Henna and Margaritas

I got a henna tattoo Wednesday down in Paia, drawn by a very friendly Israeli guy called Tidi. He did a great job, and I now feel honorably marked by the island of Maui. I wanted to get some hibiscus and plumeria flowers tattooed which I thought would serve as a pretty Hawaiian memory. I can get it ‘re-touched’ before I leave to Honolulu in a couple a of weeks, so that the marking will stay imprinted for a few more weeks.

hawaiian henna tattoo

Since Ras has been injured, I have been a bit less busy than I was in my first weeks here. So, I have been spending my days taking it easy (well, I have been the whole time, but even more so recently!) and have gotten into cooking a lot lately. A list of things I have recently made: jalapeno asiago garlic bread baguette, purple yam cottage pie, avocado-toasted almond-mozzarella-spinach-watercress-cherry tomato salad, Nutella crêpes, blueberry muffins, and I’ve also gotten into making fresh coffee in the morning which I love.

This past week I have felt at home. And it is in less than 2 weeks now that I will be flying off to Honolulu, to live with 5 girls in the Waikiki area, not far from Honolulu zoo! It’s exciting, but I must admit that I will find it hard to leave Maui and its beauty. However, I am looking forward to my new place, and to the new activities: I will be going to a lot of concerts and musical events and writing articles about them hereafter.

lilikoi margaritas @ café des amis

On Wednesday evening, we went to Café des Amis for some happy hour cocktails, and ended up having 2 or 3 each with some yummy Mediterranean platters. A musician began setting up not long after we’d arrived, and played, what he called, ”the stick”. It looked like a very heavy, what I can best describe as a twelve string bass, and he had it plugged into an amp and an effects pedal. He had a drum machine too. He played Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, the Eagles, and did an impressive job for a single musician. The sound this ‘stick’ was emitting was like a combination between an electric bass and an electric guitar. I had never seen anything like it.

The weather is being a bit hap-hazard these days, one minute it will be pouring the next clear skies. So this means it is not easy to plan one’s day. Yesterday I had gone to the mall the top up my phone credit (it has been exactly a month since I bought it – time does fly!), and it began pouring down with rain after I had been to Radio Shack. So I took refuge in a Starbucks, and read a local Maui paper, which gave me quite a few tips and ideas on what to do this weekend. Wine tasting events, concerts, new films out in cinemas, luaus, etc.

I think there has been talk of going to Lahaina this weekend, so that should be fun. Lahaina is the biggest most-happening place on the island. I ventured out to Paia Beach today to watch the surfers, the waters were full of them because the waves were impressively big. As I headed back home later on, I crossed the street and a young guy shouted out to me ”You dropped something!”. I immediately looked back and down to see what I had lost, only to see nothing on the floor. So I looked back at him in confusion. He said ”My jaw!”, smiled, giggled along with his friends and walked off. What a line!

None but ourselves can free our minds

On one rainy day, I found a good shelter spot in front of store in Paia where there were large cushioned chairs. I had just ran from the beach, where I was laying out in my bikini on a towel, when all of a sudden the whole sky got covered with thick rain clouds and it began pouring heavily.

So as I was resting from my mad dash for shelter, and waiting for the rain to pass, I must of drifted off and started thinking of this that and the other. I heard shouting from the other side of the road, and looked up only to see a guy popping his head out of his truck window with a big smile on his face. “Stop thinking!”, he shouted over at me “Smell the flowers!”, and drove off.

Only in Hawaii, I thought to myself!

none but ourselves can free our minds

These past days have been very exciting – my most memorable at the moment being my visit of the Wailea Mariott Beach Resort. Ras has recently injured his knee, and is now in crutches, he therefore was in need of an extra hand for his performance at the Awesomeness Fest, hosted at the Mariott. The cost of a single ticket to get into the festival: 2000$. The festival hosts all kinds of successful persons from CEOs of companies, to TV producers, to very successful yoga instructors, to spiritual speakers, even the Mayor of Maui was there and gave a speech.

I was invited to help Ras set up his show, do some filming, assist him with various other things he would need. I got to eat at the 5* buffet, which was extremely satisfying as it was like being back home in a Genevan resto. Asparagus, fish, cottage cheese, artichoke, tortellini, garlic baguette, etc. But the cherry on the cake was the dessert table – I went a bit crazy and filled my plate with all the little hors-d’oeuvre: chilled coffee mousse, macadamia nut tartlet, coconut crème brûlée… YUM.

I heard speaker ‘Dreaming Bear’, a guy who played a sort of steel drum, and would dish out funny, inspiring or ridiculous (I thought) quotes. ”Don’t forget to floss”, ”Respect your elders”, ”You’re not as fat as you think you are”, and the such. He also got us all to hold hands and sing the words ”Little by little, we will become stars, we will become love”. I thought it was very funny hearing all these very money-d people singing whilst joining hands ”We will become stars”! It was certainly very interesting.

