Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Different in Hawaii-Part 1

Some things that are taking me awhile to get used to, or that I find different or funny.

Hawaii loves SPAM! It's everywhere. They have a festival every year to celebrate it. You can buy it at Burger King. The local souvenir section at Target has a ton of SPAM themed items. They are also crazy about Macaroni salad! And mayonnaise! I probably don't need to tell you that the native Polynesians are a, uh...hefty group of people. :o)

The roads/highways here. First, the speed limit is so much slower than I'm used to! The main, 3-4 lane divided roads are only 35 MPH! What?! Is this how they attempt to make it feel like the island is bigger than it is? You feel like you are driving further if it takes you longer to get there? The "interstate" speed limit is 45-50 mph. And yes, it is called an interstate. Even though it doesn't connect any states. Hawaii had to do that in order to get federal funding for the roads.

Second, the condition of the roads.
I am spoiled by driving on Texas roads so much maybe, but these roads are rough! Potholes and cracks and bumps everywhere!

Third, the narrowness of the roads and the lack of big cars!
In Texas our Expedition was one of thousands. Big cars and trucks were very much the normal thing to drive. Here, there are lots of Mini Coopers and small cars. I am definitely in the minority in my big car. Parking is a lot harder in my big car and narrow spaces. It usually takes me at least 2 tries to get it parked ok.

The traffic.
It's terrible at rush hour! It can take you 30 minutes to go 5 miles. However, being from Texas, I am used to driving 30 minutes to get a lot of places I'm going. So it doesn't feel too bad to me yet. I just don't think about how far I have (or haven't) traveled.

The drivers.
Are NICE! ha ha Very laid back and if you need over in the crazy traffic, it's not hard to do! Someone will always let you in. I definitely like that! I have never heard people honking at each other or getting mad in traffic. The Aloha spirit is very much evident here.

The language here. Yes, it's English...but the Hawaiian alphabet only has 12 letters. Some of the vowels make different sounds than in our alphabet. There are only so many words that you can make with 12 letters, so some of the words get very long and strange!! I think that they are just made out of random letters because they are running out of ideas. Tony and I got so cracked up listening to a couple of our movers talking. It was English, but we couldn't understand what they were saying! The islanders have a way of talking and words that they use that really do make it sound like a foreign language.

The scenery. I am not used to flowers growing beside the highways and everywhere! It's beautiful and makes it smell good! The mountains are breathtaking as well.

The customer service. Is terrible!!(mostly talking about fast food restaurants) There isn't much service with a smile here. No one gets in a hurry to help you either. Laid back is good, but sometimes it would be nice if you could do some things quickly! I think that's why there are no Chick-Fil-A restaurants here. They couldn't find enough people that would be friendly enough to work there! ha ha.

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