Thursday, December 17, 2009

Working through Christmas

Finals are over (for me) but there's still work to do. I'm parked at Ewa-side Starbucks at Ala Moana Shopping Center, watching a parade of Japanese, Korean, and Mainland tourists, along with the occasional local.

Every year I forget that gingerbread latte really isn't my cup of tea.

I shoulda gotten the egg nog.

Today I got the egg nog.


  1. Egg Nog all the way. But not at Starbucks. They cut the nog with milk. Unacceptable. My way? Pumpkin spice egg nog by Meadow Gold, 8 ounces with a double shot. Satisfaction guaranteed.

  2.'re wrong, HAVE to get the egg nog at Starbucks. As calorie-loaded as it is, it's only once a year.

  3. At least we can agree on the calories. Whenever I do get the ENL at Starbucks, I ask them to go full nog; no milk.

  4. Kushibo, I'm often struck by the similarities between Hawaiian and Maori (though my knowledge of both is quite limited).

    Do you happen to know what Ala Moana means?

    In my hometown (Dunedin, New Zealand) there's a village called Aramoana - 'pathway to the sea' (ocean).

    I was just wondering if the Hawaiian has a similar meaning.

  5. Schplook, for some reason I completely missed your comment from a year ago (or I answered it but it got lost when I switched to my new domain name).

    Yes, "Ala Moana" means "path to the sea," which is appropriate because it is right across Ala Moana Boulevard from the beach at Magic Island (which I heard might be called Obama Park).

    Both Maori and Hawaiian are Polynesian languages, but I have no idea to what degree they are similar. Is it like American English and British English, or more like Spanish and Portuguese, or further apart like English and German?

    I don't know a lot of Hawaiian words, but a few I know are mauka (toward the mountains) and makai (toward the sea), which are both commonly used directionals (e.g., "the post office is on the mauka side of King Street) even in English.

    Ohana (family), kama'aina ("local people," used for deals for non-tourists), haupia (coconut?), keiki (child/children), kokua (help), mahalo (thanks), hale (house, used in dorms and lodgings; e.g., Hale Koa, "Warrior House," the US military hotel like Dragon Hill Lodge), and of course aloha (hello/goodbye/안녕) are about the extent of my everyday Hawaiian usage.

  6. I'd forgotten about this. Thanks for the examples.

    My Maori is extremely limited, but I can see some similarities already.

    It looks like Maori use R where Hawaiians use L. And Maori use WH (pronounced like a soft F) where Hawaiians use H. And Hawaiian words that start with an apostrophe, start with a K in Maori.

    Some examples of similarities:
    whanau = family (similar to 'ohana')
    whare = house (extremely close to 'hale')
    aroha = love ('aloha' also means love, in one sense)

    I searched some online dictionaries and found:
    Food = kai (Maori); 'ai [mea 'ai] (Hawaiian)
    Water = wai (M); wai (H)
    Lobster = koura (M); ula (H)

    Numbers are also very similar (see Wikipedia's Hawaiian language page).

    Anyway, Is I said, I really am no expert, but New Zealanders of any ancestry all have some familiarity with Maori words. Would you say that is the case in Hawaii?

  7. Yeah, that sounds like a real pattern going there.

    Anyway, Is I said, I really am no expert, but New Zealanders of any ancestry all have some familiarity with Maori words. Would you say that is the case in Hawaii?

    When I first arrived in Hawaii, our university orientation addressed the must-know words, which included the aforementioned makai and mauka. I would say that after a short period, most everyone knows the ones I listed above. Over time, you learn others, like pau (done) and food or animal names, about as many as the ones I listed.

    The local NPR station has an entire news broadcast every morning completely in Hawaiian. I have no idea what they're saying, but it does sound nice.

    Most place names are Hawaiian — Kaimuki, Manoa, Kahala, Waimanalo, Makapuu, Kaneohe, Kaliua, Kaena — with the military-related ones being an exception (Pearl Ridge, Schofield Barracks, Dillingham Air Base). Street names are mostly in Hawaiian — Kapahulu, Waialae, Keeamoku. I have to keep the Garmin GPS on "Australian English" instead of American or British, because the Aussie woman's voice is much better with the Hawaiian than the Miguk or Yŏngguk women.

    There is a strong sense of pride from and respect given to the Hawaiian culture and legacy here. I should write a post on that sometime.


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