The Real Reason for Slippahs

Sunday and Monday we had heavy rain. The roads flooded. We were under Flash Flood Warning. Everything was wet. And I learned the real reason why everyone wears flip-flops (slippahs) here. I had thought it was because we needed shoes to wear to the beach that slipped off easily and could get wet.

On Sunday, I left a friend’s house and learned how to navigate in slippahs through flooded streets to my car. I was up to my ankles in water and sloshed through runoff filled with oil and gas slicks. Dirt, debris and a dead mouse passed by my slippah-laden feet. First thing I did when I got home was rinse off my cheap rubber flip-flops with the garden hose. Then I hopped in the shower to wash my grimy feet.

Monday I walked through a parking lot that turned into a river of water. I had assumed the lot was level, but the water came at me from left to right as I headed to my car. More debris, gas and oil slicks crossed over my feet as I slogged through seven inches of water, reaching my lower calf just below the hem of my capri pants.

How would it look to walk around Honolulu city streets in my San Francisco black waterproof boots with my pink and blue sleeveless dress or cotton capris? Remember, even though it was stormy it was in the high 70’s.

I’m going to buy more cheap slippahs this weekend.

 

Only On Oahu

Here on Oahu, when I’m invited to a party at a house I’ve never been to before, how do I know I’m at the correct house? When I see I pile of slippahs (AKA flip-flops) outside the front door.

The party’s inside.

While driving, if I let the bus come into my lane, the driver flashes a digitally lighted sign on the rear of the bus that shows a hand giving the shaka and the word “mahalo” after it.

I love the variety of flowers here. When entering an office building, I often see flowers on the lobby table or the receptionist’s desk.  I’m not talking about a typical vase of gerbera daisies or roses. Tropical flowers of all shapes and colors are everywhere here. This pink flower is one I saw the other day on a receptionist’s desk. I have no idea what type of flower this is, but I love it.

I wish I knew the name of this flower.

In many sections of Oahu I see groups of Japanese tourists with cameras and guidebooks in hand, waiting outside restaurants, walking to sights, or standing en masse in front of shops. They come here with tour groups and given guidebooks that tell them exactly where to go and what to see. And they follow it. If a clothing store is in their guidebook, they will come into that store and point to the photo of a specific article of clothing. They want that exact item shown in their guidebook. They’ll wait an hour or more to eat at a specific restaurant because that restaurant was in their guidebook.  They’ll chance getting hit in traffic because they are directed to rent kayaks from a specific kayak company; one that requires crossing a busy road. Ironically, the road is busy with tour buses, not commuter traffic.

Most mornings I work on my computer at a coffee shop. Well, my coffee shop is soon-to-be added to a Japanese guidebook.  I watched Japanese women stage photos of the inside of the coffee shop and of plates of food. This place is about to be invaded by groups of Japanese tourists.

At least they are quiet and respectful of others, even in a large group.

While writing this at the coffee shop, there’s one guy who is obviously NOT from here and not a Japanese tourist. How is he so obvious? He’s talking on his cell phone so loudly that everyone can hear his conversation. I guess he’s so important, he can prevent others from having a quiet conversation with a friend or co-worker over a cup of coffee, or keep the rest of us who are on computers distracted from our work. Yes, mister businessman from Denver, I feel like asking you, “Who is the loudest person in here?”

But I won’t.

I’ll just remember for myself, “When in Rome, I mean, Oahu…..”