Maui Time

Aloha!

“Maui Time” is that elusive feeling that tourists get while vacationing here: that time is standing still, that things are moving more slowly than they do back home. Many people crave a trip to Maui just to experience Maui Time, to step off the treadmill of their lives.

Fantasy? Myth? Or reality?

In his book “Time Shifters,” Stefan Rechtschaffen, M.D.,describes how researchers have found that people who live in the same cities or areas influence each other in how fast they move. Or, in Maui, how slowly move. Study shows that before the year 1900 and shortly into that century, no letters between people ever stated, “Sorry I haven’t written, I’ve been too busy.”

While “busy-ness” is only a concept, we all have things that must be done, and a hierarchy: I WANT to go to the beach. I SHOULD clean out the refrigerator. I NEED to meet my writing deadline.

In February, I ran into my friend April, who I hadn’t seen in months. She immediately apologized for not sending me a Christmas card, and said, “You’ll understand when I tell you that the fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving are still in my refrigerator.” April works as a supervisor and has two small children. Yes, she lives on Maui, but does not operate on Maui Time. She doesn’t have the time!

Mike and I go to Costco and see local families who walk in a horizontal line of four to six across, blocking the aisle. (By the way, we do not experience this at the Costco on Oahu.) This would be fine if they moved at a normal pace, or if people could get around them. But they move like turtles. And here’s the question: how do these people get their taxes done? How do they pay their bills on time?

These are probably the people who don’t keep their properties up. You can drive all over this island and see run-down houses with peeling paint, overgrown bushes, and 15 rusting cars in the yard. (This is not an exaggeration. There is a property down the street from us that has fifteen cars sitting around in the front, back and side yards. I know because I counted.) A property in Maui needs constant vigilance, or it returns to its natural state – a jungle. This takes an enormous amount of time, energy, and money… If you’re going to keep up with the weeding, the trimming of bushes and trees, and painting of porches, sheds, outside stairways, garages etc. Then there is dealing with the termites. Just getting ready to have a house tented is a huge committment of time. And it’s very expensive. That’s why the houses are falling down around us.

So those of us who work normal jobs, own houses, and take care of our yards don’t experience Maui Time the way the tourists do. We are not at luaus watching slow, beautiful hula shows, listening to laid-back Hawaiian music. (The Feast at Lele is $110.00 per person. Not in a normal Mauiian’s budget. We only go if we get company.(www.feastatlele.com)

The closest I get to Maui Time is at the beach, or when I am driving and turn on the radio and catch some really soothing Hawaiian music. Hawaiian music can always put me in a good mood. And every day I watch the sunset from wherever I am. That is how I remember that I am in Maui. I take a deep breath in gratitude.

What is the pace like where you live? Are you in New York City, Fargo, N.D., or Austin, Texas? And is “Maui Time” one of the reasons you love to visit Maui?

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

Aloha, Jamaica

Island Style

Aloha!

Are you a Hawaiian music fan?  There is so much to choose from , but two that I personally like are John Cruz http://www.johncruz.com/, particularly his song “Island Style”, which was a big hit, and of course Jake Shimabukura http://jakeshimabukuro.com/welcome/
the young ukulele virtuosa, who was a youtube sensation.

Speaking of music, there is an Internet email game going around. The idea is to name a song that’s so horrendous that it gets stuck in the recipient’s head. For instance, I would say “Muskrat Love”, and you would groan, because now that’s all you hear for the next hour. Then you’re supposed to tag me back with an equally bad selection. “Midnight at the Oasis” , for instance,sets my teeth on edge.  For many of us, the songs that get stuck in our heads came out before we were even born. But still we know them, possibly from  the dreaded Muzak, or from our parent’s collections.

When my dad was a kid in the 30s, his brother Jimmy bought the record “Frankie and Johnny.” (Cue music: Frankie and Johnnie were lovers…oh lordy how they could love…) Jimmy played it and played it and played it. One day my dad, who was five years younger than his brother and absolutely sick to death of Frankie and and her stupid, cheatin’ lover, took that record out across the road and sailed it into the field. Although his brother looked and looked, he couldn’t find it. Winter came and went, and the following spring my dad was out hiking in that field with his English setter. There, wet and mangled, lay,”Frankie and Johnny.” He never told his brother.

“Achy, Breaky, Heart” . “Seasons in the Sun”. Can you hear it?

Then there is Hawaiian music, an acquired taste for some.  I like much of it. I can even handle the high falsetto if it’s live, in person, and done well. Other people, not so much. A few years back I was at the Maui Writer’s Conference.( Don’t bother to Google it, it’s extinct now). Anyway, the line for the women’s restroom was a mile long, as all lines for women’s restrooms tend to be. I had probably been standing there for close to 10 minutes, and Hawaiian music was playing the whole time. I was enjoying it, as it echoed around the restroom and bounced off the walls.

A few feet ahead of me in line was a little Texan woman. She had the big hair, 2 inch nails, and little gold lame sandals. A Hawaiian falsetto song came on. All of a sudden she shuddered, covered her ears, and yelled in a southern drawl, “I just can’t take this horrible noise one more second!” and she bolted out of the bathroom, after waiting in line all that time. As the rest of us watched her go, there was a moment of silence, and then we all burst out laughing.

Seasons in the Sun. It’s a Small World After All.

Tag, you’re it.

Maui Weather Today: High 85, Low 71

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Aloha, Jamaica