Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I walked into a tiny Hawaiian restaurant for dinner and was greated with a pleasant "Aloha". I had the urge to say aloha back but didn't, feeling my aloha would be less genuine since I am not Hawaiian, don't work there, and really just wanted to grab a quick bite to eat. Plus, I thought is was kitchey and one time only, meant just for me. Then lady said it to every customer who walked in the door. And after I ordered the waitress said "Maholo". Again, I had the urge to say mahalo back but didn't. She was saying this to every customer. Then I got to wondering, in a place with so many countries represented on the menu, this is the only place where they greet everybody in the native language. Yes, I know, Hawaii is not a country, but you get my point. I walk into a Vietnamese restaurant and the staff greets me in English. The Turish place I frequent, they don't speak Turkish. Thai, Pakastani, Russian, Indian, they all greet me in English. Every now and then in a Japanese restaurant they will say "Konbanwa" (good evening) but mostly is it 'hello'.

What seperates Hawaiian from the others? Do they feel adding value in saying these little pleasantries in Hawaiian will make my dining experience any better? I don't think so. The only way you can make Hawaiian dining any better is to give me a real life view of a Hawaiian beach while I am gnawing on my chicken katsu. Aloha.

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