Feeling Cosmopolitan

Monday Musings from Melinda by Melinda M.

For as long as I’ve lived here, I never tire of saying, “I’m going to Maui for the weekend,” or “I have to go to Honolulu for the day.” It just feels so posh to say that! I guess that shows my mainland upbringing, but somehow needing to travel to another island for work feels so much sexier than say, needing to go to Philadelphia or Chicago if I were still in the NY area.

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Flying to work on Kauai.

I know these are essentially commuter flights and that there are commuter flights all over the country, but ours feel more like carpooling with friends. You are bound to know at least a handful of people on your flight – the 6:21a to Honolulu, for example, is pretty much all State employees! So there’s always lots of chatting in the boarding line and not the on-your-cell phone kind. There are shrieks of “Hi Aunty! How you?” and several flight attendants or check-in staff exchanging cheek kisses with passengers they know well or are related to. I can’t picture THAT happening on the United NY-DC flights!

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Afternoon coffee break with a coworker.

When in Honolulu, I’m lucky not to be holed up in a conference room or hotel and I always stay with a friend, which makes the whole endeavor less hectic. If it isn’t already, Honolulu is becoming the next hipster city so I always want to try the latest trendy place. Fortunately for me, many of them are in Chinatown near our office so it’s easy to hit a new place for lunch (Pig and the Lady; Lucky Belly) and dinner (Livestock Tavern; Dumb Coq) and even for a mid-afternoon snack (Wing’s for ice cream) without worrying about parking.

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Delicious chicken from Town in Kaimuki.

This time I got to try Town in Kaimuki for dinner. So good! I like getting this injection of “big city” life before happily coming home to Hilo.

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Working from Maui.

Traveling to Maui or Molokai still feels exotic to me too.

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Working on Molokai.

Because I stay with friends or family in both these places, it’s not so much about getting to see the island as it is about getting to see each other once I’m done with work. Last year, I gave my Maui family a day’s notice that I’d be on island but staying with a co-worker. The reason for the short notice was that I didn’t want to put them out on a weeknight. But you know what happened anyway?

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With just a day’s notice, the family whipped together a feast!

Four families from four parts of the island came together and made what felt like a feast. That is what people mean when they talk about the Aloha Spirit and it always overwhelms me.IMG_0207.jpgIt never feels like a burden to me when I have to travel to these amazing destinations for work. Maybe it feels provincial to some, but it feels like community to me. And chic. HA!

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