Truly Virtual Web Art Museum
Rodney E.J. Chang
Victoria was a regular visitor to Uncle Clay's snack shop in Aina
Haina Shopping Center in East Honolulu. The
middle-age Asian woman sat chatting with Peter, another regular who enjoyed the
best shave ice on the island as declared in Yelp.com
Peter was a retired English teacher who now published local ghost
stories. Knowing this, Victoria
just had to convey a peculiar event that she had just experienced, even if it
was not a quite ghost story. That
was fine with Peter, as long as it had a connection to his broader interest of
The strangest string of events just happened to me the other week.
You know how sometimes when you dream it seems so real?
Well, I was having a dream where I found myself in a stranger's house.
The house was a Victorian, like the historical ones that still exist in
Kaimuki town, after all time since they were built way back in the 1920s and
30s. In the dream I saw the owner, a very old woman, sitting across me in a rocking chair.
What did she look like?
A witch, or at least an old hag.
Did she scare you?
No, but the dreamed seemed so real, even if it was one of those times
when you know you're dreaming, but want to get out of it, sensing something
really bad was about happen that would be terrifying.
So did you get yourself out of the dream before something bad
Yes, I was able to pinch myself and wake up.
That's it? No boogie man, no chasing, strangling, knife stabbing...
So why are you wasting my time talking about this dream?
Was there something special about it?
Of course. The elderly
woman told me she came from Chile and lived close to Quentin airport.
Never heard of this airport. Anyway,
so what? What about it? Peter
thought silently, When does it get at least a bit interesting?
I never met anyone from Chile since I arrived in Hawaii. I've never
been to South America, have no knowledge or interest in the country.
Well I figured Id check the Internet if such an airport exactly
existed. I mean it was a detail I
vividly remembered from the dream, so why not check?
Of course I expected it didnt exist.
But when I searched Quentin and Chile on the Web, boy was
I surprised that there is an airport by that name in that country!
Strange, I'll grant you that, said her friend, now with a face that
It gets even weirder. The
next day I met a couple in Waikiki who told me they were visiting.
Guess where from?
That is a coincidence, acknowledged Peter.
But wait, that wasn't all the Chile in my life at the moment.
What? Even more Chile?
Then I look at this free travel magazine on the street and there, on
the page that I randomly opened, is a full page color ad on Chile!
Wow, spooky! said her now absorbed listener.
What do you think brought all this Chile into your life?
Did you just have chili on rice at Zippy's? Get an upset stomach from it?
Or maybe ate too much hot red chili peppers recently?
No, I don't really care for chili or those burning red peppers.
Hmm, so you don't know how come that country kept coming up?
Could it be that it was some kind of sign that you haven't yet figured
out the meaning?
Like I said, I have no interest in the place and would never go there.
Anyway, things are back to normal. No
more of this Chile stuff for the past week and boy am I relieved.
Just after saying that, congenial Uncle Clay, who always made an effort
to introduce strangers to strangers that entered his snack shop, for the sake of
spreading the love of aloha in his House of Pure Aloha, called out loudly
Peter and Victoria. A middle-aged
couple, stood between Uncle Clay, behind the serving counter and the seated
Hey Peter and Victoria. I
want to introduce you to these fine people. They're the first of their country
to visit our humble house of pure aloha here in Hawaii.
Theyre tourists from Chile, of all places!