I’ve been avoiding this topic since I started this blog but I’m finally breaking down to gripe. And I’m sure I’ll get a lot of flames in the comments about this or any future posts I may have on the subject.
I hate Hawaii. I’ve lived here for over 2 1/2 years and I can’t wait to leave. Sure, the weather is nice but it really does get old after a while; I really miss having all four seasons. But apart from that, I can’t really find a lot of redeeming qualities about Hawaii.
Most of the people I’ve met in the past who enjoy Hawaii only came for a week or two to visit. If you never get out of the tourist areas, I’m sure it’s quite nice. Waikiki is clean (at least where the tourists go) and the beaches are nice over there. But once you leave the tourist areas, Honolulu is more like a ghetto. Many of the buildings are decrepit, there’s trash and graffiti all over, there’s a lot of homeless people, etc. Behind the facade of paradise is the gutter of real Hawaii.
The local government could care less about doing its job and corruption is rampant across the islands. Last year, 48 million gallons of raw sewage were dumped into the Ala Wai Canal (the demarcation between Waikiki and Honolulu proper). This canal goes straight into the beach area of Waikiki. In the 2+ years I’ve been here, there’s probably been more than eight sewage spills around Oahu, most of them into the canal.
The city waited three days or so before they posted signs after one of the spills and only did it after public outcry. The reason is because they didn’t want to scare the tourists. However, after the big Ala Wai spill, one man died from acquiring a flesh-eating bacteria infection after falling into the contaminated water. The city claims there was no connection between the infection and the release of sewage.
The latest problem is between go! airlines and Hawaiian. Hawaiian is trying to sue to have go! shutdown due to predatory pricing. go! currently charges ~$20 for a one-way trip to a neighbor island. Hawaiian feels it has to charge the same but, since Hawaiian has a larger infrastructure due to also supplying intercontinental flights, they simply can’t afford to compete locally. They also claim that go! used Hawaiian’s financial information illegally after gaining access to it during Hawaiian’s bankruptcy filings. So rather than competing on service or other things that may justify a higher price, Hawaiian is following the route of the music companies and trying to use the courts to prop up an outdated business model, or so it appears. Hawaiian has admitted that they will raise prices immediately to “market level” if go! is shut down.
There is a distinct racial bias against white people and, to an similar extent, black people too. But if you look “local”, you’re okay. I have friend who is Hispanic and was treated like a local when he went to a bar, even having people buy him drinks. But his white friends were given the cold shoulder, or at least not treated nearly as well. And Zeus forbid if you’re military.
The term “haolie” is used to distinguish white people from all others here. According to a dictionary I looked at, haolie means “foreigner”. But it’s definitely not used for all non-locals, only the white ones. And I’ve talked to several native Hawaiians who have stated that it actually means “soulless one”, implying that white people have no soul.
Speaking of language, since when is pidgin English considered a bona-fide language? It’s considered an unofficial language of Hawaii; they have dictionaries, books, and even classes on how to speak it. To me, I just think the speaker is a completely illiterate imbecile when I hear it. Seriously, it makes a person sound like a complete moron when he can’t speak in complete sentences. It’s worse than hearing people who have English as a second language; at least you know they’re trying to learn English.
I have a lot more to complain about but I’ll save it for later. But I know that I’m not alone in my distaste for Hawaii. Nearly every single military person I’ve met hates it here and can’t wait for orders out of here. As a matter of fact, there was one guy who cut his shore duty short and went back to sea because he couldn’t stand it.
Update: Since everyone seems to love commenting about this article (probably because of the title), I thought I’d make sure readers realize that there are other, related articles to this. Apparently relying on people to look at the sidebar for similar stories isn’t enough.