Dreaming Bear @ Awesomeness Fest

A co-writer of the song ‘Genie in a Bottle’, made famous by Christina Aguilera, came up and sang a song. Her voice was mind blowing, she reminded me a lot of Céline Dion in style. Then a youngish guy was invited to join the stage and talk of business strategy, I thought ”right, let’s listen up here so that I can get some inside tips on how to become rich!!” I don’t remember his first name, but his last name was Boatright.

He came on stage in jeans and a tight black shirt, he was quite a built guy. He began by saying ”So, I could talk to you all about business strategy and how I made my first million dollars at the age of 25, but instead I’m going to do something a little different tonight. I’m going to talk to you about irrationality and intentionality.” I thought what the heck is he on about, only to realize after several minutes into his introduction that he was going to talk about.. love.

He invited his girlfriend to come on stage and sit by him, whilst he went through the history of how they met, connected, instantly got along, felt like they’d already known one another, etc. She was a very pretty Asian girl named Ivy, wearing a bright short turquoise dress.  She sat down and nodded from time to time, and laughed at his jokes. After about 45mins of talking, I felt like I knew everything about this couple’s relationship. I knew what they were going to call their children, they first met in Costa Rica, they had been to China together, and that they liked dressing up as pirates for fun.

He then got a guitar from the stage (actually one of Ras’s guitars!) and sang a song he had written to her. The chorus ”Ivy, you’re the one” was catchy, his voice wasn’t good, but his whole performance was certainly very sweet. She loved the song, blushed and smiled, as one would. After the song, and this is where it gets good, Mr. Boatright got down on one knee, whipped out a small box, and said ”Let’s do this properly”, and proposed to her.

I felt like I was in a Hollywood movie! She began crying, attempted to nod in all the excitement, and threw herself into his arms. We all stood up and clapped. And I had a hard time trying to keep my jaw from dropping, because I have never EVER, and probably never will again, see something like that happen again in my life. Certainly not in Europe, anyway!

Ras Shaggai @ Awesomeness Fest

So after all that excitement, Ras came up to play, and did a good job considering his handicapped state. At this point, people had already gotten up and were chattering and talking amongst themselves, so his music served as background tunes. I took some film of the concert with a camcorder, and was being quite creative about the whole thing – zooming in and out on the moon, then back on to Ras, then on to a candle, then on to a girl dancing to the music, etc.

The resort was phenomenally big – swimming pools in all shapes and sizes, bridges to get from one to the other, tunnels, slides, some pools with very luxurious art on the bottom of them, the sand was perfectly soft and white, the bars were full of very well dressed people and aquariums. The cocktail menu was pricey, but I still treated myself to a Pina Colada, which was extremely good.

After packing all the stuff up from backstage, we headed to the next part of the night, hosted at one of the night clubs of the resort called ‘Tsunami’. Ras treated me there to a Margarita on the rocks, which was also impressively tasty. Seeing as Ras was not very mobile, I sat with him and we talked about music, musical culture, Jamaica and dancing.

Wailea Mariott Beach Resort

It turns out one of my next destinations will be Jamaica, as it is one of the most bustling places in the Caribbean in terms of music business. There is a lot going on, and one promoter is very interested in having me work for her business by feeding the blog, meeting musicians, conducting interviews. It sounds very promising, and full of experience-potential. Woo!

Fairy tale

Yesterday I woke up later than usual, around 11 AM. I made myself coffee and sat myself in the kitchen where I did a little bit of emailing and radio contact work. I phoned up a few online radios, organized some CD shipments, researched into more online radio reggae stations in Hawaii.

Around 1PM, I went downstairs to Rose’s place, my downstairs neighbour. Trish was there, my yoga instructing housemate and Chelsea a friend of theirs. We sat down around a coffee table and spoke about of all sorts, and had a homemade banana berries and bran smoothie. Chelsea suggested we go to a secret waterfall spot she knows of, and so we all got our stuff together and headed down there in Trish’s down-top silver Jeep.

We walked bare foot through muddy paths, on top of flat rocks, climbed down into this jungle like setting, where we set off to find this secret waterfall. The amount of different trees, plants, flowers and fruits was stunning. After about a 20 mins walk, we arrived and I was blown away by the view that was in front of me: a giant waterfall of pure water pouring into a beautiful still private pool. Intertwined roots of trees circled the pool – Trish rightly pointed out that it seemed we had entered a fairy tale!

waterfall wonderland

So we undressed into our bikinis and swan into the cool water, and gazed out to the waterfall. There were also a few spots which the sun was shining on that we could sit in when the water got too frisky. We stayed there and chit chatted for a while, and then ventured back, after having taken quite a few photos.

