Locals Weigh in On Tourists, Part Two

Aloha!
Here is the second half of my last post (“Locals Weigh In on Tourists,” July 23rd.) A couple posted to reddit.com that they would be coming to Maui, but didn’t want to be annoying tourists….and asked what not to do.

Here are the Maui locals’ answers:

(Stop) Stopping at the top of my driveway to take family vacation photos.

Try to avoid renting a convertible Mustang please. (Author intrusion: nothing brands you as a tourist faster than a convertible. Oh, and an ugly visor – – particularly one with a Hawaiian print. People think they’re coming to Maui and blending in by doing these things, when in truth they are picking up bad habits from other tourists, not the locals.)

Another answer: THINK before asking stupid questions! I worked on a sailboat and actually got these questions:
“What elevation are we at?”
“Where can I dive under the island to see the chain?”
“Is there a bridge to the mainland?”
“Is that a cane fire or is the volcano exploding?”
(Author intrusion: and my favorite question that I got as a hotel concierge: “Is that Japan?” ….as they pointed at the island of Lanai.)

John Card, a mauidailyescape reader, wrote after my last post about tourists who drive too slow (also from reddit.com). John asked,
“They say tourists drive too slow (the speed limit) – yet I see “Slow down! This ain’t the mainland!!” bumper stickers all over the place when I am there. So which is it? I’m happy to oblige either way…”
My answer: Well, John, that is both simple and complicated. I can only speak for myself and Mike, but if I had to wager a guess, it would be that it is the old – timers you see with the “Slow down! This ain’t the mainland!” bumper stickers. People who have lived here forever, and aren’t used to the traffic patterns from the mainland or even Oahu. Or road rage. And there’s a good chance that even THEY are driving too slow for locals who have to be at work on time. So there is the complication.

A few days ago we were in a road construction zone, and I pulled onto the road from a parking lot, only to have a Local in a big black truck lay on his horn, and zoom around me at the earliest possible opportunity. Maui is going through growing pains, there aren’t enough roads for the number of tourists, and drivers are frustrated by the road construction, which at times seems it’s being headed up by the Three Stooges.

The areas with speed limits that seem too low to the locals who have to be at work on time are Mokelele Highway (to and from Kihei), and Dairy Road (Kuihelani Highway) that leads to Lahaina from Kahului. There were sections of this road at 35 mph and then 45 mph for years, which frustrated people no end. (I did notice a new sign at 55 mph just the other day, so maybe they are testing it out!)
Then there is the whole “Pali,” issue, the road that winds through the mountain and tunnel from Maalaea to Lahaina. The problem with this section is that it scares tourists half to death to have a steep cliff on one side and ocean drop-off on the other, so they white-knuckle it. Then there’s the problem of tourists busily sightseeing instead of driving. (“Oh look, a WHALE!!!) This adds up to 25 mph in a 45 mph zone…and locals who are just really needing to get work are ready to kill somebody.

The road to Hana? Don’t get me started. An angry local who lives out there and has made his monthly trip to Costco and just wants to get back home before dark will ride your bumper whether you are local or a tourist. It’s like the wild West out there. They have no patience with people who are driving the speed limit, scared of the curves, sightseeing, or just enjoying the day. I would imagine people in convertibles are particularly vulnerable to their anger!

Back to an answer on reddit. com:

Avoid being rude/demanding/complaining. They’ll either act like they’re taking you seriously, then have all their co-workers start pulling pranks, or you mess with the wrong person and they’re ready to fight. Since you’re asking this question, my guess is that you will not run into this problem. Just be respectful. Maui is more fun if you don’t expect everything to go according to plan. Be ready to improvise. It is what it is.

Wise advice. Maui is particularly vulnerable to bad service. Many people who work on Maui just don’t have the mainland work ethic, and then there’s the whole “Surf’s up, dude!” culture, and the truth is that on any given night, there’s a high likelihood that multiple waiters and/or the chef himself did not show up at a restaurant where you’re dining, and that’s why your food is taking so long. So resisting or complaining is fruitless.

In Maui, the best motto is “Just go with it!” (Ironically, the name of the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston film set on Maui).

So, if you are a Maui local reading this, what are YOUR pet peeves about tourists?

