Thursday, July 07, 2005

Weekend Trip to Japan

by Anne Zelenka
We went to Japan, er, I mean Oahu this past weekend. But it sure seemed like Japan. The shops at the hotel where we stayed catered to Japanese tourists, I think... the hair salon was called "Beauty Salon Classy" and the sandwich shop was "Trivial Deli." I'm just assuming that in Japanese translation those names have some appeal. We went to the upscale Honolulu mall and found ourselves surrounded by Asians; most looked Japanese to my untrained eye. Neiman Marcus and Macy's were joined by a Japanese department store of which I've forgotten the name--I didn't take the opportunity to shop there because I had just 45 minutes to run through Ann Taylor and Sephora for the first time in nine months. I saw very few Pacific Islanders and even fewer haoles--that's Hawaiian for foreigner, but it's used to refer to mainland white people.

When I went to Kauai a couple months ago, I didn't feel a satisfied sense of "I'm home" upon returning to Maui. But visiting Honolulu made me appreciate Maui and I was happy to fly back after just three days of pseudo-mainland life. There were a few high points: our fabulous panoramic ocean view at the Ilikai resort, hot and fresh malasadas (Portuguese hole-free donuts covered in granulated sugar) from Leonard's Bakery, and enjoying a bunch of water slides with Henry, Anna, and Laura at the water park. We had a nice lunch on arrival at California Pizza Kitchen which was, for a long time, the only restaurant that Henry liked. There's no CPK on Maui. There were some serious low points too. I slipped on a walkway at the water park and banged my head hard on the concrete. I'm left with a persistent headache and whiplash; thank goodness the current treatment for soft tissue injuries to the neck is not immobilization in a goofy collar. Worse, for twenty terrifying minutes I lost Anna because of a dumb comment I made that led her to decide she could take care of herself. And on the plane trip home, I was almost smothered by a large tourist who sat next to me.

We had an excellent dinner at Outback, but I could have done that on Maui, because there's one not ten minutes away. I loved the slab of salmon they served me and Henry eats their steaks--what an achievement for a kid who used to eat pasta, pasta, and more pasta. I haven't had much salmon since we moved out here. I used to get it frozen at Trader Joe's and served it once a week but there's no Trader Joe's here or on Oahu. The Costco frozen salmon tastes weirdly fishy. If Oahu wants to be mainland-like, they need a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods and a Target. And if they're going to have Ann Taylor, they should have Ann Taylor Loft. I'm too cheap to pay $52 for shorts.

I aim to visit as many of the Hawaiian islands as I can while we live here. I've already visited Kauai, Oahu, and, obviously, Maui. I need to go to the Big Island, Molokai, and Lanai. It would be quite a feat if I could get onto Ni'ihau--that island near Oahu is privately owned. Only the native Hawaiian residents, the owners, and guests of the residents can visit. Kaho'olawe, which I can almost see when I go to our rooftop deck, is uninhabited. So practically speaking, I am halfway finished with my tour through the Hawaiian islands.


Anonymous Sawa said...

Lurker here, delurking....sounds like a fun trip :-) "Beauty Salon Classy" does sound good in Japanese to me (I'm Japanese), but I'm not sure about "Trivial Deli"...???

2:14 PM  
Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

It was fun, except for the case of the missing child and the hard knock on the head.

I'm assuming that whoever translated "Trivial Deli" from the shop's Japanese name just made a mistake!

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I am worried about your dear head. Please see a dr. if your headaches persist.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

Mom, my headache comes and goes depending on my current caffeine level. Unfortunately that means I'm drinking more coffee than ever. If it doesn't improve within the week, maybe I'll see a doctor, though everything I've read about concussions is that the important thing is just not to reinjure the head/brain while it's healing. Thanks for your thoughts.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

I guess its too late for ice -- and you probably used that after your bump anyway. Thats the extent of my first aid knowledge -- well, plus neosporin and a bandaid. Hey, there must be herbal therapies...didn't you write an article about that? Is it up yet?

4:32 PM  
Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

No, my herbal therapies article isn't up yet... anyway, it was about weight loss so it wouldn't help me with a concussion or whiplash! Anyway, I seem to be fully recovered.

7:38 PM  

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