When I went to check in to the Hyatt Regency Waikiki late yesterday afternoon there were hula dancers and fire-eaters in the lobby. Is this an everyday occurrence? I have no idea. But it was kind of cool. And mesmerizing. I mean, how do those hula girls keep everything safely inside a couple of glossy coconut shells? And doesn’t it chafe? It just doesn’t look really comfortable, you know? But definitely intriguing.
I made the mistake of giving a big smile to this one beautiful Hawaiian hula dancer who smiled back and then came over and grabbed my hand, trying to drag me over so I could join in a group hula lesson.
Not happening. As cute as she was, I wasn’t going to stand in front of a bunch of tourists from Des Moine and let her show me how to make figure eights with my hips.
So I made my way over to the fire-eater thinking if he wanted to show me a few tricks, I’d be game. Who doesn’t want to learn how to eat fire?
This guy was awesome, not even blinking when he dropped the fire stick on his foot and the little grass spurs on his legs caught on fire. But what I thought was really cool were his tattoos. Loops of script running around his neck and elaborate patterns covering his back and then swooping down his love handles towards his private areas. That’s got to hurt, right?
But the poor guy got no respect. Eating fire just pales next to a young girl with very long dark hair shaking her coconuts. Literally.
Like everybody else, I just stood there staring and smiling until the show was over. I just wish I’d had the courage afterwards to go over and ask her how they worked.
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