Lei-la-Lei

lei on fanI got my lei today! At the registration desk in front of the J. F. Kennedy Theatre, where the conference on “Brecht in/and Asia” is about to begin. In contrast, I am still preparing my presentation—due on Saturday at 9 a.m.—, walking around the campus mumbling phrases like “…emblematic of what interests me about Sacheon-ga…”, “…albeit in rhythm with the gods’ chants…”, or “…pansori is epic theatre, not representational drama…” into my non-existant beard (respectability has its price!).

It was a bit weird wearing the lei—both an innofficial identification for newly arrived participants of the conference and a general stigma of tourists, although this trip is definitely more about work rather than vacation, at least till Saturday night. Still it feels like holidays, thus this naturally pink accessory is quite fitting.

In fact, walking around Honolulu (which I did on Monday, in desperate need of a return visa for Korea and a power adaptor for my computer) or just taking “The Bus”—which stops right across the “Joghurt Man”, as a lovely voice on the phone told me—is always an interesting experience. In contrast both to Berlin and Seoul I do not belong to either the white majority or the white minority here—which makes me a bit uneasy, but in a good way (see Judy L. Rohrer’s lenghty study on whiteness in Hawai’i). I have not seen the beaches of Waikiki yet, but until now—in addition to the All-American abundance of possible choices even for a small cup of frozen yoghurt—this is what makes this place really worthwhile.

Relaxed dress codes are a plus, too—in fact, gotta go now for the opening hula at Kennedy’s. Aloha!

— 19 May 2010 (水)

About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
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