My cousin, Julie, told my dad that she already knew about swimming parallel to the beach from Bay Watch, so she was good-ta-go as far was water safety was concerned. See, Bay Watched payed off. I feel the same way about West Wing when I take Gov quizzes.

My part in all of this is the chapter titled How Not To Look Like A Tourist. There are several things one must remember when doing this

  1. It's called LEE-KAY-LEE-KAY High way, even though it's spelled Likelike.
  2. Don't take your Hawaiian pronunciation too far, it's not pee-pay-lee-nay, it's Pipe Line.
  3. Take my high school band shirt and throw it on your dashboard, in a vain attempt to convince those who would break into your car that it isn't really a rental.
  4. Don't leave anything in your car in case they're not convinced.
  5. No aloha shirts, fanny packs, straightened hair, flowered board shorts, or cameras hanging around your neck.
  6. If you wear any of those things, please don't stand next to me.
  7. Put on sun screen. No matter what your teacher told you, the sun you've lived under is different from the one here. I don't care if you tan. Here you burn.
  8. No, really. No one likes lobster skin. It's painful and embarrassing. 
So far no one seems to have earned any third degree burns (this time). They've had Ted's pie and yesterday no one was dragged out by a riptide. So far so good.


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