WORST THINGS ABOUT LIVING IN HAWAII
Thanks for the list request @evak! I absolutely LOVE Hawaii, so much so that I bought a home here and eventually would like to retire here. But, I was born and raised in the shadows of the WTC, so living the aloha life does pose some challenges. Not to sound like an ingrate for how lucky I am, but here are the worst things about Hawaii:
- •Sun guiltThis is REAL. It is defined as the guilt you feel for not being outdoors because it's such a beautiful day (so like literally almost every day). I blame this on growing up in the NYC metro area, where you have at least 6 months of cloudy weather per year. I miss being able to curl up with a good book on a cloudy, rainy day, but when it does happen, I love it!
- •Jellyfish stingsI got stung by a box jellyfish last weekend. I'm surprised it's taken almost 4 years for this to happen to me. It was the worst thing I have ever felt. I got my 10,000 steps for the day by pacing around like a crazy person after it happened because I couldn't sit still.
- •Moldy clothesLast week I opened my closet to find my new Cole Haan suede boots and my favorite cardigan covered in splotchy blue mold. 😢 Thanks, humidity.
- •SandLet me preface this by saying I love the beach, and I love sand -- at the beach. So I realize this may not make a whole lot of sense, but that stuff gets everywhere. Every single one of my purses is filled with sand. It is in the air. I find sand on my floors when I sweep/Roomba even though no one has gone to the beach in weeks. And I'm kind of a clean freak so ...
- •Lack of food options.Growing up in Jersey City/NYC, I didn't realize just how spoiled rotten I was. Hawaii is ethnically diverse from a mostly Asian standpoint. So that is more than covered when it comes to food options. All the other ethnic food just doesn't stand up to what other cities with 1 million+ people have to offer (I see you NYC, SF, and LA).
- •Bugs in your carbsWhen I first moved to the island and stocked up on pantry staples, I didn't realize I needed to keep everything in airtight containers. I never had to in NJ. Well, I got a rude awakening the next week when I found bugs (weevils) in my flour, cereal, crackers, and rice. Not what you want to see when you pour your cereal in the AM. I threw it all out (wasted $ and food!) & I have singlehandedly kept Oxo in business ever since.
- •The traffic/driving.I think I adapted and I'm gonna get destroyed when I move to NY this summer. The max speed limit is like 60 for 1 mile on one of the major roads here. Every slow ass mofo is in the left lane and people drive side by side on all the two lane "freeways" here, effectively blocking you like in a game of fucking Parcheesi. It drives me absolutely insane. It's normal to drive 5-10mph under the limit. I have chilled out a little and learned not to honk or change lanes excessively. Now I blast music.
- •Traffic (part 2)I'm convinced if people learned to drive a little more aggressively (effectively?), Honolulu wouldn't be ranked anywhere near their current place as one of the cities with the worst traffic in the nation.
- •Not enough of the arts.Again, I'm spoiled. My frame of reference is NYC. Hawaii rarely attracts top acts for concert and other live arts programs. This is because the venues are subpar compared to cities w/ similar population size on the mainland and lack of interest. Shows simply don't sell out enough for the investment to ship an act and all their gear out here to be worth it. Most performers who do come either have a connection to the state or are a little washed up. But it's getting better!
- •No fall colorsNo leaves to change colors. No crisp breeze. Trick or treaters have a harder time picking out costumes because it's still pretty hot in October... None of that beautiful fall atmosphere. I miss this the most.
- •The holiday season is weirdNo snow, window displays, or elaborately decorated house for that matter. Everything in Hawaii is more chill, including the holidays. What I would give to drink a peppermint mocha while wearing a pair of gloves, being able to see my own breath, throwing a snowball at my husband, and being able to cruise around the neighborhoods known for their insane light displays (for 1 day). The city DOES try, though (pic). Yup, that's Santa and Mrs. Clause with rolled up pants and he's throwing a Shaka.
- •It's expensive as hell.We are literally in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Everything has to be shipped in. This is not a sustainable island at all! Milk is $10 a gallon. Buying a home? $700,000 will get you a rundown shack in a mediocre part of town with hardly any land. Gas is - I don't even look at the price anymore. Visiting home is fun because everything seems dirt cheap.
- •Your suggestions for this list?
- •The place is much more conducive to fun in the sun than it is to intellectual rigor. Of course, all things are what you make of them—but growing up there I was conditioned to believe I needed to seek truly excellent academic conditions elsewhere. This can change, but only if we take responsibility for enacting that change and limiting brain drain.
- •Watching the insane pace of development—and seeing pristine, untouched land being paved over for outlet malls or condos. SIGH. Cue Joni Mitchell.
- •Race and land ownership politics and colonialism are real. Racism is real and alive and complex in Hawaii. I don't know if I'd say it's one of the worst things about living there, but it certainly affected my childhood.
- •I would feel wrong if I ended this list (since I try really hard to be positive - I realize this may not be apparent from my lists) without listing some of the wonderful things about Hawaii. So here goes:I learned to chill out. Nothing is THAT big of a deal here. Sometimes it's okay to not be in a hurry. People walk slowly (I am an unwilling participant), so it has forced me to notice the beauty around me more. There are more nice people per capita here than anywhere in the world (it's a real life version of the List App). The hiking is incredible. I see a rainbow almost daily. Oh, and you can't beat this for a backyard (pic). This place has made me soft; I'm so screwed when I move back to NY.