Sunday, August 9, 2009

If You Go to Hawaii, You Have to Go to a Luau

So, we did. We went to Germaine's Luau, which is held on a beach at Barber's Point, at the southwest corner of Oahu. The first thing you see on arrival is this lighthouse, which I though was pretty cool.

Like many activities in Hawaii, the Luau starts with a bus-ride. The buses collect tourists from all the major hotels and take them for an hour-long ride out to the Point. When you get there, they take your picture. There's no obligation to buy, but they are trying to sell it to you. This was a common feature, particularly on Oahu.

The Luau is a dinner and show. The traditional in-ground roasting of a pig, and other fine foods, adult beverages and not, and a long show featuring a review of traditional Polynesian dancing and music (including stereotypical "Hawaiian" music of the Don Ho variety). Members of the audience are invited up to try the Hula. And, of course, there is a fire dance.

It was tacky, but fun.

One of the great things about the experience, for us, was the tour guide who ran out bus -- Alika. His job was to check us in, tell us what was happening and when, and entertain us on the long bus rides to and from the Luau.

On the ride out, Alika wen through the bus, back to front, and introduced himself to every passenger. But more than that, he introduced the passengers to each other, row by row and seat by seat until he seems to have learned every one of us and something about us.

On the ride back, he broke out his ukulele and proved to be a talented picker and singer, creating Polynesian rap and covering a range of pop songs. keep an ear out for this kid. He's good.

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