Shave Ice, Food Trucks

We always called them “snow cones” and I guess people in Oahu have no reference point for snow, so the name of these popular snacks is “shave ice”.  Nothing so different – the luridly bright artificial colors, the mess they make when they melt despite the straw and the spoon, but – it’s a bit of local color, and pride…and they’re very refreshing.

These photos follow the process of making me a Shave Ice at a small shop at the start of the Manoa Falls trail.  They happily consented to let me snap photos as they questioned me about sour or sweet, shaved the ice from a block inside a contraption that looked like a popcorn popper at the movies, packed in the ice, and then dusted the top with sour dried plum granules.  Each part of the creation had a different flavor – until it all merged and melted together!

shave ice flaborsshaved ice 2shaved ice 3shaved ice 1

Food trucks – or stands – are all over the island once you get outside the city.  Many just operate out of a bus, truck or van with an awning outside the window and maybe a couple of picnic tables and an umbrella.  The signage is usually hand painted and often  psychedelic in design!  There are warning signs that roadside vendors cannot operate in certain areas in which the local government has control over the selling, but they spring up everywhere anyway.  Many vendors have stellar reputations and long lines, but others probably stay in business by attracting new tourists for a one-off.  We patronized a couple of legendary, well-known vendors as well as one that provided us with a bonus colonic (LOL).

Here’s a photo of a roadside food truck on the North Shore (north side) of Oahu.  food truck

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Too Many Rainbows?

Anyone who has visited or lived in Oahu knows about The Rainbows.  They are ubiquitous and, unlike the rainbows I am accustomed to, some of them are “fat” – wide and thick!  Also unlike my own experience of rainbows, these Hawaiian rainbows often go from one end of the horizon to the other – we always thought if you could only find out where the rainbow began or ended, you’d find the legendary Pot of Gold.


Here’s a rainbow from yesterday – taken from my daughter’s car (it should have a bumper sticker saying “I brake for rainbows”).  Here it is from a couple of other angles.

IMG_6004 (2)

Here are a couple more from other days

rainbow in hawaii

rainbow on highway

Hawaiian rainbows (which occur pretty much every day) are also different because they are usually on a backdrop of clouds, not a clear blue sky, or a mixture of both.  I think the clouds and short spurts of rain are the “factory” that creates the rainbows….and that my memory of midwestern rainbows isn’t accurate – I have mentally altered the background to be blue sky…right?


Well, I looked back in my photo file, and it’s true – I changed them to blue sky in my mind!  Here’s one from Chicagoland in 2012 – hmmm, it doesn’t have a blue sky, does it?  So I guess I’ve conveniently emblued it!

When someone asked my daughter how she could ever move back to Chicago after a job in Hawaii, she mused and answered, “I don’t know….too many rainbows?”


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Surf Culture – and a “Surf Forecast”

via Surf Culture – and a “Surf Forecast”

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January 3, 2020 · 12:46 pm

Some Backstory about “YMAATA”

Some Backstory about “YMAATA”.

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Mongolian “Old McDonald”

Look at the farm and the animals in it.  Not the same as the American farm, is it?  Lots of dogs! 

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October 23, 2013 · 3:52 am

a Korean luncheon

with director but not tsengel

Here are some of the directors from NUM taking us to lunch at an amazing Korean restaurant across the street from Building 2 of National University of Mongolia ….the spread was vast and varied — but it was hard to know what to combine, and whether to use chopsticks, forks and knives, or spoons to move items from the serving dish to the plate. It was all delicious, as you can well imagine!

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how nomads move these days

nomads moving their ger

I’m back in the States now and winding down the blog, but I wanted to make sure I posted a few great photos first!

This is how nomads move these days – Mongolian nomads actually only move a couple of times a year, basically following the seasons, so they take their whole kittenkiboodle with them. You see the ger top and the chimney in the back of the truck? And underneath them are all the possessions that will go in the ger. Not sure about how the livestock are moved.

I already feel like I have visited another planet and have trouble describing what I saw and did – unless you visit the blog – it really helps tell the story!

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