Rob's Soapbox Archives
October 4th, 2010
THINGS ABOUT MAUI TO HATE
It’s been a few weeks since my wife and I returned from a week in a big, beautiful ocean front house in Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii. With that passage of time comes perspective, and I am reminded of words of wisdom my father offered me decades ago about ex-girlfriends: “Always remember how bad it was.”
The point of the advice is to confront human nature; show me a person who has never made the fatal mistake of rekindling a relationship that was a lost cause and I will show you a celibate monk; we’ve all done it, and the reason we go back to someone we already broke up with is because as we get further away from the day-to-day drama, we begin to only remember the good times. Thus, my father correctly counseled me to “always remember how bad it was.” There’s a reason the relationship ended, and holding on to those emotions is key. We make the same silly mistake when people die; it’s stunning to watch family rally around a relative they all hated when he or she was alive, solely so they can get together and re-write history, talking about how great the deceased was.
Armed with such sage knowledge it is time to confront the fallacies of paradise. Don’t get me wrong, Maui is great and we will go back often, but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect; far from it. Any idiot can talk about how great Hawaii is, but it takes a truly centered and grounded person to notice all of its imperfections and go to the trouble of chronicling them. Do I know how to have a good time or what?
THE PEOPLE: Seriously, there are few places in America with more surly locals than Maui. They rarely smile, they never apologize, and their rudeness is unmatched. It’s hysterical to compare the reality of how friendly and helpful New Yorkers are as opposed to their stereotype of being brash to the complete and total unpleasantness of native born Hawaiians. Having lived in my share of tourist destinations, I understand how frustrating the non-stop parade of interlopers can be, but there’s a solution to that: move. There are seven islands and only three of them are regular, high traffic tourist destinations…head to central Nihau and wallow in your hate there.
TOURISTS THAT SAY “ALOHA:” Knock this shit off, already. Do you know what I say when some Hawaiian says “aloha,” to me? I say “Hi,” or “hello,” do you know why? Because I am not Hawaiian.
TOURISTS THAT DO THE WHOLE “HANG LOOSE” THING: I don’t like this much when native born Hawaiians do this, but they own it, so they can; the truth of the matter is that the hang loose hand sign should go down in the annals of history with such other idiotic gestures as the silent head bob to replace saying “hi,” the fist bump, and the devil ears to signify that someone is “rocking out.”
THE PLANTATION HOUSE RESTAURANT: Located in a gorgeous corner of the island on the Kapalua Golf course, this is the absolute worst restaurant I have been to in more than a decade, and I ate at a Denny’s within the last 10 years. The service was horrendous, the food was awful and the manager clueless. I’ve walked out of two restaurants in this century, and this was the latest; what a joke.
THE PRICES: I am not one to penny pinch, far from it, considering we paid $8,000 for 7 nights in our rented home. Additionally, I understand the economics of having to ship nearly everything to the remote location that is Hawaii, but I also very clearly spot scams when I see them. Upon our arrival, my wife was starving so we stopped on our drive from the airport at a fast food restaurant and ordered a large drink and a bean and cheese burrito. When I got to the window, I had to ask three times if the cashier had actually said $8.50! She had! I can’t remember the last time I drove out of a drive through without taking my order and paying for it, but this was the latest. While in Maui, there was also a trip to the grocery store to round out the home’s pantry to fit our needs; I bought a 12 pack of Caffeine Free Diet Coke, a pound of basic ground beef, a bag of Lay’s potato chips, a box of 25 sugar packets, a 16 ounce bottle of Ginger Ale, an 8 ounce bottle of store brand olive oil and three cup-of-noodles for a total of $45.55. That’s a scam beyond scams.
MIDDLE AGED TOURISTS THAT ACT LIKE THEY’RE 18 YEAR OLDS IN LAS VEGAS: If I sit next to another gray haired drunk slurring her words and swallowing her own vomit in this century, it will be too soon. What the hell is this trend? We saw more than a half dozen over-the-age-of-50 couples who were not just bombed, but clearly amateurs when it came to having a good alcohol-induced-time. The only thing less attractive than seeing these pitiful people try to recapture their lost youth was watching all of them stagger to their rental cars to drive back to wherever they were staying while running over a few babies along the way.
PEOPLE THAT LAY BY THE POOL: I have never understood this. Why do you spend hundreds of dollars per day to stay in a gorgeous OCEAN front resort, only to spend your days lying around by a swimming pool? HELLO! The beach and Pacific Ocean are RIGHT THERE! One minute away from you! And the beach is less crowded, the water more refreshing, drinks are served everywhere, and the noise of screaming kids drowned out by the sounds of crashing waves. I understand using a pool in Las Vegas, since you are in the dessert, but laying by a pool in Hawaii in akin to going to a movie and watching a DVD on your PSP.
PEOPLE THAT BRING THEIR CHILDREN AND RESENT EVERY MINUTE OF IT: Stay with me here; this isn’t my random, unbridled hatred of kids, this is my focused loathing of parents. If you are one of the 10% of Americans that actually loves being with their children and doesn’t regret having them, than I am not talking about you. I’m talking about the people who for some reason feel compelled or obligated to bring their under-the-age-of-10 children with them on vacation to Hawaii and then hate every waking minute of their existence and let all of those around them know it. Grow a pair and leave the kids with Granny.
ANTYTHING MORE THAN 5 MILES INLAND: The dirty little secret about all of Hawaii is just how impoverished the islands truly are. Only Louisiana can rival the level of corruptness that has besieged the islands. For decades, millions upon millions of people have come from all over the world to drop their cash in Hawaii, yet all you have to do is drive 10 minutes away from the ocean to where the locals actually live and you suddenly feel as though you’ve been transported to Havana or Mexico City. Most tourists, of course, never do this so few ever see the true Hawaii, but it is far from paradise. Come to think of it, maybe that explains why all of them are so damn surly.