Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Hawaii Part 2--Noon
Walking around the back streets of Waikiki, I felt like I was in Asia (with perfect timing--who wouldn't welcome a spontaneous trip abroad?). Vendors are squeezed tight against one other, with alleys and walkways leading to discount souvenir shops selling fabulous costume jewelry amongst other useless things. Signs everywhere in Japanese, illegible to me, on the walls near the shopkeepers who are fluent.
Sure, on Kalakaua Avenue it's all Louis Vuitton and Dior, but I like the fact that there are real ramen counters and dive bars in there. I asked the concierge at our hotel, who turned out to be from Japan, where she would go if she wanted authentic ramen close by (I had a cold, and was obsessed with soup). She responded, "well, that depends what I'm in the mood for," and proceeded to describe three different restaurants specializing in different types of ramen (miso-oxtail, pork, or shoyu/sesame). I was impressed. We ended up eating Thai food that night, but still...
The COOLEST thing on the backstreets that I found though, was Henry's Place--a fruit stand on Beachwalk drive. Like the vendors that I loved in Singapore, Henry's sells chilled fruit--pineapple, watermelon, papaya, etc. cut and wrapped up for your convenient, palate refreshing pleasure. I love that! (Okay, don't look to close--yes, those are cans of Vienna sausage--it's Hawaii! Gotta love it...).