This was from a recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey…Picture taken from a yacht while cursing the Bosphorus.
The Sounds of Hawaii
I hear a roar – I hear a thundery roar. Alas! It must be the rising surf.
I hear a moo – I hear a wailing moo. Alas! It must be the paining calf.
I hear a quack – I hear a lulling quack. Oh, it must be the learning lad.
I hear a sniff – I hear a sorry sniff. Oh, it must be another day with the board.
Specks of sand, clicks of glass and the warmth of wintry sun.
Schools of fish, slicks of wish and the wealth of island fun.
Rows of boats, docks of oars and the smell of promising tan.
Burrows of castles, flocks of children, bring out a sound, only Hawaii can.
- Like everyone warned us, the big island is really an expensive place – especially the Kona side which also happens to be the drier side.
- Why are rental cars so damn expensive? I can’t understand the rationale. Even though we minimized our overall rental car usage to just 4 days, we still spent close to what I would normally spend for two and a half weeks for a similar size car in Michigan.
- But boy am I glad that I rented a car for those 4 days! We experienced the big island possibly the best way one should, sparring the fact that we couldn’t drive up to Mauna Kea.
- One thing that is sort of disheartening in the island is the the difficulties associated with finding a fresh fruit stall or a vegetable stall despite the obvious fact that the island is a tropical paradise for so many flora, that I, coming from the Indian subcontinent would so cravingly relish upon. Only during our drive, did we run into some fruit stalls. Also interestingly these farmers who put up these stalls really seem to do it almost to get rid off the excess (after selling them to their wholesale purchasers) – we did run into a few which were unmanned and were run on a honor system, which speaks volumes for the island culture in general.
- The big Island as we learned has 11 out of the 13 climate zones. True. As the joke goes, one could ski from the top of Mauna Kea all the way to the ocean and swim in an 80 deg weather.
- The Hilo side of the island is much cooler and the time we spent (almost 60 odd hours) was all wet.
- We met several ‘immigrants’ – Those who migrated from the main land to the islands. But for the strange reason (which I myself can’t seem to fully come to grips with) that Hawaii is 5 hours behind the Eastern Time Zone (or 6 during Spring and Summer), I have every reason to be part of that group one of these days. Go figure!
- My own intellectual evolution in the past 5 years may be a reason why I look at certain things more curiously and try to analyze things beyond the surface, than probably most visitors would. As an example, I traveled out of the islands, with a painful fact pricking me, as I can’t seem to ignore how the Christian missionaries had managed to wipe out the entire history of religious culture and tradition, that the native Polynesians once had – all without a single page in the history books critically blaming them for ‘oppression’. (On second thoughts, I would prefer using a much stronger word than just calling it ‘oppression’ but I am not doing that in this post).
This is my second visit to Hawaii, the last one being 13 years ago.
- It is ridonkulosuly expensive to visit to Hawaii. I don’t remember how it was in 2000. But I know now that a family of four can’t expect to spend less than $60 for a very ordinary (and sometimes even fast-food) meal, leave alone it being all healthy. So the best bet is to mix up eating out with making your own meal when possible (quick sandwiches, readymade sushis which are abundantly available across grocery stores – yes including vegetarian sushis)
- In Honolulu, ABC stores are dozen a block. Well. Not literally but it is amazing how a single chain could take over the busiest Waikiki area. Talk about fair competition.
- It is impossible to shop for anything locally made (authentic) in busy touristy areas. All we ran into in Honolulu was another Macy’s and another Nordstrom. Well played Corporate America! NOT.
- I don’t know how long it will last but the food is something that is very uniquely local – in the sense that the kind of fusion food you get in Hawaii can only be found in Hawaii. Not saying that genuine Polynesian cuisine is available freely but it is an eclectic mix of everything local and many asian cuisines.
- Talking about Asian cuisines, Japanese is everywhere. In language spoken (including flight announcements and tourist signs), food, your fellow passenger on a local bus and even on TV.
- In spite of all the negatives, Honolulu (or Oahu for that matter), would be the ideal choice for someone moving from a city in Mainland USA to live here in Hawaii because, it still offers everything a US big city life would offer (with some premium) while ensuring what you moved to Hawaii for is not all that far off (weather, clean beaches and the hang-loose attitude).