Spanish guitar, dub step and Mishka’s reggae

Minds Wide Open première @ Café Mambo -

On Friday evening, we went out to watch a windsurfing film première at Café Mambo, in Paia. ‘Minds Wide Open’ was the name of the film, and was impressive to say the least. The café was packed, we stood outside and watched the film through the open bay windows. The quality and precision of film was excellent, not to mention the snippets of windsurfing skills and giant waves.

When the film ended, we went to grab a few drinks in Charley’s bar, and ended up drinking and dancing there until the doors shut. A French DJ played the last set, and entertained the crowd with some electro dance, followed by some good old dub step, which I admittedly have a shameful soft-spot for. I think that if love was a video game, dub step is what it would sound like.

Argentinian guitarist @ Café des Amis

Saturday was a grey day, so I stayed in and had a chic-flic moment. I watched ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’, which had its moments but all in all did a good job at making me cringe. I did however enjoy the journalism side of the story which inspired me to write more. I then made it down for margaritas at Café des Amis for 5PM, l’heure de l’apéro. I was also looking forward to what I had read in the Maui Time – an Argentinian guitarist was going to host the evening with some spanish guitar playing. True to his South American roots, he arrived about 1h30 late – so his performance was highly anticipated.

And it so rightly was because this music was truly worth it – it made me travel back to Europe, in Las Ramblas of Barcelona, cobbled streets of Sardinia or some similar setting. Spanish guitar is incredibly romantic, and one of the boys at the table I was sat at put it nicely: ”All the couples sitting at this café must be saying such wonderful things to one another with this playing in the background”, and I couldn’t have agreed more.

Mishka @ Charley's

A more pressing matter was on the party’s mind Saturday evening though: Mishka, a budding solo reggae artist from the Caribbean was going to play at Charley’s bar. So, after being swayed and serenaded enough by the charming Argentinian, we made our way down the streets of Paia, to the bar, paid our way in and waited for Mishka’s concert. Mishka has a very interesting background – he grew up on a sail boat, traveling from one Caribbean island to the next with his family. As he aired in the bar, speaking with various enthused fans who looked enamored, he blended in very well – he wore a Rastafarian beanie hat, some unassuming clothes, and smiled a lot. Kyle, a Canadian friend of mine, asked me whether I was ready to whip out my camera and take a photo of him with Mishka, as he was going to brave it up and ask him to be photographed with him. Upon asking him ”Are you Mishka?”, to be certain it was him, the musician replied ”I think so, yes,” in his charming Caribbean accent.

His performance was excellent – his vocals, guitar and aura took the stage and pleasantly impressed us all. I would pay close attention to the popularity of this artist, because I predict he is going to become a big hit. His songs are catchy, his style is unique, his guitar playing is captivating, and his overall vibe is enamoring. When I looked at the crowd’s reaction, I could tell they were feeling what I was too – a feeling of luckiness to witness the creations of this musician so close up.

Sunday night, we went out to the infamous Fish Market of Paia, as I was told it would be a mistake not to go and eat here before I leave. Admittedly, my ‘Hawaii for Dummies’ book recommended I go to from the outset – I remember reading about the restaurant before even landing in Maui. A very laid back diner type atmosphere, hanging fish ornaments, a generously priced menu and many very hungry men occupied the place. I had a Mahi fish burger, which was delicious.

Tomorrow I will need to start packing away my belongings, and get ready to begin writing chapter II of the travel adventure…


Paia Party Time

Friday night was Paia’s party night – every fourth Friday of the month, the town lights up, the bars and shops open their doors, musicians come to play in the streets, games are played and various street shows are put up. It was such a colorful night! In fact, it had a little bit of a carnivalesque air about it, as this is the Halloween weekend, so a lot of people were dressed up in crazy attire. Rose and Branden wore masks.

I took part in a ping pong tournament, from all things (!), and partnered up with a Spanish guy who was a good team mate. We didn’t get very far through the tournament, but we played well, and celebrated our good sportsmanship with a glass of red wine! I met quite a few people that night, mainly South Americans from Uruguay and Brazil.

Charley’s bar was absolutely packed with people dancing to the lively music of a latin dance band. There was a great ambiance about the town, and lots of very happy people. There were no ridiculously drunk loud people, or any sense of danger about the festivities. It was a great celebration, and I enjoyed the liveliness of it, as it can be very quiet in this part of town in the evenings.

Despite a lot of people telling me that I will most probably prefer Maui to Oahu, I am looking forward to discovering Honolulu and the Waikiki area. I island-hop to Oahu on November 23rd. Most Maui-ans see Honolulu like most French people not living in Paris see Paris, or how most rural Brits see London, how most mainlanders see New York. Coming from Pregnin, and only being 10 mins away from Geneva, I am used to both rural and urban scenes, and finding somewhere similar, that has that same balance is rare. I am looking forward to being in areas where there are more people, music, livelihood, not because I am bored of the quiet, but because I am used to both. Perhaps I will long for some tranquility after a few weeks in Honolulu… Who knows? Stay tuned!

Today I went to Hookipa again to play some music. Today’s winnings: 17$. One guy gave me a 10$ bill and began talking to me, as he seemed very enthused by my singing and playing. He came from Tennessee and told me his brother was in the business of making steel guitars. I also met another musician yesterday, who was on the Haiku bus with me, he had a twelve string guitar with him. He was on his way to the Paia party, and was hoping to play in a restaurant or two. I love the sound of a twelve string!

windsurfing competition

There was a windsurfing competition at Hookipa today, and seeing as it was Sunday, it was very busy. I watched the windsurfers for a bit, and was really impressed by their skills as the wind was very strong today, and that sport does not look easy.

Tomorrow I will go to Paia Bay Café and re-write an album review for Ras, publish it online, and schedule some interviews for him on radio stations. Ras is also playing a show some time next week which I will attend!