A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles
So he can be photographed standing in front of his car.
|Surfboard are used for everything from wind-vanes to road signs|
We had not planned a stay in Hawaii but a flight back to the US from Tahiti costs hundreds of dollars more if you don’t stop in Hawaii so with that incentive baiting us we decided to keep the adventure going a tad longer and visited three Hawaiian islands before returning to the mainland.
Oahu was our least favorite island – way too touristic, flashy and impersonal. We nicknamed it the Las Vegas of Hawaii. Some friends exclaimed we were crazy to go to Hawaii after spending 3 months in beautiful French Polynesia and its friendly people and they were right. This was not the best way to end our wonderful travels but we still discovered many interesting and beautiful things.
We just could not bond with the native people (of which there is less than 8%). Another friend who worked with some Hawaiians shared just how much they hate what has been done to them in the last 200 years and recent tourists, newcomers, etc. In general they are a hard nut to crack and two weeks wouldn’t give us the appropriate amount of time to connect with them.
|Many beautiful sculptures can be found around the island - Dragonfly visited by live ducks|
|Makua and Kila from book by Fred Van Dyke|
With as many as 145,000+ tourists a week served by a town of less than 400,000 people, things churn at a very rapid rate – it is definitely an industry, no time to personalize here… Also traffic is a nightmare – as bad as Los Angeles during rush hour… One has to plan well in advance.
Its location makes it a great hub between East and West. With nearly 50% of the population from Asia, that influence is felt and seen everywhere – buildings, art, food, clothing, etc… It is so expensive to live here that the average age is 41.3! Only established people with money can afford to move here! Rent is one of the highest in the US.
|Did I say surfboards everywhere? On beach, on balconies, between buildings, on cars, firetrucks, etc|
|Super sized beach chair!|
|Well protected beach (man-made jetty) - Great for kids and more|
|Way too many people for us... That was early in the morning before the crowd|
|Surfboard on firetruck - matching color - stylish|
We had dinner at a restaurant that serves authentic Hawaiian food and has been doing so for 52 years – all recipes from grandma who still helps once in a while. Of course it is an easy to miss hole in the wall but we got a good tip and were happy we followed it. You can only wait for a table outside – no one is allowed to wait inside. It is tiny, tidy, quirky but definitely local and most of the food is very similar to what we ate in French Polynesia except for the names so we felt back ‘home’ for a short evening.
|City skyline from Wikipedia|