Sunday, November 27, 2011

No place like home

I am a transplant in my own home.  I grew up in Hawaii, but I grew up on Maui.  I now, after bouncing around, live on Oahu.  People come up to me and ask me where I'm from and are surprised when I say "Here."  But then I have to qualify because while I'm from Hawaii Oahu and Maui are two very different places and you can give me directions based on certain people's houses on my island but on Oahu I need street names (also, I use a GPS...Auwe!).

My being a stranger in a really familiar land gives me an interesting perspective.  I get treated like a visitor and then, in the same breath, a local.  I will speak pidgin at Foodland and midwestern at the Commissary (it helps!)  I can see all the hardships of being a mainlander in Hawaii.  I get how it can be totally frustrating, but I also see all the things that make home home.  Just like in any unique culture there are good and bad.  If you grew up with it the bad is a small price to pay for the feeling of belonging.  If you are new here it takes a lot of patience to see the beauty in our calabash land.

I might take some work too.  Which is why when people talk about my hometown of Maui and only complain about how it's just resorts and boringness it drives me crazy.  I feel like Oahu is just city and hotels myself, but I get out to see the beauty of the island anyway.  A rainbow everyday?  Yes please.  Driving through the Ko'olau's?  Ahhhh.

Maui has the same things and some others.  Pine forests, hunting, snow.  Rainforests, hundreds of waterfalls in one stretch of road, black sand beaches.  All there.  Like warm.  There is a desert!  Like fish, more snorkeling beaches AND a protected atoll (Molokini) only about an hour boat ride away.  You can seriously go from arctic wear to beach wear in just half a day of biking.

In short, I feel like if you don't like Maui you're doing it wrong.  Give me three days.  It's my home and, trust me, there is something to love.

Similarly, Oahu isn't that bad either.  Wait till 9am when the traffic clears up and, trust me, there is something to love.  I'm glad it's my transplant home.

1 comment:

Hoku said...

Very interesting perspective. Must be hard and fun at the same time :)