By Mary Young

ONLY IN PARADISE

Iíve lived on Oahu for five years, so I like to think Iím becoming a kama`aina. But even though I feel completely at home, Iím constantly reminded of the uniqueness of life on these islands. It goes beyond palm trees and rainbows, flower leis and aloha. Sometimes itís the little day-to-day experiences that probably would only happen in Hawaii. Here are a few Iíve noticed recently.

Sitting in the dentistís chair: My dentist and his assistant have a spirited conversation comparing their recipes for macaroni-potato salad.

At a fancy cocktail party: Iím the only guest who shows up in a ďlittle black dress.Ē

After a concert: An audience member pauses to say goodnight to the Hawaiian monk seals.

In the back yard: My potted hibiscus plant blooms and blooms and blooms.

At the Saturday farmerís market in Mililani: Navigating the parking lot during the first half-hour after the horn blasts is downright dangerous.

In the media: A local newspaper heralds the coming of spring with a detailed feature on how to keep rats out of the house.

At the supermarket: I can almost never find Italian parsley.

At the supermarket: I can almost always find Chinese parsley.

In the country: The smell of pineapple often fills the air.

In the media: A miniature frog is big news.

At a party: Wearing a ten-dollar dress you found at Ross gives you bragging rights.

At the office: Someone leaves a paper bag of perfectly ripe mangoes on your desk.

At a Hawaiian music show: Someone from the audience gets up to perform a hula.

On the trails: You can see people hiking in ďslippahs.Ē

And best of all, almost everywhere: Strangers smile at you

Mary Young is Associate Editor of the Oahu Island News.