Aloha, Mahalo, Haiku, Racism

September 18, 2009 · 4 comments

I am sitting on the balcony of my hotel in Waikiki and I can’t believe I’m getting paid to be here. I was fortunate enough to get to stay a day in Hawaii in between connecting flights on my way to the Marshall Islands. As I got to my hotel room, I wasn’t quite expecting it to be so awesome, check out the view from my balcony.

Now I knew there was a large asian population in Hawaii, but I’m not gonna lie and say I wasn’t surprised at their shear dominance. I grew up in a predominately white neighborhood and went to a super white private college. Needless to say, I have absolutely no cultural diversity.

I saw a Japanese couple yesterday attempting to take a picture of themselves on the beach, so I kindly approached and asked if they would like me to take the picture for them. They handed me their camera and I took off running. Okay no I didn’t, but part of me thought it would be really funny if I did that. I snapped their picture, and as I was handing back the woman’s camera I may have pulled a quasi-racist move.

As she said “Thank you”, in broken English, I bowed and said your welcome. WTF!? I never bow to anyone, so what compelled me to bow to this woman? Simply the fact that she was Japanese. Mid-bow, I realized what I was doing and was scared I was going to offend her. Instead she gave me a giant bow back and we went on our merry little ways. Turns out, bowing to a Japense person isn’t that racist…at least I don’t think it is. To further show the Asian persuasion in Hawaii, take a look at this subway menu I came across.

To celebrate my new found appreciation for the Japanese, and in a desparate attempt to relate this article to personal finance, I leave you all with three Ninja-style personal finance haiku’s.

Me happy ninja
Typing on my balcony
Love the epic view

Money Money Cash
Money Dollar Money Cash
Money Booya Cash

Do you save money?
It’s time you probably should
Don’t be a douche bag

Now it’s your turn bloggers to prove you love Japanese people and to celebrate life, happiness, and personal finance with a little haiku action. Don’t be a racist, hop in on the fun. I love you guys and I’ll be hollaring at your from a tiny freakin’ island from now on.

1 Jake Stichler

Prove I love Japanese people? PROVE I LOVE JAPANESE PEOPLE!?!?!?!?!?!eleventyonequestionmark

I'm a freaking otaku, dammit!!!

And ever since being forced to write them over and over again in high school, I refuse to write haiku, so nyeeah! :-D

2 SS4BC

Okay, so I've been to Hawai'i three times now – and I never thought it was that more populated by Asians than San Diego – so I have to ask Ninja – do you GET OUT much in San Diego? =)

(BTW… perhaps Asian lady assumes that bowing is just something that white dudes do… and she was embarrassed when she walked away that she might have been racist against you!)

Enjoy your trip and time in Waikiki – that is a beautiful view from your hotel.

3 Jesse

In Japanese culture, bowing is common for everyone in just about every situation. I don't really see why you would think you were being racist, regardless of your color, the lady probably respected your knowledge of her culture(she couldn't have known it came from watching TMNT and Pokemon) or assumed you, being in Hawaii, came from a Japanese family with mixed heritage or something ;) as long as you didn't try to speak Japanese with a white man accent haha

4 Josh

Hey Ninja,

Dude, you need me there to translate the Subway menu for you. It's written in the Japanese version of English, called Katakana. We had to take four years of Japanese classes here in Australia in High School. Mind you, by the time I translated it, you probably would've lost your appetite, so fat load of good it's done me here really. All I can say in Japanese now is 'Sit down and be quiet', which is what our Japanese teacher said to the class all the time here. I had heard Hawaii had alot of Japanese people there, but no where as many as you say there are.

Have a great time :-)

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