Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Hawaiian Vacation, Pt. 8

Apologies to anybody who may have been anticipating a regularly scheduled Hawaii post yesterday. I was busy. Admittedly, mostly I was busy sleeping, but when you work night shifts, you do not knock that as a useful activity.

So, where were we? I think I was just about finished with the Big Island, actually, so onwards to Maui! And practically the first thing we did on Maui was to attend the Old Lahaina Luau, which featured a terrific spread of traditional Hawaiian food. This included a pig roasted -- or, more accurately, steamed -- in an underground oven called an imu. And based on the results, I don't know why we're not all cooking pork that way. Mmmm.

And, yes, I did try the poi. Poor poi. It was generally not well-received. I actually didn't think it was nearly as repulsive as most people seemed to. It was sort of aggressively bland, with a hard-to-pin-down but faintly unpleasant undertaste. But I could imagine getting used to it if necessary, and I'd take it over vegemite any day. Sorry, Aussies! Although, actually, we might all have been doing it a terrible injustice -- the poi, that is, not the vegemite -- as I'm told it's much more palatable if you eat it immediately after it's made.

The luau also featured dancing. Lots and lots of traditional Hawaiian hula dancing, from various historical periods. This came with some commentary about the history and social importance of the dance, so as well as being entertaining and fairly impressive -- seriously, I'm not sure I realized it was possible to move your hips that way -- it was even sort of educational.

I didn't take many pictures at the luau, but here's one of what I think were the first set of dancers. (My apologies for whoever's elbow that is in the corner of the photo. All I know is, it's not mine.)

The people in the foreground there are sitting on the floor, traditional-style, but most of us had chairs. Funnily enough, the old ladies I was attending with didn't even bring up the cushion-on-the-floor option.

Oh, and this also happens to be where I discovered that I like mai tais. Although apparently the luau has really good mai tais -- even the Frommer's guide mentions them specifically -- and now I'm spoiled. The one I had at the hotel beach bar later was disappointing by comparison.


  1. "Aggressively Bland" would be a good name for either a Blog or an elevator-music band.

  2. Oh, and if that were your elbow, I'd suggest giving those hips a try, too. You'd probably be pleasantly surprised how flexible you'd be. ;)

  3. I have definitely heard elevator music that I would label as aggressively bland. :)