Oct 28, 2014
The Spotted Tourist
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Take any day of the week, and you will find wandering Waikiki the likes of a new and puzzling species – the spotted tourist. Far from threatening to become extinct, this rare breed of mammal seems to be breeding and multiplying far faster than the muumuu factories and aloha shirt suppliers can keep up with. Join us as we go on a hunt for Hawaii’s spotted tourists, using these top four tracking devices to set us on their scents.
Ostentatious Aloha shirts
“Loud and proud” may very well describe Hawaii’s supportive stance alongside its well-represented and beloved LGBT community, but when it comes to neon, flower-riddled Aloha shirts, someone has to just say no. Yes, Aloha Fridays (and really, Monday through Sunday) is a real thing here in the Islands, and the casual, sans-shirt-and-tie style absolutely does include Aloha attire. Yet what I’m describing here is the over-the-top tee threads that thrash and assault your eyes with such Technicolor splendor and high volume vibrancy it’d make even Richard Simmons request you to tone it down a notch. As Aloha means both “Hello” and “Goodbye” here, this touristy trend in garb most definitely says “Hello, I’m not from here!” and also, “Goodbye,” to all chances of locals mistaking you as one of them.
Never before has a fashion trend been so abused. In the Aloha state, this style of loose dress (literally) has a traditional and historical background, for sure, but there is a distinct line between rockin’ the muumuu right, and wearing it oh-so-wrong. The spotted tourist, sadly, has yet to master this art of the muumuu. When locals don the dress, there exudes a certain casual elegance and grace in the flowing garment. However, when the spotted tourist attempts to emulate, the resulting disaster is utter devastation – the likes of which result in a mirror image channeling of Mimi from the Drew Carrey show circa 1995. As it appears, when it comes to differentiating between the floral frock of paradise and a potato sack trapped in purgatory, these mammals just don’t know when to say when.
Lots, and lots (and lots) of leis
The fragrant, floral strands have long been associated with the Islands, and for good reason – it is still indeed a time-honored tradition to welcome visitors and celebrate special events such as graduations and birthdays with the beautiful, fresh flower wreaths. Yet, when it comes to the spotted tourist, the species really “leis” it on thick! From bedazzled hair braids to clothing cluttered with the floral clusters, pinned on lapels and noosed around necks, the Hawaiian lei has been let loose and is running rampant around Waikiki – everywhere, and on everything. It just may be time to “lei” down the law and limit this floral fantasia.
Clad in Aloha attire, complete with loud logos enthusiastically announcing their arrivals, the spotted tourists will have you know that they are more than happy and excited to be here in Hawaii. Yes, dotting their tees and crossing our local eyes, the species loads up on loot for their Waikiki wardrobe – each emblazoned with an ebullient announcement, such as “ALOHA!” “Whoa, brah!” or my personal favorite, “Get Lei’d!” (not impressed, by the way). With tags that practically scream spotted tourist, these alphabet-stuffed style saboteurs announce that their attire may indeed have been “Made in Hawaii,” but they, alas, were not.
by Andy Beth Miller