Live in Hawaii?

Nov 19th, 2003, 07:08 PM
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Actually, we get 60-80 bank robberies a year and most don't get caught. Saw that on some news show.
islandmom is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 07:12 PM
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I should clarify the Asian difference I've noticed. It's a much more private and reserved culture than I'm used to. They are slow to accept you into their circle or open up to you. And not the kind of people to speak up about things. And the food and traditions are different. If you look Asian yet come from a mainland background, people will probably be kinder at first yet your adjustment to their traditions would be the same.
islandmom is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 09:06 PM
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My husband was transferred from the mainland to Kauai about 6 years ago, so we didnt really choose to live here. We have been very lucky because my husband's job is fairly high profileand we met a lot of people right off the bat. But solid jobs are scarce; I know many people here who are scrambling to make ends meet while working several menial jobs.

My kids went to a rural, public school which was only 20% haole. They never had one single problem with any of the local kids. The friendships they made here will be lifelong. They both attend well known colleges despite the fact that they attended the constantly maligned local schools.

We travel a TON; between my husband and myself we have made at least 125 round trips to the mainland and 1000+ intersland flights so we do not get "rock fever" LOL. However it is not unusual to meet an adult Kauaian who has never been to the mainland.

The negatives:
Summers are hellishly hot. Services and shopping on Kauai are limited and getting the stuff or service you need can be maddening. (We just got a Home Depot! And the first Starbucks will open soon!) Utilities and gasoline are high (property taxes and car insurance are low for us.) Groceries vary; I have never paid the much bandied-about $6 for a gallon of milk but there are a few items (bread for example) that are unusually high priced. We get a lot of houseguests(sometimes a plus, sometimes a minus...depends upon who it is!)

When we get transferred back to the mainland I will be happy to be back to "civilization" but sad to leave behind this island that is full of the kindest, gentlest, most polite people I have ever met. Not to mention the scenery can't be beat. I feel like I have been on a 6 year long vacation.

Bottom line: I would not make a drastic move like this with kids involved unless there were considerable financial resources. But if I were young and single and seeking adventure I'd probably go for it.
vivi is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 10:40 PM
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Hubby's best friend moved to HNL 2 years ago and is very happy. His wife and 2 kids have not made the adjustment as easily but are doing fime. The kids are about 2 years ahead of what is being taught at their schools. They spent over 300k more than they were anticipating on a house. Those are the negatives. But the positive is that their lives are much more stress free and they have made many new friends. Just FYI they are of Asian ancestry.
travelinwifey is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 11:34 PM
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Sarah, I just read your post and I think you are right about the breath thing. And Kal, you fit in all the time! You & Mrs. Kal are naturals for the islands....loco mocos and all!

I'm actually pretty loud, blunt, and extroverted and don't get slammed for it. (Just wait and see if my brother sees this post!) But again, I also think that--no matter where you move to or travel to--if you simply embrace the culture(s) around you instead of trying to "make things the way they were back home," you will always fit in and have a great life. I say this as I look out on a fantastic panorama of the Pacific Ocean and eat my fresh-cut papaya (straight from the fridge, of course).
MelissaHI is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 11:49 PM
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Some of the previous posts are just ridiculous and completely void of any valid information. It's totally untrue that we do not like haoles or mainlanders. What we DON'T like is people with a mainland attitude. Pushy, rude, know-it-all people (of any race)who think they're better than the 'poor, ignorant native islanders'! As long as you come with true respect for the Hawaiians and their culture, you shouldn't have any problems.
Some posts did make valid points, however. Education at the public school level SUCKS! If you got kids, you'll want to have enough money for tuition at a private school. Grocery and gas prices are high. Although after living here a while you'll learn to stretch your dollar when it comes to food. The median price of a single family home on Maui is $355,000. And for that you don't get much. Maybe a 1200 sq ft home on a 5000 sq ft lot in a middle income area. As for jobs......if you can stay drug free and you're not looking at a high paying technical job, then you can find work. If you remember that YOU are the newcomer and respect the people that these islands originally belonged to, you'll make friends.......friends lead to jobs. Someone said it's all about who you know out here and that is definetly true. But expect to work 2 jobs because that is the norm.
There are so many different cultures living in such a small area that we have to learn to get along and for the most part, we do. Of course there's always the bad apples in the crowd but that's everywhere you go. Violent crime (murder, rape, etc) is lower here than elsewhere. That's not to say there is no crime.........but at least my neices and nephews can roam around their local malls and neighborhoods without the high possiblity of being kidnapped.
Living in Hawaii is totally different because Hawaii is unlike any other place in the US. History, cultures, life-style, local views on things, slower pace, etc. All of these have an effect on how we live our lives out here and why we choose to live it like this.
The above is MY opinion and is confined to the island of Maui
kolohegirl is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 12:57 AM
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The quarentine is much shorter now because so many pets were dying.

