Thursday, January 20, 2011

Indigo

One beautiful day, in Honolulu, we took a ride on The Bus to the end of the line in Manoa. We read of an easy hike through a rain forest to a waterfall and we fell for the description that ensnared the gullible tourists - us.
We took our time, strolling along the streets and looking at the beautiful houses and gardens. An airdale sniffed us. The owner, a very attractive woman, was at the end of the leash. She offered to help us find our way and warned us that it was wild pig hunting season and the bow and arrow shooters were loose in the forest. "But don't worry," she said. "If you stay on the trail you will be perfectly safe." We chatted some more. "When you're ready to return to Waikiki on the Bus, stop at my husband's restaurant, Indigo. The Bus stops right at his corner." We thanked her, reviewed the directions to the trail, and continued on our way.
Our first few steps into the rain forest revealed some possible trouble. To our left was a thick covering of bamboo trees; as close together as tall grass and as tall as a six story building. To our right was a cliff that descended many, many feet down to a stream. And piercing the silence of the forest were eerie bird calls. We should have listened to their "Go away" warnings.
We continued on the narrow climbing path that had been worn away by hikers. We carefully avoided the tree roots that would have made wonderful steps if they had been level and not slippery. But, it was a rain forest. We had to expect the moisture. A number of experienced hikers, with their walking sticks, passed us. Eventually, we picked up a sturdy branch from the ground and we looked experienced, even though the most hiking we had ever done was through the malls.
We slipped. First one of us, then the other. Fortunately, we didn't break any bones but we acceded to the warning, turned around and left. We calculated that we had walked less than a half a mile in the hour that we spent there.
To get to the bus stop required more hiking, but this was on paved ground and down hill. The Bus came, right on time and we sat and rested and rode back to Waikiki. Our discussion of should we go or should we not go to Indigo concluded that we were dirty and smelly from our rain forest hike and we would embarrass ourselves and the restaurant owner if we went in. When the Bus stopped on Nuuanu, the driver called out "Indigo" and, as if pushed by an unknown force, we got up and exited.
We crossed the street, and did not say a word. The owner, Glenn Chu, was waiting for us. "Are you the people that my wife saw?" he asked. "She phoned and said to expect you. I'm so glad you made it. Please, come in."
"Look at us," we said. "We can't come in and sully your beautiful place." A large gong, in the front of the restaurant, caught my attention. "Can I try it?" I asked. "Of course." I picked up the large clapper, reared back, and struck the gong with a mighty stroke that reverberated and reverberated and reverberated. "What a beautiful F sound that is," I said. After that, he really insisted.
Fortunately, it was about 2:00 in the afternoon - too late for lunch and too early for dinner. Just two or three of the tables had customers.
"You must be thirsty," he said. "You can't turn down a drink of water or iced tea," he pleaded.
We protested again. Apparently not enough. He sat us at a table, outside, in the back of his beautiful restaurant. Brought us each a glass of iced tea and then - a waiter came over. "Mr. Chu would like you to taste some of his pupu's." We declined. He insisted. Edgar gave in. I have my own peculiarities. Generally, I don't eat it if I don't make it. Edgar says that he is "like Mikey - he'll eat anything."
I did succumb to a bit of chocolate dessert - his famous Pele's volcano formed with dry ice that produced smoke, a chocolate mountain, and raspberry sauce lava. And all of this because a friendly airdale and his owner stopped to sniff us.

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