Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Going About Gathering

While the Young Amphibians were spending the morning splashing about in the shallow reef-protected waters in front of the place, we went out by ourselves for a bit. A short drive south at Kahana Bay is an ancient (by Hawaiian standards) fish pond, built some time ago for harvesting fish.

There's a low spot in the tightly-fitted lava-stone walls which allows tidal currents to come in bringing fish. Then the people could wade around within the shallow sandy-bottomed artificial cove to catch them.

While we were visiting the site there was a brief sea-surge which flowed into the enclosure. Over a few minutes the water level rose five or six inches. Then, just as suddenly, it receded. I had checked tide charts earlier; we may have witnessed its peak for the day.

We drove up past our rental and stopped at a roadside fish-stand. They had fresh mahi-mahi (the "fish so good they named it twice,") ahi, and marlin. They gave us a sample of ahi they had just cooked up in a bit of butter and garlic. Good enough for Anthony Bourdain! We also got a couple containers of poke.

It's ceviche-style, raw and buttery, with garlic and chunks of the most tender ahi. Melts in the mouth, it does. Sweet chili style and sesame style. We got one of each for snacks, or even full meals, later. Five bucks a pound. (The marlin was four dollars a pound.) Amazing stuff. It was fun chatting with the vendors.

For dessert we got mochi at the stand next door. It's a rich cakey pudding.

We went back to wait for the tide to continue going out and washed down our snacks with local sodas.

I had the Lilikoi, which tasted a bit like a fizzy lightly sweetened mix of watermelon, peach, and strawberry. Passion fruit, I guess. They use cane sugar, as you would probably expect, but it's actually rather crisp. Later I'll have the pineapple.

The reason we're waiting for the tide to get to its lowest (at about three this afternoon,) is so we can wade out to Goat Island.

It's a bit over seven-hundred feet off the beach at Malaekahana. The water's only about five feet deep at the most, but the waves come around both sides of the island criss-crossing together at right angles just at the narrowest place to wade over. If it's too rough we may have to wait for a calmer day. (We did end up making it out to there. The water was only thigh-deep at that time but the waves did knock us around some.)

This is not a resort area. Hau'ula is basically a few scrappy old wooden houses dropped dropped by the side of the two-lane highway that rolls along the eastern coast of Oahu. It's literally a chickens-in-the-road sort of place.

North of here it's different. Laie, a few miles up, is a Mormon stronghold that has a Brigham Young satellite campus. We stopped there briefly yesterday because spousie had a yen for ice cream. There seemed to be a preponderance of young closely-groomed white people there. Many of the women were either pregnant of carrying very young children. My surmise was that they were Mormon girls who had come to the college, hooked up, and married early to start families while the freshly-domesticated husbands finished school.

The ice cream shop was at a decent-sized strip mall that would not have seemed out-of-scale for Phoenix, but it had no bar nor a restaurant that served alcohol. Not that I care; I'm not much of a drinker at all myself. I think, though, that this was because of the general Mormon bent of the whole town. The whole place closes up on Sundays.

Laie also is home to the Polynesian Center, a tourist trap if ever there was one. Just looking at it while going by makes me puke.

Though I am certainly no expert, the way I size up recent Hawaiian culture is thus: Island people got here only about nine-hundred years ago. Later, Europeans and Americans discovered the place. The usual things happened. The newer explorers took land, resources, commerce, and dignity away from the locals and in exchange they gave them religion.

A lousy deal.


been there said...

I for one, feel I would fit comfortably into the uninhibited polynesian lifestyle. Sex is NOT a dirty word. Religion frowns upon sex and the feminine as something that needs to be dominated, certainly not celebrated. A LOSS for all.

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

The diseases brought by the newcomers were probably more devastating than the religion. Not good.