Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Aloha means...just about everything, right?

We're docked in Hawaii on a gorgeous, gorgeous day. We're waiting for the ship to clear, and as usual, we'll be uploading short ramblings before we can leave the ship. Jason wrote the first of the ramblings

We're in Hawaii, docked and just waiting for immigration to get onto the ship and start processing us. It's supposed to take about three hours, so we have some time to blog. First off, I'm going to talk about the language barrier. We're in the US now, but there is a native language here other than English. That language is Hawaiian, and while not a lot of people speak it, a goodly number speak Pidgin. This is a language that has some parts of English and some of Hawaiian, and is also a lot like nothing else.

Aloha is about the only word of actual Hawaiian I know, excluding a few fish and bird names. It means hello. It means goodbye. I think it means I Love You, and probably also, The Bathroom Is That Way, Idiot. It's one of those words that takes up a lot of pages in the dictionary. In Pidgin, I know just a few words, and I'm not sure how they're spelled in some case. Da is The, which is pretty obvious. Haoli is a little less clear, but I know that it means foreigner, non-Islander and also more importantly, white person. It's used almost always by native Hawaiians, be they ethnically so or not, and it's not a good word. Usually it's paired with stupid. I expect we'll hear it a lot, and a lot of people will have no idea what it means. All I know is that when I do hear it, I'm going to get the hell out of the way, because it's trouble when it comes from a big Samoan.

So other than those two other languages, it should be pretty clear. Except for Chris, because he's Canadian, and they speak a funny language up there too, eh? Do Canadians speak other languages, anyway? I mean, besides French, which doesn't count. And poutin.

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