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

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Locals Weigh in On Tourists

Aloha!

First, I would like to thank all of our loyal mauidailyescape readers. We know there are lots of reading options out there, so we appreciate your hanging out here!

That said, we know that a lot of people are trying to limit their time spent online, which makes your readership that much more special. I am not an online junkie, and so things float into my airspace at a slower rate than some. For instance, I had never heard of reddit.com, and just found out it is in the top 20 of all social media sites. So for giggles, I plugged in Maui to see what came up. A couple posted that they would soon be traveling to Maui, but didn’t want to be annoying tourist-types, and asked what they could do. Here are some answers from reddit.com:

QUESTION: “Aloha Maui locals! What do the tourists do that drive you crazy?”
ANSWERS:
“If you’re at the beach and you see people body – surfing in the Shorebreak, even though you might want to try it, do not go directly to the exact spot they are – – something annoying tourists do – – go somewhere else down the beach. You can get hurt if they are in the wrong spot and it can piss people off if you invade their space or get in the way.”

Another person posted: “This has happened to me more than once, body – boarding at the beach. Watching the waves come in, go to catch it and have to bail because a tourist is standing directly in front of me. I had to give up for the day one time because an entire family spread out in the area I was riding.”

(Author’s note: BE EXTREMELY MINDFUL when skim boarding, particularly at Big
Beach. Our friend’s 20-something son is now a quadriplegic from skim-boarding at Big Beach.)

And then onto posted speed limits: “Annoying: tourists going the actual speed limit. 25 mph is for scooters in 1981, not a car in 2014.”

Another person followed up: “Pull over. Some people drive like psychos on the mainland ’cause they’re in a rush and get frustrated if someone is going slow. Locals do get angry if you’re not paying attention. The speed limits on Maui are very unrealistic.” (I concur!)

And another: “Making illegal U–turns to save driving one extra mile to the next intersection.”

More next post…!

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Why Elevation Matters On Maui

Aloha!

People write to me all the time to ask where they should live when they move to Maui. This question stumps me. It would seem they would know if they are beach people or mountain people….or if they want to be surrounded by tourists, or live in the middle of nowhere. So here’s some food for thought….

Let’s say you plan to move to Maui and will drive an electric car. You get to live in a jaw – droppingly beautiful place and help the planet while you drive, right?

Not so fast. A friend did just that – – moved his family to Kula at around 3,000 feet elevation, and bought an electric car. Only one problem: he found he cannot go up and down the hill on only one charge. At flat – level driving, the car (a Leaf) was rated to make the mileage – – it just couldn’t handle the elevation (kind of like my brother-in-law who got elevation-sick while we were all visiting the lavender farm in Kula. Hi, Richard!)

(www.aliikulalavender.com/ “In the uplands of Maui, nestled along the skirt of Haleakala (House of the Sun) mountain lay the beautiful gardens of Ali`i Kula Lavender. Maui’s Lavender Lifestyle experience.”)

But I digress. Of course, that is just another thing to consider…will you suffer from elevation sickness?

So my Kula friend now plans his days around charging his car. One day he had a meeting in Kahului (flat-land), then another meeting right afterward in Makawao (1,500 ft.) He had to re-schedule the second meeting to build in charging time, so he could make it back up the hill. Not a happy camper.

We inherited a Prius when my mom passed away. She is named “Lulu” and is the first car I’ve owned on Maui that won’t let me run the air-conditioner up the hill to Upcountry without grinding and complaining. So I pat her and turn off the A.C., even though it’s 95° out. My insurance agent told me she has the same problem with her small – cylinder car, that is neither electric or hybrid. Just not enough power.

The beauty of living Upcountry is that you can get a view, you’re away from the tourists, and it’s a bit cool-ah in Ku-la. (I owe that one to my niece).

The downside to elevation is that it’s really hard on your brakes. I burned mine up as soon as I moved Upcountry, and my mechanic said, “Downshift the whole way down, to save your brakes.” To which I replied, “But that makes the engine grind – – what about my transmission?” He just shrugged and said, “Choose.”

Everything in Maui comes down to choice, just like life. Beach or mountain? Hot or cool? Flat or views? Close to work, or a commute?

