Bubba Meets Hawaii

I know it is a cliché, but at times I feel like Alice when she fell down into the rabbit hole. Or maybe it is more like "Encino Man" in reverse. Anyway, back in May I got a phone call that changed just about everything for me and my family. I was offered a job in Hawaii. After some negotiations, ruminations, and celebrations, we finally made it to Hawaii in late June.

This blog is about all of the fun, problems, and humorous situations I and my family have had and will yet have getting used to a new culture and new place. I also hope to offer potential visitors to Hawaii from the Augusta area some tips on how to make their visit more enjoyable and how to avoid some common pitfalls.

If you need a mental image, close your eyes and try to imagine one of the members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour trying to fit-in in Hawaii and you will have some idea what it has been like for me. Not one of the dirty ones, one of the other two, you know, the mostly family-friendly ones. Anyway, I eventually got tired of trying to hide my accent and just decided to have fun with it. Now I say “Aloha Y'all” to everyone and they seem to enjoy it though my kids roll their eyes and say "Dad, please, you are EMBARRASSING us," and of course, being the sensitive and loving father that I am, I just keep doing it anyway and that is also why I named this blog “Aloha Y’all”. Ok, kids, there’s your cue. All together now, start the eye roll.

I will begin with a short glossary of terms and some lists that you might find useful if you are considering a visit or move to Hawaii.

Glossary:

  • Aloha – uh-LOW-hah - Hello, goodbye, love, and more. It is the Swiss army knife of Hawaiian words. When in doubt, just say aloha, unless it is a Tahitian mahu smiling at you. More on that later.
  • Mahalo – muh-HAH-low - Thank You
  • Mahalo nui loa – muh-HAH-low NEW-ee LOW-uh - Thank you very much
  • Wahine – wah-HEE-nayh - Female, woman, girl, broad, dame, you get the picture
  • Kane – KAH-nayh - Male, man, boy, oaf, idiot (the same as everywhere)
  • O’hana – oh-HAH-nuh - Family
  • Hale – HAH-layh - House, building
  • Haoli – HOW-lee – Stranger, non-Hawaiian, non-islander, not a native, white, black, Latino, anybody who likes grits and sausage for breakfast instead of rice and Spam. It is like a Monty Python skit over here at breakfast with the ubiquitous Spam.

Now for the bad news…
The top 10 reasons NOT to move to Hawaii

10. Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, fires, tornados, floods and hurricanes… “Nuff said”.

9. The roads/traffic: Low speed limits, bad or non-existent signs, crater sized potholes, uneven pavement, congestion and drivers that can make you nostalgic about Atlanta traffic.

8. Food and Drink: No Krispy Kreme, Sweet tea, good barbecue, Chick-Fil-A, or Zaxby’s. You can find some of these or a semblance of them… for a price and if you know where to look. I will tell you later.

7. College Football: Instead of Dawgs, Yellow Jackets, Gamecocks, and Tigers, you see Trojans, Rainbow Warriors (Stop snickering), Ducks, and other non-SEC, non-ACC, non-good teams. I also have a workaround for this I will share later. 

6. The six hour time difference: College football at 6 AM, Calls from friends at 4 AM that inevitably end with “I am so sorry. I forgot about the time difference.”

5. The laws: If a bad guy breaks in, give him everything and do whatever he asks because if you defend yourself and the poor little burglar gets hurt YOU will be prosecuted.

4. Drugs: While you enjoy the beautiful scenery at a park, go ahead and call the police because your windows will be smashed by addicts looking for something to sell quickly.

3. Parking: Parking spaces are TINY here and there are not enough of them, so either get a small car, lose weight, make sure you have a sunroof or carry a can opener and/or petroleum jelly.

2. Housing costs: 700 square foot shacks cost $400,000, something like you are probably used to? More like a cool million plus.

1.  The culture differences: For good or for bad; this ain’t The South, Bubba. Get with the program or forever be the hated haoli.

Some of the experiences that led to me adding things to this list are enough for an entire short story and I will elaborate on some of these in future blog entries.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments and I will try to either answer them there or in a future blog entry if I think they will be useful for other people.

If you want to come and stay for free, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that there are a whole lot of homeless people living in tents in the parks and you are welcome to join them if you like. The bad news is that you can’t stay with me. Even if I wanted to invite you it seems I am already running a bed & breakfast for family and old friends from back home and there are no vacancies for the foreseeable future. So, once my fourth cousin, twice removed, and his family of 5 plus the dog go home, give us a call and see how we feel about some more house guests... Hmmm, maybe I should add that to the list.

Next time, I will share the top 10 reasons you SHOULD move to Hawaii or at least visit.

Until then...

Mahalo and Aloha Ya’ll!

