The sand! The sun! The beaches! The moustaches!
Hawaii is like the scene of a 1980s cop show. It is like a 3D postcard. Full of tourists, trinkets, taxi drivers who try to rip you off, and tacky memorabilia (bobble head Obama in Hawaiian shirt, anyone?).
It is really a place where you go to get away from it all. It’s like living in a theme park, where there is this pretend kind of world you inhabit and live in as long as the money lasts.
And escapism has a lot going for it, not just in Hawaii, which could be taken idown by a large tsunami, perilously positioned as it is in the Pacific Ocean.
But escapism has a lot going for it for the country of America too: paralysed by toxic partisanship in Washington, where it failed recently to toughen gun legislation; constrained by a stuttering economic climate; and, perhaps outside parts of California, minus the palm trees and the place in the sun.
It is almost as if Americans long to hear the cry from this island paradise ‘wish you were here.’