The old song says, “The things you’ll do for lo-o-ve 🎶” and the same is true of Maui. It truly can be like falling down the rabbit hole. And just like Alice, the longer you live here, the more normal it becomes. Case in point: my hairdresser. Just finding someone to do passable blonde highlights on the island ( without having to sell your car to pay for them) is a small feat. Those hotel/spa/hairdresser prices don’t fly on a Mauian’s paycheck!
My hairdresser used to work at the fancy hotel. Then at the fancy salon. Now he works out of his home, which is a postage stamp-sized Ohana (cottage) behind someone else’s house in Kihei. He could no longer afford to rent a station at the high-priced places. There is no air conditioning, so the minute he slaps that plastic gown on me, I’m sweating like a sumo wrestler. Then there’s the lighting, or rather, lack of it. I peer toward the mirror and have to squint to see myself.
But the most interesting feature is the rinse bowl. It is out in his shed… the garden shed, like, from Sears. He leads me to it through the small yard, and it is dilapidated and falling down, and feels about 50° hotter than his already hot house.
I close my eyes as he rinses my hair, and go to my happy place. You know, the way they say when you’re stressed, you should picture yourself on a beach or a tropical island. Oh, wait–I’m already on that island. But this is one of the ways people afford to live here.
Like Wonderland, when you live on Maui, many things are upside down, inside-out and backwards of what you’d expect. But hey, I have some affordable blonde highlights.
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Love love love that you are back to blogging!!! I so enjoy getting them!
We started planning a move to Maui about three years ago. This October was supposed to be our time but things happened and we’re backed up about 14 months. We keep up with what goes on on Maui and especially watch housing costs. We’re planning on renting when we get there but I can’t help but wonder if Hawaii is not getting close to a tipping point when it comes to housing costs. Hawaii’s economy is tourist and service based. What happens when the people who work in those industries can no longer afford housing? The continued shortage of long term rentals is making it impossible for middle class families be able to afford to stay. The State of Hawaii is advertising on the mainland for teachers, but who is going to come if they can’t afford a place to stay? Is there any substantive talk of some kind of rent caps or some other way that the state can deal with this issue?