Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Waikiki


Wha-ack-kee-kee, with a twang on the first syllable. That’s how Waikiki is often pronounced, even though locals will say, “Why-kee-kee.” Waikiki is one of the few places that most people outside of Hawaii have heard of. It’s always been a symbolic place in Hawaii tourism, and to my knowledge, the first place in the islands to be developed into a resort area.

Ahem, this post gets a bit steamy... and may not be appropriate for all readers. 

Original Source: Wikpedia Creative Commons by Cristo Vlahos
I have altered this image and added text.
Notice Diamond Head from the M post in the background. 

Growing up on Oahu, I hardly ever ventured into Waikiki. The local attitude was that Waikiki was where all the tourists were kept, mostly for their own safety and well-being. There were well-defined areas for residents and tourists. While tourists could venture outside of Waikiki, no resident in his or her right mind would go into Waikiki to hang out. Waikiki was a place to get hotel jobs like cleaning and valet parking. One had to have a reason to go to Waikiki.

And years later, I met my husband, who had an entirely different take on Waikiki. To him, Waikiki was heaven on earth for single men. It was a place where married women took off their wedding rings. A place where a man could flash an inviting smile to a woman on the beach and she’d say, “Your place or mine?” If she said, “Buzz off,” then the next woman would smile back.  

If you couldn’t get laid in Waikiki, you couldn’t get laid anywhere. It was a place where the beach boys really existed. They sauntered up and down the sands of Waikiki, surfed and showed off their beautiful tans, and rubbed coconut oil on the ladies. Holy smokes. Of course, this was all during the 70s before AIDS ever appeared on the scene. Still yet, DH thinks Waikiki is a dangerous (sic) place for a man. All those hungry women. In other words, paradise

All through my early years, I’ve thought of Waikiki as a tourist trap, with ticky tacky souvenirs, plastic flower leis, sanitized hula shows, Don Ho, throngs of Japanese tourists, and overpriced restaurants. To DH, it was a continuation of the free love of the 60s. I could doubt these stories of Waikiki, but I’ve seen too many pictures from DH’s wilder days.

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3 comments:

  1. My friends in Hawaii tend to avoid it, too, as a tourist-trap. Yet they always take gorgeous photos whenever they visit.

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  2. Yes, Waikiki does have that reputation. In recent years, the city government has been trying to get more residents into Waikiki, to various festivals and events.

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  3. I didn't realize Waikiki was considered a tourist trap and it sounds like a wild place. If we ever made it to Hawaii, we'd need to find a family friendly place. Do you know of any place like that?

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