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Be Careful, Move Along

I was wearing my new black PEACE T-shirt, that says shalom in Hebrew and something analogous in Arabic.  We were walking back to our condo along the coastal trail in Kapa'a, and I stopped in the restroom to let off happy hour.  While I was in there the locals accosted Will and he approached a pack of 4 guys and one gal who were hanging out by a sign.  One guy tried to sell him some herb, and when he didn't want any, asked to buy some.  When I came out of the rest room, I approached Will and the gang at the sign, and the woman asked if he was my man, and said something about how I should tell those guys to be nice to him.  At this point two of the guys left, leaving only the two, one young, one old, crouched beside the sign.  The woman, who turns out to be named Laura and has lived 44 years on Kauai, is of hispanic origin as indicated by her perturbation of my name.  She was tipsy.  Had all her teeth so I didn't suspect meth.  The remaining two brown men never entered the conversation, they stared at the ground and sneaked peeks at us when we looked away.  The woman kept talking about clothing and climates and places she had been, and Will was polite and engaged.  I was watching his back, watching our backs, because there were a lot of people toward the beach from us and the men weren't acting friendly.  A white man, drunk, passed by us and I turned to watch him.  He approached me and said we should not be at this beach, "It is not a good beach, not good people" and he told me we should move along.  He shook my hand and left.  I started backing away from Laura, and turning around to watch the goings ons in the parking lot.  My body language would tell anyone that I was watching for hazards and extricating myself from her.  Eventually Will managed to get away and she finally took the cue and made her goodbyes.  I didn't need to hear any more about her clothing challenges when traveling.  I know how cold it can be in Oregon.  And I didn't want to be around if the natives were restless.  I do think she was trying to protect us.  Thank you Laura and all the peace loving people of the world.  Thank you for tolerating the clueless tourists.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
neptunia67
Dec. 6th, 2015 04:33 pm (UTC)
I guess, this brought back memories of what I did not like about Kauai... It was very obvious to me every single day that while my money was welcome on the island, I was not. They did not want me there, their beautiful home has been overrun and I can't say I blame them. I am glad that you and Will got out of that situation safely. I hope you enjoy the rest of the trip and that the experience doesn't taint it for you.
liveonearth
Dec. 6th, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC)
You know we have been expecting resentment and last night Will remarked that if the natives here still feel that way toward the white tourists, "they are sure hiding it well". For the most part all the brown-skinned locals we've talked to have been very open and friendly, without a hint of ugliness toward us.

There are over a million visitors to this island each year. The resident population is 68,000 and the native Hawaiian population (at least those not mixed in race) is only 9%. Lots of whites and Asians and hispanics have settled here, lots of people are mixed-race. No blacks to mention, though I did see one Polynesian-looking fellow with skin so dark it was hard to see his features.

This from last year's census, here: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/15/15007.html .
neptunia67
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:11 pm (UTC)
Good, I'm glad to hear you haven't felt that. I recall a feeling of "I shouldn't be here," much the same as I felt the times I went to Havasupai.
liveonearth
Dec. 7th, 2015 06:08 am (UTC)
Today we went to the secret beach and when we hiked out someone had smashed out the back window of a nissan leaf at the trailhead... We felt grateful not to be the ones that got ripped off.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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