Hawaiian Signs

While I am trying not to be buried under an avalanche of essays/papers this weekend, I cannot help but reminisce about my last trip to Hawai’i (no essays followed me there). On the trip, I was fascinated by the many signs that I imagine I am likely to see only in Hawai’i.

The signs for the restrooms at the Honolulu airport always make me smile, and I believe the Munich airport in Bavaria should adopt similar signs: lederhosen and dirndl.

Even the figure on the bathroom sign wear a Hawaiian shirt and lei. But just as on the other sign , the person in the wheelchair is  assumed not to be into Hawaiian fashion.

Even the figure on the bathroom sign wears a Hawaiian shirt and lei. But just as on the other sign , the person in the wheelchair is assumed not to be into Hawaiian fashion.

People stared at me for taking pictures of the signs for the bathroom but they show that the Hawaiian decor touches everything. I wonder why the woman in the wheelchair did not get a lei though.

People stared at me for taking pictures of the signs for the bathroom but they show that the Hawaiian decor touches everything. I wonder why the woman in the wheelchair did not get a lei though.

I found the marketing display geared towards Japanese tourists in the international terminal of the Honolulu airport rather entertaining;  I have no clue who this character is and why he/she is participating in all these activities around the islands, but I am intrigued. I have never seen another country/place advertise itself with odd creatures.

Poster for Japanese Tourists in Hawaii

Poster for Japanese Tourists in Hawaii

Plenty of signs highlight living with aloha, but I like the sign that for me says: “No matter what, one cannot have a bad time in Hawai’i; come here and leave in a better mood.”

Plenty of signs with the expected references to aloha, hula, leis, and hula girls.

Plenty of signs with the expected references to aloha, hula, leis, and hula girls.

At some Kaua’i gas stations, gas is still pumped for customers. It felt odd to sit in the car and watch someone else pump the gas for me.

Sign at a gas station in Lihue. Who knew there are still gas stations where self-service is not normal.

Sign at a gas station in Lihue. Who knew there are still gas stations where self-service is not normal.

My favorite brand of sunscreen available in Hawai’i (but originally from Florida) is Ocean Potion. In addition to its great sounding name (in my opinion), it also comes in the scent of sunshine. I have never really thought about what sunshine would smell like, but this truly fits: a little citrusy, a little sweet, and a little salty. I usually bring plenty of unopened bottles of Ocean Potion home to California to last me the year.

The scent of the sunscreen is advertised as the scent of sunshine. It is a great scent that is hard to scribe - fresh and crisp but also flowery. I have never smelled anything like it before - maybe because it is the scent of sunshine.

The scent of the sunscreen is advertised as the scent of sunshine.

And of course, surfing is popular and mentioned in plenty of signs and on products. Here is one of the more entertaining shirts about surfing:

Surfing is a major part of life in Hawaii.

Surfing is a major part of life in Hawaii.

Maybe it is time to slather on the scent of sunshine and wear my surfing shirt before I get back to those essays that are still waiting for me.

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One thought on “Hawaiian Signs

  1. We’re off to Belgium in a couple of months and I’m hoping to catch some interesting signs. I’ve read in travel forums that the signs are all in Dutch and no french, german or english. Gotta love Hawaii!

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