Monday, October 28, 2002

More things you MAY not have known about living Hawaii - PART 3 - (this is the one with Mr. T, so listen up)

21. There's one island called Niihau, that is owned by some rich ass family called the Robinsons, and it's like old Hawaii, they speak Hawaiian, people are only allowed there by invitation. NO HAOLES (whites) and they strictly kick it old school. It has served as a great place to guarantee the continuation of the Hawaiian language and as a mircrocosm for the old ways. Basically, you can't go there, unless you pull a james bond and scuba out, but don't forget your ovaltine dispenser, cuz there ain't no vending machines up in that beyatch.

22. first birthday parties. Back in the day, it was a big deal when the baby would make it to its first birthday, so they'd throw a huge party to signify that the kid was going to survive and grow up and all that good stuff. The tradition continues. Basically whenever a kid has a first birthday, the parents invites everyone they freakin know and have a huge HUGE party. I thought of it cuz I've never been to one before, and Mrs. P and I got invited to two on the same day next month. Maybe after I go to them I'll give you the inside scoops.

23. When they have dockworker strikes and shit like that, it's big news here. People go into panic mode and women are fighting over toilet paper and bags of rice at the grocery store. Think about it, we're on an island. If the docks are closed, we've gotta airship everything in.

24. Hawaii has a very unique attitude toward race. It is discussed fairly openly and jokes are made with little or no offense to anyone. Part of this comes from the laid back island attitude but mostly it is due to the plantation days in which people from many different countries were coming into hawaii to work the sugar fields. The culture is one that not only is interracial marriage accepted it is encouraged. There is a special word for interracial children: hapa. It's the whole idea of a melting pot and you actually see just as many interracial couples if not more than in-race couples, which seems to have lessened a lot of the typical tension regarding race common in most American communites. Local comedians can generally joke freely about the traits and stereotypes of the different races without fear of being called racist or a bigot. As long as you're local and know what you're talking about. For example, if you're Joe Wayne from Dallas, I wouldn't advise walking down the street and spitting out racial epithets, it wouldn't be cool, comprende? Don't want any black eyes on vacation and you saying, "well Alfred said it was no biggie…" It's all in good fun, and there's certain local words for different races that people use, too long of a story to go to deep into here. Ok, well it all started on a dark and stormy night in 1876, the first-mate was a mighty sailor man, the skipper brave and true…

25. Gasoline. We get FUCKED on gasoline. Current prices are between $ 1.79 - 2.00 per gallon. Supposedly it's because they have to ship it in from the mainland, but the oil companies have been accused more than once of price-fixing, but no lawyer's been able to nail them yet…

26. Luaus. Ok just about everyone knows what a luau is. Ya know, they roast a pig, you get wasted, hula girls dance and guys spit fire. Even though it's a touristy thing, it is derived from history, and it was a celebration and feast for royalty and other important dignitaries. They dig a big pit and layer it with ti leaves and roast the pig underground for like a whole day and then slice that shit up, which makes what they call Kalua pig, which is the fukn BOMB if it's cooked right. Other dishes served are rice, mac salad, lomi salmon, lau lau (pork covered in steamed seaweed), and fried chicken (somehow I don't think that was part of the OG style, but who knows). If you're on weight watchers you might want to avoid the luau.

27. Mormons. There are a SHITLOAD of mormons on Oahu and in Hawaii in general. The other BYU (Brigham Young University), besides the one in Salt Lake city, Utah, is in Laie, a small town on the windward coast of Oahu. The whole town of Laie is actually OWNED by the Mormons, lock stock and barrell. It's what the call a "dry" town, as in, don't try to buy alcohol there. You can always spot the mormons riding around the island on their bikes with their long pants and ties. They don't come to my door anymore, though, not since the "spaghetti incident."

28. Cock Fights. Any and all forms of gambling are illegal here. We don't even have a frikken lottery. So as in any other case when things are illegal, a strong and healthy black market springs up, and here the biggest gambling industry is underground cock fights. If you ever drive through the country parts of oahu and you see a big yard filled with little plastic sheds and chickens all over the fuckin place, let's just say you didn't bump into a hippie chicken sanctuary. You'll even see guys with t-shirts with a big old fukn rooster on it sometimes. Every once in a while someone will get killed at one of these cockfights, and the cops will talk tough for a couple weeks, but it's basically given a blind eye by the authorities. Hmmm, I don't think money or bribery could be involved do you?

29. Shave ice. Imagine the softest snow cone you ever had and then think, even softer and smoother, and that's a shave ice. They literally shave ice shavings off a big piece of ice, make a snow cone out of it, and pour flavoring all over it. The most famous shave ice places are in Haleiwa, up at North Shore, but we've got a pretty damn good shave ice truck right down the street from the Alf Mansion, which we are known to walk down too and kick back and stare at the ocean and think "lucky we live hawaii."

30. Hanai children. Many local families live all together under one roof. By this I mean, grandparents, cousins, aunties, uncles, and all their various children. Sometimes with these large amounts of children running all over the place, it will become easier for kids to go live with their aunties or uncles instead of their natural parents. Also, sometimes a kid will just go live with a friend of the family with their kids. A Hanai child is when you have a kid that you take care of and raise as your own, but it's not really your child, but that of someone you know. A pretty common local phenomenon.