Just wanted to add that we are a multi-cultural family and are accepted here as the norm as compared to the mainland.
islandmom is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 07:36 AM
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Interestingly Hawaii has had one of the highest rates of out-migration in the USA over the past 10 years.

For 2003, in fact, Hawaii had the top OUT-migration rate in the USA. Obviously there must be some degree of 'trouble in paradise'.

Here's an excerpt from the New York Business Council report:
"New York State led the nation in the net number of residents who moved to other states from 1995 to 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.
More than 1.6 million New Yorkers moved to...other states during the latter 1990s. Some 726,000 Americans moved from other states into New York during the period. The resulting "net migration," according to the Census Bureau, was around 874,000. That figure was higher than any other state's net loss.

As a proportion of population, the Empire State's net loss due to interstate migration was third-worst in the nation, behind Hawaii and Alaska".
TedTurner is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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I'm in Houston, and 1st generation Asian here. Dreaming about retiring on the islands after the kids go to college. Still have doubts whether we can afford a small condo and living stress-free, leaving my parents, sis & bro in the mainland.
Hanalei is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 10:49 AM
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"Education at the public school level SUCKS!"

Ahem. The DOE *system* sucks, true. But education, in any circumstance, is what you make of it.
Phoebe_Buffet is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 03:32 PM
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Aloha Kolohegirl,

Really appreciated your input!
makai1 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 05:45 PM
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Add another "hollah" out to kolohegirl!
A good person is a good person and @holes are not exclusive to any certain group.

Mels, we may be finding out if we fit soon enuff!
Kal is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 12:48 AM
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Amen kolohegrrrl!

Kal, you fit in just fine. (just dont talk politics, hee hee! )

I agree with Ms. Buffet, the education *system* of bureaucracy sucks, that is for sure. But the education itself is not that're insulting a product of the Hawaii Dept of Education, here! (And Ms. Buffet is an aspiring/inspiring DoE teacher.) You have to factor in that we have a large population of non-English speaking students, which plays a role in the data for those 'standardized' tests.
MelissaHI is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 08:14 AM
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Well I was not going to respond but let this one die down. But if people are willing to keep it going, I will say something. Somebody please read my short book here.

You do face discrimination if you are blue eyed and fair skinned living in Hawaii. That is just part of the experience. I have never met anyone white and from the mainland that has lived there for a significant period that did not agree with this. Could not recount experiences. Most of you know that I lived there for 3 years. I think it is hard to see if you are not walking in this skin though. Ever meet someone from the mainland that tells you discrimination is dead, minorities have every privledge? We live in one of the greatest melting post in the world? Others might believe that ghettos are filled with lazy people blah blah...? I have been having that argument for years!!! On the good witch side of course.

Talk to someone that is of Asian ancestry and grew up in Ohio or some place with out a significant Asian community. The stories are heartbreaking and RECENT!! I have a friend who's daughter lives in an affluent white community in southern New Jersey, she is Indian. The African Americans from other neighborhoods are the kids that befriend her. The white kids shun her. I am always telling her don't worry sweetheart you move to NYC after college that would never happen here.

