Monday, May 01, 2006

Someone went home with my slippahs

When in Hawai'i, never say flip-flop. It's really haoli. Say "slippah". Not slipper, slippah. My friends are teaching me to pronounce it, but so far I just manage to have them in stitches. I sound ludicrously Queen's English when I try.

I have had the same pair of pink-strapped slippahs more or less since I came here, give or take a day or two. Although they have been in pretty dire need of replacing for a while now (the sole worn quite smooth which means interesting slipslides on smooth pavement slabs on rainy days, which we get plenty in Hilo, the wettest town in the US), I have been conducting a scientific experiment with them: is it actually possible to wear a hole through the heel before the bit between your toes gives? They had also worn to very lovably be the very shape of my feet. But now, they are forever gone.

I went to Mikey's going-away do after the Mozart concert. I was supposed to go with someone, because saying that Mikey's place is in the middle of nowhere would be correct only figuratively. If we want to get literal, Mikey's place is on the edge of the world, and I'd never been there before. The concert ran an hour later than expected so Suzi gave me directions: go through the lights at Pahoa and towards Kalapana until the road ends (again, we are being literal: that's where the lava flow ate the village in the 1990s) and then turn left and left again and then left at some mail boxes at the 18 mile marker and then left again. She'll leave her car parked so I can see it. It's a small house. Call Suzi or Mikey if I get lost. Unbelievably, I found the place, but only after I'd gone wrong twice and then missed the turnoff at 18 miles, realising I cannot call anyone as there's no coverage, and then suddenly, hey, what was that splash on the right side from the pitch darkness, shee-it man, it's the Pacific, right there, ten feet away.

There's something really unnerving about realising that what you thought was just the regular, run-of-the-mill roadside darkness your headlights can't illuminate is actually *The Pacific*. It feels like one might just drive off the edge of the world. I now fully understand how come people thought you will fall off if you sail too far. I might've panicked, if I had been on my own, but as it was, both kids were in the back seat and I had to not wig out. Turn back, find 18 mile marker, turn twice and there it was: Mikey's party. Which was nice. Only upon leaving I realised someone had gone home wearing my pink slippahs – it's strictly shoes off indoors in Hawai'i – and had left me theirs. Which are in much, much better shape, but about four sizes too big. Beats me how the woman (presumably, although not necessarily) got into mine.

The Mozart was good, too. I'll have to buy new slippahs tomorrow. Maybe I'll go for purple ones this time.

© 2006 Anna MR

5 comments:

nmj said...

Your story made me smile, you must get those pink slippahs back!

Anna MR said...

I fear the pink slippahs, historically interesting as they may be, will be lost forever. Have a spanking new purple pair, though, for which I paid $4 which is extortionate as I know of a supplier who does them for $1.99 + tax. But they only had black ones in my size today, and I wanted a nice girly colourful pair...

naive-no-more said...

I think even if I were in Hawaii and got used to saying slippahs I would mentally follow that with flip flops just because that's how I am.

nmj said...

Hey, I am confused, are you with your astronomer? I thought you were divorced, but I hope you are still with him!

Anna MR said...

Ah, my astronomer is my second English husband. *love him*
First one, well, my sons are wonderful so it wasn't all bad. He wasn't an astronomer, though, he was a waster. Will be ten years this summer since we separated.

Naive - the hardest thing is when you want to go and buy an *actual* pair of slippers, and you don't know what the bloody hell you are supposed to call them...