Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Transformation -> Understanding

Friday, August 04, 2006

White Men Can't Dance

Wendy and I had dinner at Indigo last night. I told the waitress I wanted a giant salad and gestured with my hands indicating something about 18” across and 8” high. She suggested the $14 Waimanalo organic greens salad and I said great. When the plate arrived, it had about three leaves of lettuce piled next to a very tiny but artistic arrangement of sliced pickled cucumber and tomato. I sent it back and said I wanted a salad for a meal, not an appetizer. I think they wound up charging $20 for a modest little tossed salad. It was too small so I asked the waitress to bring some bread. Indigo does not serve bread. So I drank a vanilla vodka martini.

Wendy brought her lap top and she showed me photos from her recent trip to Georgia (the USSR one, not the fried okra one). Wendy has an eye for composition and architecture so her photos were not only interesting but beautiful. Lovely stories about the Orthodox churches and priests, cave dwellings … Civilization has been there for a very long time.

Wendy has a successful career in urban planning and design but she has the wanderlust as bad as anybody I’ve ever known. She has solo traveled the world with a backpack. We had great conversation about finding the elusive balance between the security and stability of bourgeois-capitalist jobs and investments vs. the adventure and intensity of a spontaneous life of travel and exploration. Wendy is a kindred spirit and our visits always leave me inspired.

We went to the tiny bar at Indigo and met fellow wanderlust-er Margot and friends to listen to a terrific Hawaiian musician, Makana. He has a lovely voice and the music was great but the band was way too loud for the tiny space we were in. Made my ears hurt. People were talking to me and I had no idea what they were saying. I just smiled and nodded my head. Somebody could have been talking about putting babies on spears and I would have been nodding in agreement, “Oh yes. Wonderful.”

Margot is another kindred spirit who has solo traveled the world. Last night she was wearing a lovely new white dress and she was beautiful dancing to the music. Watching her reminded me of an evening at Carlitos Bar on the island of Phi Phi. I was on a live-aboard boat a few years ago scuba diving five times a day all over the Andaman Sea. The captain of the boat was a Brit, maybe 50 years old. He had worked as an engineer his entire adult life, retired, bought a dilapidated steel hull boat, put it in dry dock in Thailand and completely rebuilt the boat. Somewhere along the way he married beautiful young Malay and they took Gringo and Aussie tourist out on scuba trips. He drove the boat; she cooked the most fantastic Malaysian meals. When he told me his life story on the deck of the boat one afternoon I thought, “Hmm. I could live this life.”

One evening after a night dive in the bay where that awful Leonardo DiCaprio film was made, we took a water taxi to Phi Phi and wound up in Carlitos Bar. It was sparsely populated and a lovely young woman in a pretty little sun dress had the entire dance floor to herself. My diving companions were having empty, meaningless conversation when the DJ spun EW&F September. The music perked me up and I noticed the gyrating young woman on the dance floor. I sat mesmerized through the entire song. Shakira’s hips have nothing on the sun dress groove of EW&F. I should have gone out and danced with the sun dress girl, but I didn’t. And I didn’t dance with Margot last night either.

Of course, we all know that white men should not dance.

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