ALOHA! We are coming up on a year of living on Maui. It seemed an appropriate time to take a look back at the most obvious lessons learned. I hope you enjoy!
- “Aloha” really is a greeting practiced on an everyday basis. “Hello” seems to be acceptable too; although, if I ever say “good-bye” and it is reciprocated with “Aloha” I always feel like I need to say “Aloha” too. (Aloha means hello and good-bye and so much more.)
- No one wears flip-flops here. They are called slippers or “slippahs”.
- There is a difference between summer and winter. Summer is considered the dry season and winter the rainy season. More than once, the thermometer dropped down to the low 50’s this past winter. This only happened a few times and never lasted all day. These days reminded me of most snow days in Texas…except “slippahs” were still ok to wear.
- Local radio stations are a hoot with personable and entertaining local DJ’s. They may break in to a lecture meant for one of their family members while on the air. Some days the top news may be that a neighbor lost or found a dog. The dog will usually be a pit bull mix or a Chihuahua mix. KPOA being my favorite station, Google it and listen in for a while. They have a way of putting everything into perspective very quickly.
- The population of Maui is around 40,000. Even though there are over a dozen “towns” on the island, the coconut telegraph is hard at work. The island definitely has a small town feel and everyone knows everyone or has a cousin, brother, auntie or daughter who knows the same people.
- Speaking of coconut telegraph…I have yet to hear a Jimmy Buffett song on the radio. Oddly enough, considering about 4 years ago the CD player in my car was always full of nothing but Jimmy Buffett CD’s…I don’t miss it.
- Visiting the local Costco is a chore. It is normally packed with people to the point that gridlock occurs. Locals and visitors alike all must endure it. Even Mitt Romney was spotted at Costco this past holiday season. After much trial and error, I have learned that there IS a less busy and more enjoyable time to go. Sorry…I won’t be posting the details here.
- I am a minority in Hawaii. I learned (before I moved here) that respect of the various cultures, the land/sea and the people goes a long way to fitting in and being accepted here. The older I get, the less inclined I feel to make my OWN point of view known. My “filter” is stronger now and not much gets through it anymore. (For those of you who have known me for many years, pick your jaw up off the ground.) I don’t think the younger me from even 10 years ago could have survived here. Everything happens in due time, right? I love learning about the different cultures and traditions from my co-workers and other acquaintances. I find it absolutely fascinating!
- Hearing locals speaking pidgin makes me smile. Hearing haoles (white people/foreigners) speaking pidgin is uhmm…a little creepy.
- Two destinations from the mainland that I miss – EPCOT Center and Taco Villa. While living in Florida, we had season passes to Disney World since it was only an hour from home. I loved EPCOT because it seemed like a safe and quick way to see and experience the entire world. (Yes, I realize it’s not reallllly the same.) Taco Villa…well, I emailed them once and asked if they would ship me several combination burritos…they never responded. Surely I’m not the first person to request this! At this point, I would settle for just the little containers of hot sauce.
- Because the homes and specifically the windows are made for letting the trade winds blow through, any light indoors that is left on after dark will have a nice sprinkling of dead gnats around it the next morning.
- There is no need for scented candles or room diffusers, the trade winds will blow the scent of plumeria in everyday.
- It is important to look out the window and say “Good Morning Hawaii!” to start every day. …Every. Day.
- For the first time in my life, I don’t long to be somewhere else. I never realized how much mental/emotional energy I exerted over the last forty some-odd years on always wanting to be here. I will admit, I didn’t know where “here” was exactly, just that it was warm, tropical, welcoming and magical. I am home.
Mahalo for stopping by!
Texas Girl Finds Aloha
P.S. This post is dedicated to my daddy for his upcoming birthday. Hau`oli Lā Hānau!