On our way back, Rose suggested she’d invite us to some Mediterranean food at Café des Amis, a place in Paia. So when we got there, we ordered two platters, extra sides of pitta bread, and some drinks. I got my first Mai Tai cocktail – which I loved. We had arrived between happy hours so drinks were half price – score! When the platters arrived they looked delicious, and actually reminded me a lot of home: hummus, pitted black olives, tzatziki, marinated aubergines in oil, pesto covered tomatoes, tasty mushrooms. Followed by a nutella and strawberry crêpe topped with whipped cream, which we shared with four forks. YUM.

my very first Mai Tai

I was then asked if I wanted to go to a free meditation class with Chelsea and Rose at 6PM. Sure, why not. It was my first proper meditation experience, I have done a little on my own before. We had chanting sessions, and one 15 mins meditation followed by an 8 mins meditation. (That adds up to exactly 23 mins of meditation, by the way… coincidence?)

That had relaxed my mind quite a bit (so did the Mai Tai!), and we went back to Chelsea’s for vanilla tea and chocolate macadamia nut ice cream. I met Chelsea’s two Spanish housemates, who were very friendly – one from Barcelona, the other from Madrid, who told me I could come up to theirs any time. On our way back from Chelsea’s, Rose came up and we watched Trish play around with her new sowing machine in the sitting room. We drank red wine and ate cold chocolate.

Branden joined us later as she came back from her waitressing job. We all chit chatted in the living room until the late hours of the evening. I really feel at home with these girls, I have met some really good people here. They speak of ‘energies’ in people, are into yoga, meditation, healthy organic foods, and have a lot of respect for one and other. They are genuine and honest, and are very comfortable to be around.

It is a shame that it is Branden’s last night in the Yoga Shala tonight – she has found a job with a marine biologist that requires her to move to Kihei, about a 30 mins drive from here. I will miss her being around and next door to me. She has so many good tips and tricks on how to stay healthy, and has taught me how to indo-board (an indoor surf board!) She will be replaced by a French dude called Olivier, who is a kite surfing friend of Liam’s (Trish’s boyfriend who owns our place). I met him briefly the other day and he seems very friendly, and I’m happy I will have someone to speak French with on a daily basis!

Today I played a few more songs in Hookipa, and got offered a coconut, cut up so that I could drink from it, and 13$ again. (Funny I made the same exact amount than last time!) I ventured down to Mana Foods this afternoon to get some fresh veggies and fruit, and a box of assorted chai teas.

Aloha!

my lei

It is a beautiful day on Maui island today. I arrived yesterday afternoon, and was greeted by Ras, a musician whom I will be working with for a little over a month here in Paia. He put a pretty lei around my neck, and I jumped into his white Jeep.

He asked me whether I wanted to go straight to my place, or whether I was up for a little walk to discover on of Maui’s most beautiful spots. Despite my fatigue, I couldn’t resist! I can’t remember the name of where he took me, but it was stunning.

Apparently this was where Jurassic Park was filmed (the part where you see expansive views of vast mountainous regions, and lots of green). It took about 25 mins to get up there in the Jeep, but it was definitely worth it. I walked round with him, admittedly in a bit of daze, saw waterfalls, guava plants, traditional Hawaiian huts, lots of chickens and flowers.

We then drove down to Paia, a small beach town I am currently living in. We drove by the beach, and I saw about 35 dudes surfing the waves. I then met his wife and 2 year old pretty daughter, and had a look round his music studio.

I was totally overwhelmed. I guess traveling from LA to Honolulu and then waiting for 3 hours in Honolulu for my flight to Maui kind of tired me out. And then arriving in Maui just blew me away: the views, the atmosphere, the colors, the vibe.

I am currently staying in a three story house called the Yoga Shala. It is absolutely stunning. On the bottom floor there are yoga classes every day. On the second floor, I am sharing an enormous living room, kitchen, two terraces, bathroom with two persons I haven’t met yet. I think there is a couple living on the third floor.

My room has a very comfy mushy double bed, a couch, and glass doors that give on to the front terrace. The shower has a little windows which look onto the the back of the house and the expansive views behind it. It is so much more spacey than I had imagined. It is calm, and there is a very good vibe about the place, there are Buddha statuettes everywhere, candles, a very large TV, and a swooping couch in the living room.

There are Buddhist prayer flags in my room. There are no locks, which could appear freaky at first, but there is such a positive and calm atmosphere about the neighborhood that I sincerely doubt there is anything to worry about.

I went to bed early last night and got up today around 6.30 AM. It gets dark very quickly here, and light very early. This morning I walked down to Paia’s main town, bought some breakfast in Tiki Bar, and read the Maui Times. I took my soya milk coffee to go, and went down to the nearest beach. I walked barefoot on the sand, and walked across the shore line for a bit, thinking how lucky I am to be here and to see all this.

I have been exploring all morning, getting lost, sitting down in front of the sea and taking photos like a typical tourist. ”Beautiful spot, isn’t it?” said one old couple who was sitting not so far from one of the best views I had found this morning. ”Yes… lovely!” I replied.

And ‘lovely’ is the first word I choose to describe this place.

walking on the beach in hawaii