The Spirit of Aloha

“So what’s so important that you have to yell?” the platform director asked, looking up at the flustered man.

The Asian-looking man, who stood a half foot taller than the gentleman dressed in his perfectly pressed blue suit and cap, stopped short. Blinked. Regained himself, as if he’d been living in another world for a blurry moment.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, “I didn’t mean to yell at you. I was yelling at the whole situation. The last train got held up, and now I’ve missed my connection to York.”

“All you have to do is ask for help,” said the gentleman. “No need to get all worked up about it.” He smiled and patted the taller man on the shoulder.

The man nodded. “Yes, yes, I’m very sorry. Can you help me?”

“Of course,” said the gentleman in blue. “Now you just hop on the #7. It’ll be here in about 10 minutes. It’s a local, so won’t be the straight shot the #5 would have been. You’ll transfer to the #2 at Sheffield. That’ll take you right into York.”

“Thank you for your help,” the man said. “And again, I’m so sorry for yelling.”

“No problem, sir. That’s all sorted easy enough.” The man in blue smiled.

The man from Hawai’i watched him walk away, wished he hadn’t behaved so poorly. The “Ugly American.” It was a stereotype the man tried consciously, even desperately in the most trying situations, to avoid every time he traveled abroad. He wished, always, to comport himself in the spirit of his home. The spirit aloha. This time he’d failed. A rare occurrence, but terrible nonetheless. And for no good reason at all, as the kind gentleman in blue had pointed out, in the British spirit of aloha.

Talk story

Leave one comment for The Spirit of Aloha

This website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to its use of cookies.