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Connor Threlkeld
957
Points
Connor Threlkeld 09/27/07 - 09:33 am
0
0
Great blog, the

Great blog, the Augusta-Hawaii move has to be a bizarre transition. I have friends from Texas that just made the move, they love it. Except for the family coming out of the woodwork...

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 09/28/07 - 07:49 am
0
0
Years ago I was offered a

Years ago I was offered a job in Hawaii. A good friend who had lived there for years talked me out of it claiming a disease called "Rockitis" will get you. There is no known cure for Rockitis and it will eventually drive you nuts.

jbarrychristian
13
Points
jbarrychristian 09/28/07 - 12:07 pm
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Thanks for your comment.I

Thanks for your comment.

I was told the same thing by some friends, but I decided to try it  myself because other people told me they loved it. Plus, since the population in Hawaii is growing faster than the birth rate despite the high cost of living (especially housing) it must not be too bad.

I may yet fall to "rockitis", but I think this mostly affects people who do not like planes or boats since you can fly or take a boat really cheap between the islands as we have already done and plan t do often. Example: Round trip including rental car on Go Airlines this week is $89.

As a trivia point, I noticed that the island of Oahu (where I and 80% of the state live) is approximately the same size as the C.S.R.A. and I know people who have never left the C.S.R.A.

jbarrychristian
13
Points
jbarrychristian 09/28/07 - 02:04 pm
0
0
Thanks for your nice

Thanks for your nice comment. We are adjusting slowly.

Da Voice Inside Your Head
7
Points
Da Voice Inside Your Head 09/29/07 - 09:20 am
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I spent a decade there in 14

I spent a decade there in 14 months in the 70's. I was stationed at Schofield Barracks. I really hated it. I did not want to be there, I was single and wanted to go home to the land of Sweet Tea and the South Georgia Air Force (gnats). It's a nice place to visit as long as you have money and know it will be over soon. In its defense there were lots of women and they changed about every two weeks as the tours recycled. I think if I had been married I would have enjoyed it more. I also became addicted to the terriayke burgers at the A&W in Pearl City.

jbarrychristian
13
Points
jbarrychristian 10/01/07 - 01:20 pm
0
0
Thanks for the comment.I

Thanks for the comment.

I have been meaning to try the teryaki burgers. I will now for sure.

tadeav
0
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tadeav 10/28/07 - 10:00 pm
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Love your view on things. We

Love your view on things. We are moving to Oahu in January and while I have visited often over the last nine years I am looking forward to trying it full time. I am very curious about the switch box you mentioned to catch the ACC games. Can you give me more details? My brother lives there and we will be staying with him to start. He has the Roadrunner cable box presently. We are looking forward to your next entry. Aloha

Malulani
0
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Malulani 03/24/08 - 06:05 pm
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0
Your ignorance and

Your ignorance and incapacity has rendered me completely speechless. And the amount of people that follow your BS is stunning. As many of us like to say, "Welcome to Hawai'i - Now GO HOME" "Aloha ya'll"???? ~ not only is this disrespectful to our language, but our culture and everything else Hawaiian. Obviously you spent your vacation with a bunch of other white people at some ritzy resort, obtaining NO form of real local culture on your trip. The number one reason you should have told your friends NOT to move here is because WE DON'T WANT YOU HERE!! UA MAU KE EA O KA AINA I KA PONO

eleigh2008
0
Points
eleigh2008 05/09/08 - 11:04 am
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0
Please, Please, Please tell

Please, Please, Please tell me more! I am seriously considering moving to Hawaii from Oklahoma and would love any suggestions!

katesaber
0
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katesaber 03/30/09 - 11:30 am
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0
Your hatred for people you

Your hatred for people you don't even know has rendered me speechless... but only because I'm crying from laughing so hard. Thanks for this highly amusing post in which you pretend to know this person and their experiences on the island. It's kind of sad that not all people in Hawai'i are like this, but I'm sure I can forgive my friends on O'ahu for not being the same haole hating person you seem to be. Aloha!

ceejay2005
0
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ceejay2005 05/11/09 - 02:35 am
0
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Great experience, many photo

Great experience, many photo ops. Bring your own camera and make sure you can take 200 photos at least. Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a great place to learn about other cultures of the Pacific. It is a long day, be sure to rest, and drink water. There are drinks and ice cream and snacks available inside. The admission is high, and I don't recommend the VIP, seating everywhere is very good for the evening show. The luau is an all you can eat buffet, but it is separate from the show. I like the McDonald's option to cut the cost because for the types of food, you would do better at the Old Lahaina Luau.

Still, you will see a wonderful exhibit of many cultures. Great quality, well worth your time. Rent a car, not the tourist busses I think it is cheaper, and you will probably get back to your hotel faster, and save money.

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