Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hawaii--the U.S.'s secret wedding weapon

I meant to post from Hawaii, really I did. But all I had was some stolen low-signal wireless that worked in my room 10% of the time. Besides, technically I was working--see other blog proof.

Being a freelancer can be tough. You no longer get free stuff sent to you all the time, and you become one of the desperate "assign me! assign me!" types having to kiss editor-ass. But occasionally, it rocks, like say when someone asks if you want to cover the Hawaii Film Festival on the spur of the moment.

One of the first things I noticed is that Hawaii is a major wedding factory. In fact, before you deplane there's an official form to fill out where it asks the reason for your trip. "To Get Married" is the second choice, right under honeymoon. Pleasure/vacation is third.

Judging by the amount of tulle I saw, I would bet that the wedding industry is more important to the Hawaiian economy than plain ol' tourism. Check it out:

Many of the B2Bs are from China, Japan, and Taiwan, and with even the little I saw of Oahu and Maui beaches, I can't say I'm surprised they chose Hawaii for their destination weddings. But I was surprised by the sort of Senor Frogs element in Honolulu--roaming packs of Spring Breakers--and by the prostitutes right outside my hotel on tony Kalakaua Ave, which by day has people flocking stores like Prada, Gucci, and Ferragamo.

me: Did you see the hookers?

S: Those weren't hookers.

me: Um, are you joking?

S: Well, maybe high-class call girls.

me: High-class call girls don't work the streets.

(S thinks this over for a minute)

me: Look at the shoes.

S: Mmm...

me: Don't you know clear plastic platforms are the universal symbol of the world's oldest profession?

The Grand Wailea on Maui had a seaside chapel, so I've got big news!


All in all, the festival was fantastic. Top-notch films from the Pacific Rim and top-notch parties. You can read my festival report here.


Blogger Susan Och said...

I used to work at a gift shop on Kalakaua Avenue. They were hookers. Here's a story: http://frconnect.blogspot.com/2005/07/folding-t-shirts-dark-side.html

7:01 PM  

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