I leave you with this: your ears will pop every time you go up and down the mountain. I’ve always wondered this about airline folks too…is that an okay thing?

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Maui Voted Seventh Best Island in the World

Aloha!

In case you haven’t heard, the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine have once again named Maui the best island in Hawaii, and the seventh best in the world.

image

Readers voted in the magazine’s annual “World’s Best” awards, based on the ratings of five characteristics: natural attractions/beaches, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people/friendliness and value.

The island of Kauai followed at the number eight ranking.

Here are the 10 best islands in the world, according to Travel + Leisure:

Galapagos Islands
Bali
Maldives
Tasmania in Australia
Santorini in Greece
Moorea in French Polynesia
Maui
Kauai
Great Barrier Reef and
Malta.

So, mauidailyescape readers, how would YOU vote? Where does the beautiful isle of Maui rank for you out of the Hawaiian islands…and in the world?

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Have You Seen ‘Aloha’ ?

Aloha!

The Cameron Crowe-directed film ‘Aloha,’ set in Hawaii on Oahu, just seems to keep stirring the pot. Crowe has defended himself on a series of issues, and the film was the subject of one of the leaked emails in the Sony hack where SPE co-chairman Amy Pascal weighed in on production cost overruns and had scathing words for the movie.

Now comes Guy Aoki, head and founder of MANAA (Media Action Network for Asian-Americans) where in a press release to the New York Post, he accused Columbia Pictures of a “whitewashed” version of Hawaii. “Caucasians only make up 30% of the population (of Hawaii), but from watching this film, you’d think they made up 99%,” he said. “This comes in a long line of films: “The Descendants,” “50 First Dates,” “Blue Crush,” “Pearl Harbor” –that uses Hawaii for its exotic backdrop but goes out of its way to exclude the very people who live there,” Aoki said.

“Aloha” stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray in the story of a military contractor (Cooper) who moves to Hawaii for work and falls for an energetic Air Force member (Stone).

According to Aoki, the largest roles for Islanders in “Aloha” are characters without names, some of whom are described as “Indian pedestrian,” “Upscale Japanese tourist,” and “upscale restaurant guest.” Aoki asks, “How can you educate your audience to the ‘rich history’ of Hawaii by using mostly white people and excluding the majority of the people who live there and who helped build that history?”

Wonder if he’s ever seen a little television show called “Magnum, P.I”?

A Hollywood Reporter article of 5/23/15 by Ryan Gajewski quotes a source from the movie as saying that no member of MANAA has yet to see the film or read the script and that the films storyline centers on “the spirit of the Hawaiian people.”

What do you think of the movies Aoki called out that were filmed in Hawaii? In letters to me, many blog readers name “The Descendants” as a movie shot in Hawaii that “gets them through the winter.”
Do you even care what a movie shot in Hawaii is about….because you watch mostly for the scenery?
And if you’re local, do you feel under-represented or misrepresented in Hollywood? Please weigh in…

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage. Thanks for reading along!

Aloha, Jamaica

Scene and Heard

Aloha!

These are things seen and heard around the island lately…

T-shirt that reads, “Tatooed AND Employed!”

Another t-shirt: “Automatic Aloha.” Do you think that Aloha is automatic here? Or something that is earned?

And another: “Aloha Always.”

According to bestplaces.net, the Upcountry town of Makawao’s cost of living is 74.80% higher than the U.S. average.

T-shirt: “Stuck on this Island.” Could go either way…

News report: the lava in the lava lake on Kiluaea on the Big Island is the highest it has ever been, historically. And the vent is spewing at 60,000 gallons per minute. Explains why we are still having VOG (volcanic organic gas) in the summer….supposedly the non-vog season:

Taken July 2nd, 2015 from Upcountry Maui

Taken July 2nd, 2015 from Upcountry Maui


That’s not fog. Or clouds. It’s sulphur-dioxide in the air from the volcano.

Bumper sticker: “Keep it Hawaiian.”

New t-shirts ( and hats and everything else) that read “IAL” (I am local). Then under that: “Better than a state I.D.” Being “a local” is very important here. I’ve lived lots of places and have not seen people so fiercely/loyally defend their turf anywhere else.

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica