State fish and chips

Hawaiian escapades part the third.

This Scottish-Hawaiian evening, billed as a “casual meet and greet social” promised “dancing, conversation and light refreshments” as well as the opportunity to display our aloha wear. We are soon greeted by several dancers, none of whom are Hawaiian. A couple from Brisbane who have flown over specially for this weekend tell us, “This is our third year Scottish dancing.” Next a smiling trio of Japanese women come up. One in an ankle-lenth blue flower print dress says, “Marchan from Tokyo”, and bows. The next, in an ankle-length pink flower print dress, says, “Sachiko from Yokohama”, and bows. The last woman, resplendent in turquoise flower print, says, “Chieko from Tokyo” and bows. I say, “Aefa from Scotland” and bow awkwardly back. “Scotland!” exclaims Chieko and beams. I muster a surprised return “Scotland!” and grin back. When the dancing finally starts, the three Japanese women remain on the dance floor, smiling with delight, for the rest of the evening.

Before the dancing gets underway, however, instructor Bruce has to introduce the band, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a and Strathspey Society Band, named after the state’s official fish. Bruce is coerced into leading us all in repeating the name of Hawaii’s foolishly named state fish. Humu. Humu. Nuku. Nuku. A. Pua. Ahhhh. Humu. Humu. Nuku. Nuku. A. Pua. Ahhhh. It’s a mouthful of a name for a snouty wee fish. Despite repeating this several times, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t make it through ordering a state fish and chips any time soon.

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