With earth day on the way I thought it might be a good time to talk about a spiritual rivalry being played out in the Sustainability Courtyard of the UH Manoa campus. You know the place...right behind the geodesic dome!
It started with Ono Pono, which means something like "Tasty Righteousness". Run and staffed by hippies of a high order. These guys are professionals. Backpacks, wooden flutes, inspirational sayings, sometimes juggling, lots of scarves and good wholesome food. What are they lacking besides shampoo? Customer service. While the line grows long with the patrons who bring their own bowls and spoons, they hug customers and friends who drop by just back from Nepal, thus completely stopping any deliverance of food. In my defense of hating on the hippies let me just say that I support their individuality and I go there often to eat...but that is all.I do not want to be touched by the counter staff or have a meaningful conversation with a stranger or to read the words "a smile is a frown turned upside down". I want dal and rice with grilled vegetables in my own bowl for $3.50. On the up side, picture the Physics professors staring at their shoes trying to figure out what to make of the scarf-happy voluptuous blonde behind the counter telling him to have a righteously great day. So there is that.
In the other corner is the newly opened Govinda's. I should have known last week but these kids are directly associated with the Hare Krishna temple in town. They are fast, give a whopping pile of food (2 day's worth for me) have yummy halvah and it's ‘karma free'. And cheaper. And faster. Tell me this is not some kind of bizarre spiritual arm wrestling match.
Well, I might be back on the Ono Pono line because today I inadvertently insulted the krishnas. I wear some nice beads that were given to me by a krishna girl many years ago. I was informed today, after I said "no I don't go to the temple", that usually only devotees wear the beads. Long uncomfortable silence. After that no one would look me in the eye. Perhaps I have some bad karma? Anyway, they couldn't get rid of me fast enough.
I'm interested to see who will win in this Battle of the Spiritual Stars even though it seems kind of strange for them to be battling it out via capitalism. I'd rather see a straight ahead match-up in the geodesic dome.