I put down ‘The Good Earth‘ as a title without thinking, then realized that my unconscious was probably at work (Pearl Buck died this week). Another Chinese connection is that it was immigrant workers – first from China, then from Japan – who were drafted in to hack out the sugar & pineapple plantations, contributing to what today is Hawaii’s great Asian-flavoured ethnic mix (and some fabulous fusion food …)
It’s a funny landscape, Kaua’i’s. Knowing it was where Jurassic Park was filmed, I was ready for glories (like Waimea Canyon, below) to be everywhere. But most of it’s abandoned plantation-land, and pretty scrubby; overrun with wild pigs and chickens. The island was also very badly hit by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, and (or so the locals say) the vegetation is still recovering. Hmmm. Not sure I’m convinced on that one: the climate’s like the inside of a tumble-dryer with a load of wet towels in … anything that wouldn’t have re-grown by now probably wasn’t there to begin with.