Sunday, February 15, 2009

The 'AWA

By A. J. Llewellyn

Anyone who reads my books will tell you about my painstaking attention to detail since my stories are all set in the Hawaiian Islands. I like to introduce ancient lore as well as current places for couples to eat, drink and be er…merry (I am including the hot sex here).

Anyway, an interesting thing happened to me in Honolulu yesterday. I have discovered Kava or as the locals call it, ‘Awa and in all the research I have done, the ancient Hawaiians loved to sip this stuff. Enough of it makes you quite euphoric…well…two bowls is supposed to be the bomb.
What they should really tell you is two bowls will get you bombed. My mate Tony, his lover Antonio, my dad, his girlfriend and I decided to whizz by my new discovery, The Cove, and partake before our Valentine’s Day celebration last night.

I don’t know why we were all so giddy, but I have noticed my friends and family have a tendency to pooh-pooh my new discoveries. Nobody believed me about the ‘Awa so we drove down to Diamond Head and we each bought a bowlful.

Now, I was about to celebrate Valentine’s Day…me and two couples. Of course l welcomed the idea of being euphoric and otherwise sublimely…snuckered…since my own partner is across the country. I just didn’t dig the idea they all thought I was full of shit.

But I digress.

We crammed into the place that caters to a very hippyish clientele who all looked mighty jolly. Lord knows how many pints of the stuff they all sucked down…but judging by the weird art on the walls and the pseudo fashionable music they were listening to…they’d imbibed buckets of the stuff.

Our cute waitress served up ‘Awa in coconut shell bowls. Like I had told my posse, it tastes like dirt and is very very cold. It is not a drink to be savored. The Cove is only one of two places on the entire island that serves ‘Awa and we all tried to be properly awed by the occasion.
I felt the same way I did the other day when I tried one…a tang on the back of the throat, numb lips…followed by…nothing.

We all took our waitress’s advice and ordered a second bowl each. She advised drinking it quickly. We chugged down a second bowl and left the place arguing.

We drove to our dinner in Waikiki at the glorious House Without a Key at the fabulous Halekulani where the arguments continued. You’re not supposed to drink on top of ‘Awa…it can apparently make you sick. Since I was the designated driver, I stuck to water, but the men in my family are damned showoffs. They ordered drinks and ten minutes into our night on the town…complete inertia hit us all.

I don’t remember the music or the show…well…embarrassing moments I do recall. I don’t know who ordered pasta and fish for everyone or more bread and crackers…but I remember seeing Tony crawling on his knees to pinch an extra basket of home-baked potato chips from the bus boys’ station. Antonio and I sang a pretty embarrassing version of Tiny Bubbles - whilst Greek dancing. I was hammered, but good.

An ‘Awa high is not like booze or pot (yes of course I’ve bloody tried it). You feel completely relaxed and at peace. You love everybody and everything tastes so good…damn those missionaries for robbing ordinary folk of a bloody good time!

It seemed to me since I didn’t drink alcohol and I was the only one still awake that I should still be the designated driver. I was feeling very mellow after dinner and a couple of cups of coffee. We all remarked ‘Awa was excellent…then we got into the car.

Hey, you ever seen the episode of I Love Lucy - one of the ‘on the way to Hollywood’ episodes - where she takes the wheel as Ricky, Ethel and Fred snooze and she drives for hours, winding up in the same spot?

I am here to tell you it is possible. Oh, yes, I drove away from the hotel at 8.30 and somehow managed to arrive back there at 10.02pm!

Nobody could believe it. Least of all me. I know this evening will go down in our personal family history as a classic A.J. escapade and will not make me look very good in years to come, but I look at it this way. I just got a slice of invaluable research that will go into my next book. Nothing
I experience goes to waste…it just breaks my heart that I will have to wait until I return to Hawaii to try my next bowl of ‘Awa…

Aloha oe,



Neil Plakcy said...

Sounds cool, AJ. I will have to search out that 'awa place when I am in Hawaii next month. (And I will try to not drive anywhere after drinking it!)

Jeanne said...

AJ, I am a cheap drunk. One little old Harvey Wallbanger gets me singing opera in the local PigglyWiggly grocery store.
I get the distinct feeling that one *sip* of that drink would have me singing opera nekkid!

AJ Llewellyn said...

Neil, you will undoubtedly find more places to er...enjoy it on the Big Island!
Jeanne, you do need two bowls to feel the effects...take it from me, a total lightweight!
Thanks for your comments!