Friday, July 3, 2009

Living with Aloha in your Heart


I'm not a completely cynical person. I'm actually not even pessimistic. I'm quite optimistic about life in general. However, one thing I just don't buy are these 'lifestyles,' if you will, that make one talk like a brainwashed twit. What brings this on? I met a girl tonight who was originally from Seattle. When I expressed my love for Seattle, she continued to say how it was awful and that it 'ruined her spirit.' Her reason for moving to Hawaii is that she and her husband decided that life was passing them by there. They got in a routine and stopped appreciating the little things. This, I get, 100%. It's completely valid to choose a change of scenery for a jump start on your attention. But then she got all cheesy talking about the 'superior way of life' here in Maui. Meaning, everyone is so laid back that they rarely show up for work....those kinds of things. She actually did say (yes, this is a direct quote, and yes, it was hard for me not to laugh) "I've really learned to live with aloha in my heart here! And it's like...awesome!" Now. Aloha means hello, goodbye, and love. As if we didn't already have sufficient words that differentiate the sentiments, we need to create one superword that means them all? People in the hospitality business here are very friendly, and maybe that's what she was referring to...the people are friendlier here? But, in my experience, they're also flakes. No one has been responsible for ANYTHING here. And if that's the "aloha" way, it is not superior, just alternative. I don't know what's better, acting like nothing matters or overreacting. Taking our time or being prompt. Regardless, things are different from place to place all over the world, and this is usually why people live in these places : when the pace of life matches the desired pace of your own. What I have learned from my 5 weeks here, is that I am not an aloha person. I'm a hello person.

I really have loved a lot of things about this island. It's different than anywhere else I've experienced and it is absolutely beautiful. It is like paradise. A slogan for the luxury homes is "Paradise as it was intended : for the select few." How pretentious can we be?! Can we not share paradise in cheap lawn chairs and a Red Stripe? Do we HAVE to buy 3 million dollar 1 bedroom condos to enjoy it? The interesting thing about this place is that the locals, where all this 'aloha' culture lies, is hidden away. Luau's and other tourist trap type attractions call attention to history and certain aspects, but it's a SHOW. A show where you have to spend $100 to eat and see it. The actual culture is pretty hard to find. And when you do find it, it's not really accessible or friendly. This is true of most touristy places, I understand that either people don't want to be bothered or they want to profit off you. So basically, from the rich to the poor, they're all elitist in my experience so far.

If this post seems to ramble it's because I've been doing night audit for the past few nights...and it's currently 1:30 am and I've had 10 hours of sleep cumulative for 3 days. Work has been a mess and a half here. I think that the fact that the laid back attitude has negatively effected my job in a big way is why I have a negative view of it. I will be in Minnesota this time next week. That makes me happier than anything right now. Although the Pineapple Upside Down Cake that I had tonight did make me happy....but not happy enough to stay any longer than I have to!


  1. I am ready for you to be here

  2. this was a well written fantastic post. come back to unpretentious MN and we'll leave Hawaii for visiting =)

  3. did you get mom on facebook yet?