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Sunday, November 19, 2006

So the beginning of the day was average, and you don't need to know any details - basically it can be summed up thusly: got up late, breakfast, watched Friends, chatted with Andee, too wet to go out anywhere, watched Friends, worked on Scrapbook.

The day got a whole lot more interesting this evening, however, as Pete and I went to Hawaii night hosted by Kong at Velfarre. Of course, Velfarre was the crazy, packed mosh pit from the Glitterball, but we saw a different side of it tonight! Although highly entertaining, the evening was a little bit as promised, which was to say, resembling one of these:

We turned up at seven, decked out in our Hawaii duds and ready to trade in the pissing rain for some Aloha! Velfarre had magically settled down dramatically since our last visit, and the dance floor was filled with small tables and stools, with the crowd being 95% female, and between the ages of 20-65, all turned out to engage in the National obsession that is Hawaii.
(a laid back Velfarre)

Kong was co hosting the event which featured many live singers, a whole ton of hula dancers and performers, a Hawaiian buffet ( which this girl clearly didn't visit:),
(though Peter and I both ate our first pieces of SPAM tonight! I'd have to describe it as tasting like comfort food... I'm not really sure how else to put it! It wasn't bad though...)

...umbrella drinks, and the highlight of the night - Hula lessons! Apparently hula lessons can cost 2000 dollars here for a course, so many of the woman at the event were turned out solely for the purpose of learning some Hula. I was absolutely amazed how many people joined in for the lessons! They were pretty coordinated as well, leading me to suspect that they've been going to the every other month event since it began 18 months ago.
(one of the performers, a singer who sang something for an animated movie, I think?)
(This was one of the main performance groups, they were good, and showcased a few different types of costumes and varieties of Hula-esque dancing. I'm sure there are technical terms I'm missing out on!)

I was also amazed at how many groups (IE more than one!, but actually maybe 5 or so?) Got up to participate in the 'open hula' portion of the event, where you could bring your favourite hula song on CD and jump on up there to dance. There were some pretty intricate dances and costumes! I learned that the different hula moves mean different things, like tree, waves, rain etc. So if I'd know what I was actually watching, there could have been epic stories...perhaps.
(open hula group, they were the biggest/oldest act in the open hula session...)

The grand finale of the event was the culmination of the two sets of hula lessons which put together, told the story of a disco hit... 'Can't take my eyes off of you....' and all that. This was paired with a disco ball, snow, smoke, the whole bit! Quite impressive really, and, barring technical difficulties, available for you to watch on youtube, (I can't get it to embed in the blog at the moment, so it's just linked, but I'll try and fix it tomorrow) which is really much better than me trying to describe it!

There were also presents to be given away, including umbrellas, calendars, tea towels, a cookie jar scarily resembling an urn, and the prize I won, a silver bracelet with some turtles on it. The whole atmosphere of the event is a little bit hard to describe, but the comparisons we came up with tonight included a telethon at 4am, where you're desperately trying to get those last pledges for Hawaiian orphans and rally the troops at the same time, a time share presentation (perhaps inspired by the ads played on the big screen at regular intervals), in-hotel TV programming, and well, you probably get the point.
(Hula girl drinks and a Velfarre fan...just like Hawaii!)

Of course, no Hawaii night is complete without its resident creep, who was either doing some Maui-wowie or just plain creepy! Here he is at his favourite perch, leaning right up against the stage. He particularly preferred this when the coconut-bra wearing hula girls were shaking their stuff. Unfortunately for him, he's just looking at the family band right now, but that didn't seem to sway him too much! The weirdest thing was, he was there with a girl!
(creepy stalker maui-wowie boy)

Other high(?)lights include: the random 20 minute interlude of disco music which was played half way through the night, to which most people staunchly continued to hula, and which included the macarena as part of its set. No one danced the macarena.

The funeral march at the end of the event - quite the way to end it!

Making poor Kong and his co host go back on stage AFTER the event was over and basically cleared out, in order to re introduce the two performers (out of 30+) who where left over... Pete and I clapped a lot for them though!

(A day in the life of Kong, shown here trying to give away prizes)

Now, despite how this probably sounds, it was an entertaining evening to be sure! A bit hard to put into words, and probably best enjoyed with several 'Hula Girl drinks' under your grass skirt, but I certainly enjoyed it, though maybe not in quite the way the organizers would have intended us to do.

Re reading this, it's a bit of a mess of a blog in that the entry is all over the place, but in retrospect, that matches nicely with the whole thing. Kong, thanks for inviting us! You know we're laughing with you, not at you - it's not like you planned the thing! A good time was certainly had by all!

Aloha and Maholo

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