31. The Spirit of Aloha

Aloha, sampan bus31.  The Spirit of Aloha

The spirit of Aloha is getting help when you need it – Hawaiian style.

“You go Keaukaha?  You come by Travelodge Hotel?  Go High School?  I be by Travelodge Hotel, 7:30  O.K.?”  I was listening to Betty trying to divert the local sampan bus to pick her up.  Her “Me Tarzan” style pidgin apparently communicated with the local dialect speaker on the other end of the phone because the bus came around Banyan Drive  instead of the regular route, precisely at 7:30 am.

We needed some rope for the boat but didn’t know how much.  “How much do you need?” the man asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “How about we take all you have, cut off what we need and return the rest?” Betty said.  “It doesn’t make business sense, but it makes sense,” he said. “And pay when you bring back the surplus.”  So that’s what we did.

“Could we borrow a screwdriver?”  It was 9 p.m. and I was attempting to help a new colleague in the Speech Department get her car started at the Hilo airport.  The man at the airline counter replied,  “I don’t have any tools here, but I’ll ask a mechanic,  they’re working on the plane.”  Before I could stop him, he had jumped into a jeep and roared away in the direction of a huge Continental jet airliner.

Not being used to the way things are done in Hawaii, my new colleague was embarrassed when a parade of lights streamed back from the big four engine jet – the jeep and a cargo truck bearing two mechanics who followed us to the parking lot and got the car started with jumper cables.

I didn’t help any when I told her I could imagine a voice coming over the public address on the plane: “Continental’s flight 115 to Los Angles will be delayed this evening due to mechanical difficulties — in a small Datsun in the airport parking lot.”

Inquire about the bus schedule — you’re picked up at your door.  Want a piece of rope — you get the whole bolt.  Try to borrow a screwdriver — you get a utility truck with two expert mechanics.  Only in Hawaii!  This is Aloha.

Was there a time when people went out of their way to help you We’d be pleased if you would share about it.

One thought on “31. The Spirit of Aloha

  1. Ruth baxter

    Wow! that sure is different than the USA. There are some times that you have a rare experience with a person how is helpful.

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