A stray cat hovers at the ramp to the parkade, waiting for us to clear off so it can return to a tasty snack of road kill pigeon. The parking lot is otherwise deserted. An occasional beat-up low rider car cruises by on South King Street. The cat is alert, but intent on returning to its feast.
Since arriving in Honolulu a few hours ago, I have acquired my Canadian scientist friend, Dr. April, and a silver dolphin-adorned paper folder with my name glitter-penned in the corner. Both have already proved useful; the dolphin folder has provided both amusement and directions to this deserted parking lot; Dr. A. has prevented me from fleeing back south of the Ala Wai Canal and not coming at all. The folder—upon which someone has carefully glitter-penned the dolphin leaping majestically into a metallic blue waterline—is the programme for the Hawaii Scottish Country Dance Aloha Winter Weekend. I love this folder. It makes me feel less apprehensive about the possible public humiliation ahead. Surely, people who get their grandchildren to hand draw shiny leaping dolphins will be kind to me as I attempt Scottish country dancing for the first time?
Right now, however, there’s no sign of anyone to be kind or otherwise to me. April and I slow slightly on seeing a very obviously closed community centre in front of us. A sign beside one door reads, “No Hula Class Today.” We consult the folder. Inside there is a series of treasure maps with “Treasure the Dance” written on them. I notice that the scientist is studying these intently. “What do you think we will win?” She asks. Dr. A is sure there is a prize to be found at the end of this sheaf of clip art-enhanced leaflets if we just pay enough attention. We study them for some time and reluctantly come to the conclusion that the prize appears to be the opportunity to keep the love of Scottish dancing alive in Hawaii. We are both a little disappointed.