In case you’re unaware, the people who live in Hawaii are traditionally non-complainers. The person you complain about will shore ’nuff turn out to be cousin Bully’s girlfriend. Or her Auntie. So Hawaiians just let things be.
That said, I am loathe to complain about our new postal carrier. (The guy who used to do our route had the nerve to retire after thirty years. He was German. Precise. Sigh…) So we have this new, Local, female carrier.
Suddenly, days are going by where we are getting no mail, which is the first tip-off that something is hinky. Especially since I’d ordered four books for a course I am taking. Where are they?
Then out of the blue, we get mail for three different families in our box. Not just one. Three. Excuse me, but isn’t that a violation of some type of right-to-your-own-mail statute?
So I chase the mail truck down the street.
I puff up to the truck and tell her, “Here. This mail goes to three different houses. It’s not ours.”
She shrugs. In Pidgin: “Ho! I’m new, you know.”
Me: “But also, our Netflix DVD didn’t arrive for four days. You must have delivered it to the wrong address, because some kind soul put in our mailbox on a SUNDAY morning.”
More shrugs and a laugh. “I’m new.”
I press: “But we PAY for Netflix. When it sits at someone else’s house for four days, we are paying for that time.”
She ha-haha-ed again and drove off.
Rule #1 in Hawaii: If someone doesn’t understand you because of a language barrier (or just doesn’t feel like helping you) they will nod, and say “Yes, yes” like they know exactly what you’ve said, and that they intend to do it. Then they will go on about their business and you will get no help.
Rule #2: If there’s trouble or a situation is tense, they just laugh. And it’s perfectly acceptable. (Sigh.)
Round one: Mail Lady, one . Me: zero.
This week, I realized that a book I ordered on January 3 still hadn’t arrived. Hmmmm… Then I’m at my friend’s house and she comments that she has a new mail lady. MY mail lady. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ out for you?”
My friend frowns: “Strangest thing – we don’t seem to be getting any mail.”
I’ve heard stories about whole attics full of mail being discovered because a postal worker was too lazy to deliver it. My scalp prickles.
Here’s an oddity about Maui… I’ve lived lots of places, but have never seen anything like it: the postal workers don’t get out of their trucks and walk deliveries to your door. They sit in their trucks and HONK. You’re expected to trot outside and fetch your own package.
Invariably, I am in my nightie, or in the middle of a workout, sweating… or just pulling a cake out of the oven – but still, I trot outside. (In fact, I don’t think there has ever been a time that I was fully dressed and sitting around drinking a cup of tea of something, when I needed to do this trotting.) If you don’t appear, they will actually get out of the truck, but they’re not a bit happy about it, because now they’re doing YOUR job!
So last week, I don’t trot quite fast enough. I skid to the front door in time to see her hopping back into the truck. I stare blankly. She sees me and yells out, “I wen’ slid it under da garage door!” ( Because obviously, it was way too much effort to walk the 15 extra steps to the front door.) I go into the garage and retrieve the package.
Now…a new week. Hope springs eternal. The carrier honks, and I trot outside (at least I’m getting my exercise.) She has my book, but now I notice that she has abandoned the regulation uniform and is wearing a pink tank top. A large dragon tattoo trails from her neck down her entire arm. Hmmm. Surely she’s supposed to wear a uniform?
I shudder to think of the myriad of ways this renegade postal employee can run amok.
But will I complain? Of course not.
As they say in Pidgin, “Lucky you live Hawaii!”
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