I secretly think to myself, WHAT THE HELL WOULD I KNOW about what her experience will be like living here!!!

Racism is very insidious. We just don't see that here on the mainland because we benefit from it. People discriminate when they don't even realize it. Think about it...

You have to hirer someone and you have two equally qualified candidates. One though reminds you of your brother in-law and you just can't put your finger on why. ....hmmm not because one guy is Irish and the other guy looks like his parents came from Uganda??? "Let me pick the guy that looks like my brother in-law Patrick. The team will have more in common with him". ...Happens everyday!!! Only thing is in Hawaii a mainlander would be hard pressed to look like someone's brother in law. We just don't experience this at home.

Throw into the mix a unique history, present, hotly contested land battles, underemployment and you have even more pressure to exclude outsiders. Simply said you can't go to Hawaii and expect it to be as easy as moving to New Hampshire or California. This is where the surprise is for many people on the mainland.


This has been a public service announcement
Sarah is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 09:05 AM
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Well, I am a blue eyed, freckled, blond (okay, its more of a brown these days!) who came here for a six month vacation over 25 years ago. In all that time I felt discriminated against only once in hiring. I applied for a poolside cocktail waitress when the Hyatt first opened and was not hired, despite my ability to look good in the bikini uniform. I later noticed that ALL the waitresses looked "local". ;-(

Other than that, I've noticed that these days mainlanders often have a very good chance at jobs as employers feel they are well educated. The problem is often that employers feel recent transplants are a poor risk for staying on the job. Its the same as on the mainland where vacationing college kids and military spouses face this. New arrivals also can suffer from the "we did it better in the States syndrome" which does not go over well.

Housing costs are high and pay tends to be low, BUT property taxes are very low, utility bills are reasonable (no heating costs, and most people don't use AC), and your clothing costs are lower (only summer clothes needed, and workplace clothes are much more casual than on the mainland). Sales tax is 4%, but charged on food too.

We have such a diverse population that there is no one majority race. All of us get along pretty well (ethnic jokes are still considered funny here)and tend to live side by side in the same neighborhoods. If anything, there is more economic segregation than racial.

The distance from family can be an issue, but its only 5 hours to the west coast. You may find that you have the problem of family coming to visit you too often!

Family was a priority with us, so we always went to california at Christmas, and often visited again in the summer.
We also took our vacations on the mainlaind and other parts of the world (Asia is only 8 hours away) to expose our children to other lifestyles, and did spend the money on private school (whick is another bargain in Hawaii--about 1/3 less than comparable mainland private schools).

To summarize, living in Hawaii will be more expeensive, but can be a wonderful experience if you come with maketable skills and a good attitude.

I've found the lifestyle for the most part much kinder and slower than many mainland cities. The food, weather, music, and emphasis on extended family and friends have kept me here. I wouldn't have wanted to raise my kids anywhere else, no matter what the economic trade off!
lcuy is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 08:31 PM
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Hi Lcuy, That is wonderful you had such a good experience. You certainly have a great outlook. What do you say to people that have not shared your experience?

Actually my ex's son was getting beat up on what he and his sisters said the other kids called "Haole day". This was when caucasion kids were targeted and beaten up. That's an affluent community Kahala, Oahu, where I guess I would expect better supervision. He was slight and passive not someone that was trying to take things over. A quiet adult to this day. A Friend that lives on the island and is married to a Hawaiian said well SOME parents and SOME teachers support that kind of treatment. They know that if the kid is unhappy the family will leave the island. Again just one perspective.

I myself had an incident where a Polynesian man was threatening me physically in a super market. Earlier I threw my hand up at him when he almost ran over me in his car. I was gesturing for him to stop. He followed me into the super market and started threatening me. The store called the police. A Polynesian police officer came and told me he could not do anything it was my word against his. I said you have not even heard his word. Then I think the guy even threatened us in front the cop. The cop was grinning the whole time. I just wanted him to tell the guy to cool off, get lost, move on, or something. It was incredible. Again this was obviously only part of my experience that is why I continue to go back to Hawaii.

