My knowledge of Hawaii before I came here was formed entirely from Elvis films and The Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland. I had certain expectations of kitschness. Which so far haven’t been entirely met. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been lovely, turtles, religious hula chanting, peaceful places of refuge yada yada. But I was starting to wonder if my mental image of Hawaii really exists or was just a figment.
This week we’re in Waikiki. A place so like it should be that it might be fictional. It is wonderfully kitsch. It’s brash, high-rise, always sunny, palm trees swaying on every corner. We’ve heard Christmas hula music, watched bronzed surfers strutting along the sea front, debated buying hula Christmas decorations, sat next to cheerleaders on the bus and seen a proper, non-religious, un-tasteful, hula show. I’m glad Waikiki really exists.