Wednesday, October 02, 2002

10 more things you may not have known about living hawaii (pt. 2 of 5?)

11. you have to hold your frikken gas pump while you're filling your tank because they made those little thingies that keep the trigger down illegal years ago. Apparently some moron left it on and flooded out a gas station or some such nonsense. If you're really clever you can wedge like a twig in there or something, but I'm not, so I hold the gas pump, look at the beautiful scenery, and curse out my congressperson under my breath. Oh yeah and the gas is expensive as hell, they're trying to litigate the gas companies for price-fixing but they're sneaky bastards with good attorneys.

12. We never change our time. Half the year we're 3 hours behind cali, and half the year we're 2 hours behind.

13. The democratic party has a strangle-hold on local politics. They are so entrenched that the progressive beuracratic layers have produced one of the most corrupt state governments in the country, which screws the taxpayers out of millions of dollars a year in bribes, kickbacks, and other schemes. For more on THAT story and other cool stuff about hawaii that the mainstream newspapers won't tell you go here.

14. There really are geckos (little local lizards) everywhere. They crawl on your walls and kill bugs. They're my friends.

15. The only division 1-A football team, the University of Hawaii Warriors, used to be called the Rainbow Warriors, but some marketing department determined that they should no longer be referred to as Rainbows, because there was some kind of gay connotation to it. (seriously)

16. The west side of each island is called the leeward side. The east side is called the windward side. This is because the trade winds blow east to west, keeping a steady breeze and more rainfall on the east side. More rain because the clouds get held up by the big mountains in the center of the islands. This phenomenon allows for drastically different weather on different parts of the island at any given time. And no I'm not a meteorologist so that explanation is probably all fucked up.

17. When you're in Honolulu, you don't give or take directions in terms of north, south, east, and west. You refer to Ewa, Diamond Head, Mauka, and makai. Mauka means mountains and makai means ocean. Ewa refers to Ewa beach which is north of Honolulu on the Leeward coast, and Diamond Head refers to the large dormant volcano crater which is the scenic view from Waikiki Beach (see picture above).

18. For surfers: South swell (town) during the summer, north shore kicks up during the winter. North Shore is where the huge waves come in. Pretty big waves come into Makaha wrapping from the north shore break during this time too. Ok now all you surfer people can tell me that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but I think that's about right. The summer swell in town can kick up some big waves from time to time too.

19. Honolulu is the home of the only existing (and only ever, I think) royal palace in the United States. Iolani Palace - former center of the Hawaiian Monarchy. (see below) They give tours. Like many other locals probably, I have never even been there. I know, I'm a pile. I've driven by it though, and it's pretty cool looking. Very, um, regal.

20. In the seafood department of all the grocery stores you can buy "poke" which is diced up cuts of raw fish. Ahi (tuna), tako (squid) and other good stuff marinated in shoyu sauce, limu sauce, and other stuff I know hardly anything about but consume nonetheless. It's one of many locally distinct "pupus" (appetizers).