Hawaiian-Style Christmas

Aloha!

Remember the line in the movie “Moonstruck” where Cher slaps Nicholas Cage’s face and says “Snap out of it!” ? Good. Hold that thought.
We had a Christmas party at our house this past weekend with a group of longtime Maui friends. I cleaned, cooked, baked, wrapped, fluffed and planned party games. Everyone arrived at the appointed time and we sat down to eat. So far, so good.
Then it happened. (A Christmas party by any other name….would not be a Christmas party on Maui…) and someone brought up their rat problem.

These friends have a fairly new commercial-grade 6 burner gas oven, and a rat took up residence in it. She said, “Our whole oven smells like rat piss!” (At this point I reminded myself not to eat any baked goods from their house anytime soon). Then she told us of the cure for the rat piss smell: “Basically, you build a fruit salad, add lots of cinnamon sticks and bake it for a really long time.” At first it didn’t work, so they had to start over. I don’t know why these friends have such bad luck with rats, but their last oven also had a rat in it and they ended up throwing it out. (The oven, not the rat.)
Then the conversation turned to cockroaches, and what latest potions and poisons would work to kill them. Before we knew it we were on to centipedes, and the fact that two people at the party had Bug Man and Terminix, yet still get centipedes in their houses all the time. Donna said, “The bug guy was JUST out and I had a centipede in my hall THIS big this morning!” and she splayed her hand as wide as it would go. “Was it the blue and yellow kind?” Amber asked. Because we all know the many varieties, you see.
Then the conversation really got heavy as we moved onto the coqui frog invasion on Maui. Google “Coqui frogs” if you aren’t familiar with this terrible invader. They have basically taken over the Big Island of Hawaii, and then hide in the plants that get shipped out of there from the nurseries, so they encamp to Maui and other outer islands. My friend can’t sleep at night, as the extremely vocal coquis have invaded the gulch by their house. “And do you know that when we call the county to come out and spray, those frogs are smart enough to shut up?” she said.

image

Go here for “Coqui frogs up close and loud” at youtube.com
www. http://youtu.be/pxBSQ7sah3I

By now the conversation was just out of control. And I said, “Guys, do you think a Christmas party on the mainland would have any one of these topics?” and they all murmered polite versions of hell no. And I was glad I didn’t have to say, “Snap out of it, it’s supposed to be Christmas.”
But that was our version of a Hawaiian-style Christmas party.

And as we were washing platters and wine glasses and packing up the leftover food later that night, Mike turned me and said, “Now do you see why Hawaiians just have a barbecue and sit around in their garages drinking beer for their holiday parties?”
Good point, Mike. Good point.

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica

That’s Just the Way it is, Baby

Aloha!
Wow, readers really responded to “The Five Stages of Maui.” So I will share some friend’s comments about their recent move to Maui:

“We just can’t find the simple stuff… Hangers, for instance.” (I agree, what’s up with those black flocked hangers at Walmart?)

“Bookshelves. Who would’ve thought it would be so hard to find bookshelves?”

“Don’t like that we have to keep everything in the refrigerator. Otherwise, it molds. I don’t like cold bread!”

We wandered around saying, “Where are your mattresses?”

“Can’t believe there is no Mac store here!” (And no, the Macnet store is NOT a Mac store.)

“Where we came from (New York City) there was a stigma about cockroaches. But the other evening we were standing outside and saw a bush completely covered from top to bottom with cockroaches…” (The other evening I poured a glass of tomato juice, and in the time it took me to get from the kitchen into the living room, there was a cockroach floating in it. And it’s disgusting, because they disintegrate in liquid…so it isn’t like you have but a second to fish them out!)

There is always another cockroach...

There is always another cockroach…

“Went to Safeway for asparagus. No asparagus! Yet it was asparagus season… I guess you learn to substitute.” (Yes, sometimes daily.)

“You have to go to, like, seven different places to find anything here.” (It never ceases to amaze me. Recently I needed an “eggcrate” for our mattress. Went to Walmart, had gone to Kmart. Something told me to go back to Kmart the very next morning…and there was an egg crate. Had someone returned it overnight? The point is, you will run around a lot. If something is good, it gets snapped up off the shelves immediately. On that note, if you didn’t bring Christmas decorations with you, be sure to buy them the second you see them or they will be gone. The same with a Christmas tree!)

“The ant problem.” (They are always here, no matter what… But we have been blessed with an abundance of them after our termite tenting. Turns out, the ants love to eat the dead termite carcasses. The ants are all over my kitchen countertops, and I just can’t keep up with them. Also, they circle the cat food bowl constantly. I created my own ant moat, because they will not cross water:

Cat bowl inside another bowl with water in it....a homemade ant moat.

Cat bowl inside another bowl with water in it….a homemade ant moat.

Our friends say that Macy’s sells a fancy commercial version of this, but ours works fine. I also make sure to run the cat bowls through dishwasher twice a week.)

Jamaica here…

One thing is for sure, if you are moving from somewhere where you’ve had a lot to choose from (and great quality), you are in for shock. Our Macy’s, for instance, is the size of a postage stamp compared to New York City, or Chicago. But compared to the old Macy’s (previously Liberty House), this one is a palace!

And, the old-timers think the newcomers are crazy, because they REALLY had nothing! Anyone have anything to add?

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica