Walking, Jay Style

I am thinking that somebody is giving the Waikiki tourists the wrong information.  They seem to think the streets are for standing in and walking down the middle of.  I am certain somebody has told them it is illegal to run over them.  I am not so certain that they comprehend that illegal doesn’t mean impossible.  Somebody needs to clue them in.

Yesterday I stopped and waited even though I had the right away and there was no crosswalk in sight.  I waited because I knew the guy striding purposely toward the curb was about to step off said curb and into traffic directly in front of my car.   There was a bus parked to my right and the guy behind me could not see the sidewalk.  All he could see was me stopped in the middle of the street for no apparent reason.  He shot out and around me, then slammed on his breaks, putting his car on its front bumper and missing the jaywalker by a mere millimeter –yet the kid didn’t even look up from text messaging.  I don’t think he had any clue how close he came to being road jam.

Just another day in Wackiki.

What’s For Lunch?

I was hungry.  It was one o’clock, an hour past lunch time.  I was at a stopping point — finally — in my one-crisis-after-another day, and I decided to grab my wallet and go for food.

On the way down in the elevator, I was trying to decide where to lunch.  Subway?  Church’s Chicken? Pizza Hut? Or maybe I’d just grab a hot dog from the ABC Convenience Store.  I only had a couple of hours yet to work and I could go home.

I made it to curbside and was still undecided.  To my immediate right was the ABC.  Across the street and downstairs was the Waikiki Shopping Plaza Food Court.  Because it is in the basement, we call it the dungeon.  It is pretty much a typical Mall food court; lots of bad food choices surrounding rickety aluminum chairs with matching tables.

I decided on a meatball sandwich from Subway, and stepped off the curb.  A police car lurched around the corner and screached to a halt a few yards from me.  No siren.  No lights.  But the doors flew open and two cops boiled out.  They charged across the street and disappeared down the stairs to the food court.  They ran with their hands poised just over their guns.

You know, that ABC Store heat lamp hot dog I had for lunch was a bit dry and shriveled, but it came without threat of lead poisoning.


Thom, a Hawaii public transit driver, consented to be interviewed by me.


Read his questions and answers here.


Once again you are going to ask, “Where was your camera?”  But darn it, I was driving!

I was distracted by yet another Wackiki Weirdo as I turned off Seaside onto Kuhio — an intersection that requires focused concentration to negotiate without running over some fool who doesn’t know the red hand indicator on the light post means “stay on the curb unless you have an urgent desire to be someone’s hood ornament.”

I don’t know why I didn’t run over anybody or anything because all I was looking at was the weirdo lady in the long, black velvet strapless, form fitting evening gown.  It was a gorgeous dress on a beautiful woman, but that wasn’t what caught and held my attention.  It was an evening dress and the clock indicated it was only four in the afternoon, but that wasn’t what caught and held my attention. The lady was wearing black and white Converse high tops, but that wasn’t what caught and held my attention. What’s more, I wasn’t surprised by the gaudy beach bag she was toting, either.

What made me look once, twice and thrice was the bulky white sweatshirt.  You see, the lady was wearing a bulky, white sweatshirt with the sleeves scrunched up to her elbows, and she was wearing the form-fitting, strapless, black velvet evening dress over it.

Yikes! & Off She Goes

Ella has gotten into a plane and flown away. Here are a couple of highlights from her last day here — we went out on the town (Waikiki, of course).

Ella Meets and Greets, eh, Eats.

Ella Meets and Greets Eats.

She found, being short, it was difficult to get people’s attention, but fairly easy to climb up on the coffee table in the lounge and eat all the cheese pizza appetizers.

After the meet and greet we went out on the town. Ella got very excited when she saw the dolphin and asked it for a ride. It obliged.

Ella Rides a Dolphin

Ella Rides a Dolphin

Then, while we were out and about in Waikiki, she met a man sitting quietly on a bench reading a newspaper while folks all around took pictures of him. You know how Ella loves attention. She climbed right up next to him and took a small piece of his fame — or perhaps gave him some of hers.

Ella Meets a Mime

She had a blast in Waikiki, but we had to get home to bed so she could get her beauty sleep.  She was speaking the next day at PodCamp/WordCamp Hawaii 2008.  Here she is, speaking from the podium.

Ella Speaks at WordCamp

Ella Speaks at WordCamp

Afterward she had her photo taken with a couple of very young fans, then we had to run.  She was so tuckered out when it was time to go, she curled up in her travel kennel and went right to sleep.  I predict she doesn’t wake up until she reaches Texas.


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?