I am fortunate that my travels take me this month to Hawaii. Its a beautiful place, particularly when its 40 degrees in LA.

I’m here visiting a local parking equipment dealer and speaking at a seminar he is mounting to promote his company and parking equipment. Its a great idea. The dealer has reps from the companies he sells on board and has invited customers and potential customers.  Lots of fun and a chance to see old friends and make new ones.

A couple of observations

1. Japanese tourists are everywhere. In this hotel, they first announced that the fire drill was just that, a drill, in Japanese BEFORE they announced it in English. Makes some sense as 75% of the folks here are from Japan. Why? The come, I’m told, to shop. Everything from perfume to watches is half the price here that it is in Japan. Better prices and a favorable exchange rate makes for and attractive place to visit, plus it takes half as long to get to Hawaii from Japan than to the West Coast.

2. Screen savers. I have seen screen savers in offices all over the world. In the northeast US, for instance, they usually depict tropical settings in the Caribbean. Must be a way to remind those in the frozen north that there is at least some place on earth that is warm. I have seen two screen savers here, and both show scenes of snow covered forests. Interesting, yes?

3. One of the technicians I met today told me that he had never seen snow. He had lived in Honolulu all his life.

4. For those that haven’t visited our 50th state in a while, you probably won’t recognize it. The population of Oahu has nearly doubled in the past 15 years and I’m told these aren’t part timers. They are people who come to live and work here. The place is booming. There are cranes building high rise condos everywhere, and they aren’t cheap.

Gotta go back to work — more later


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John Van Horn

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