Maui attracts quite a lot of European visitors, especially in the latter part of the summer when people in France and Italy and some of the other countries traditionally take their vacations.
The other night my wife and I were at an informal party hosted by an Italian couple we’ve known for the past dozen years. Both husband and wife are avid windsurfers and they make the long trip here from Milan every year because of the ideal wind and wave conditions Maui offers. They are worldly, intelligent, all-'round delightful people.
At any rate, four or five other Italian couples were also at the party, which was loud and animated and fun. There was plenty of good food and lots of wine, and the conversations were interesting and hilarious and serious. Sometimes all at the same time.
For instance, at one point a local Maui resident said, “I feel uncomfortable, as an American, traveling in Europe.”
“But why?” exclaimed one of the Italians.
“Well, nobody likes Americans these days. And I’m embarrassed because our president is a clown.”
“Pfff,” said the Italian, with a dismissive wave of his hand, “Don’t worry, our president is also a clown.”
(Big laugh from the rest of the Italians.)
“Of course,” he added quietly, “your clown is dangerous.”