I guess I meet people all the time too, that have little stories here or there. I just met a military couple in Italy that was stationed on Oahu for a few years. They said they really love Hawaii and missed it desperately. They said you know what we really explored that island. The military told us to stay away from some local communities because they did not like us but we went anyway. Then I told them I know my favorite beach was Makua near Makaha (Wainai area). The guys eyes popped outside of his head and he said oh my God you really went far. We went to Makha one day one day only. We did not even get out of the car. Were you ok? I had to laugh. So proud at first so scared at last.

I met a female executive that lived on Oahu for 30 years then moved to NYC. She loved the Asian influence raising her kids in Hawaii afforded. Her husband was Chinese American. She goes back frequently, still owns a home there. She did say in a 3 hour conversation we had. You know one thing I won't miss is having to convince people that I am not an a**hole because I am white. She then laughed and said you know exactly what I am talking about don't you? I didn't, but I guess I would not deny her experience.

Just chatting here lcuy I hope I have not offended.
Sarah is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 09:32 PM
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Ohhh, Amelissa, don't even get me started on so-called standardized tests! :\ The media insists on freaking out every time Hawaii's scores appear to be "below" average, but do they bother to mention that the same inane tests ask about things like THERMOSTATS? Of course not.

We really need standardized tests that measure amounts of family values, humility, and cooperation.
Phoebe_Buffet is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 11:06 PM
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I've heard about controversy over regional bias in standardized testing....there's some committee that's trying to stamp out any winter references to make tests more fair to kids from temperate climates...

I just wanted to say, re: Sarah's post, that the incidents she described can, and do, happen anywhere in the country, to anyone of any race. Every day individuals have to convince people that they aren't ________ because they are ________.

And I've heard of "Haole Day"---from what I understand, it referred to incidents that occured in the 50's, 60's, maybe 70's. I think there were national problems with race at that time also. As for teachers encouraging some form of xenophobia in schools to force families to leave the state, well, I attended Hawaii schools from 1982-1997 and saw no evidence of that whatsoever. Nor did I hear anything about it.

No, these days, I think, your happiness living in Hawaii is dependent on your willingness to adapt to island living, just like MEL said. It's not for everyone, and that's okay. But that doesn't mean it's a bad place to live, and I feel incredibly lucky that 1) my dad was Hawaii born and raised and never left and 2)that my mom flew in at age 19 and never left.
daughterofporkchop is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2003, 11:14 PM
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wow daughterofporkchop. I did not know haole day went back that far. I thought that was an incident in one school in the early 90's late 80's. Kind of tells you where they learned about it.

I certainly was not speaking in absolutes, all teachers all schools.
Sarah is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2003, 07:27 AM
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On the comments from Sarah about racism.

I think it can be expected anywhere you go. It's a factor of life. Whether it's your skin tone, ethniticity or whatever, it's going to be there. I much prefer to calling it being prejudice than anything else, but once again, it's part of life. People are prejudice of certain things over other things. Whether it's someones race, a sport team, a favorite color or favorite store. I'm from the south (Georgia). I've lived in several different places (Texas, South Carolina, California, Korea) and now Massachusetts. Northerners are prejudice of southerners, southerners are prejudice of notherners, easterners of westerners and so on. I've worked with people of many different diversities in the federal prison system. I've never had any trouble fitting in, anywhere. I've never even thought about it being a problem. I have to remember that I am the foreigner here. I just go about my daily business and one day I will not be that foreigner. I'm blond hair, blue eyed and fair sking myself. Living in the south, how did I fit in? Living in California and korea how did I fit in? Living in New England, how do I fit in? You would think with the fair skin I would. Physical looks, I don't. Attitude, I do. Wherever you go, learn to live as they do. When in Rome, do as the Romans.....
woodsters is offline  

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