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Leave Us Alone, Kiosk People!



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photo: courtesy thinkstock

In many ways, Ala Moana Center, you are better than ever, with one exception: pushy, fake-compliment-tossing, intrusive-question-asking kiosk people hawking Dead Sea salt scrubs, LED T-shirts, sarongs and who knows what. You know where else we get that kind of pushy sales treatment? International Marketplace in Waikiki. We don’t want you to be International Marketplace.

The thing is, kamaaina have a particularly hard time brushing off these folks. We don’t want to get suckered into a real-life infomercial anymore than anybody else, but we lack the urban psychic armor needed to do the brushoff without feeling guilty and put upon. After all, the kioskers seem so nice; smiling, complimenting our shoes or our hair or our jewelry, asking where we’re from. We know these are not genuinely friendly overtures, but it still takes considerable effort for us to walk by. Then we resent being put in the position of having to be rude just to do what we wanted to do in the first place: go about our business, enriching your businesses, in peace.

Ala Moana, we love you. Why are you trying to make us feel bad? Tone down the kiosk people.

 

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Honolulu Magazine September 2017
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