Waikiki caters to everyone. Hungry? You can choose anything from fast food and take-out, to dine-in with Maître d’s dancing attendance and entrees sporting three digit price tags. You can lounge on the beach or shop in a boutique so exclusive one must make an appointment to get in. You can check into a four-star resort, or pitch a tent in the park (permit required). And all of this wonder is contained within a few square blocks.
I work in Waikiki and on a typical day I see swimsuit and bikini clad beach-goers walking the same sidewalk as men and women in formal business wear, and folks in their work-day uniforms. I have seen hair in every color of the rainbow, piercings, tattoos, the overly made-up (men and women) and no makeup at all. I deem all of that normal. So, you have to figure that if I consider something odd, it is really odd — like the escalator girl.
I got off work, walked to the building where I park my car and rode the elevator to the top floor. As I stepped out of the elevator I noticed an attractive young girl get on the escalator, but I didn’t think much of it. When I got to my car — with my hands full — I put all my stuff down on the car hood and began the search for my car keys. (Not in my purse, not in the camera bag, not in Ella’s bag. Hmmm? Did I miss them in the purse? No. Okay, Ella’s bag … wait! In my pocket!)
I fished the key out, clicked the lock and noticed that same girl step off the escalator. She looked around, clearly perplexed. She looked at me. “I’m on the roof!” She exclaimed.
“Yes.” I agreed.
“But I am trying to get to the fifth floor!” She pointed at the escalator. “I got on the stairs and they went down, then I got on the next one and it brought me here, but I thought it would take me down!”
About this time the elevator opened and a young man stepped out. He said “hello” and “excuse me” as he walked between the young lady and me.
I said, “But you got on the escalator going up?”
She said, “Well, it’s confusing!”
I assumed she was taking the escalator for a reason. I also assumed she was none too bright, which should have made me question my first assumption, but it didn’t. I said, “Only get on the stairs that are going down.” I pointed at the escalator. “When you get to the bottom — the next floor — you can’t just step off this escalator and on to the one right beside it. That one comes back up. You need to walk all the way around the corner until you are under the first escalator. Those steps will be going down.”
The girl said, “I’ll never remember that. Why can’t this stupid place have an elevator?”
I am absolutely positive my mouth dropped open. I pointed at the elevator doors not seven feet from us and said, “Like that?”
The girl let out a squeal of joy and ran toward it without a thank you or a backward glance. I wonder if she ever found the fifth floor?