I really don't like living in Hawaii

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Posted 1/28/2013 by Just Jodi in NSBR Board

Just Jodi

PeaNut 59,039
December 2002
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:51:58 PM
I feel like a brat even saying that but we have lived here since May and it has been difficult since day one! I have really been trying to be positive and enjoy the experience because although it is a state, it feels like living in a foreign country at times.
I had an experience today that just makes me want to stay in my house until we leave in 27 months. A friend and I were out and stopped for lunch at a local place. My friend had her 5 year old who has long blond hair with her. Some children came over to us and told that sweet girl how ugly she was with her yellow hair and pale skin. My friend looked to see where their parents were and the whole table was laughing! We paid the check and left.
I know there are some wonderful people here but that isn't the first time we have had issues here.
We have lived all over the world and this is the first place I couldn't wait to leave!


PeaNut 463,630
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:53:44 PM
Aw, I'm sorry. I know what it is like to hate where you live- I do!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 134,808
March 2004
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:54:45 PM
I'm so sorry!

FWIW, my DD didn't care much for living in paradise either. I loved it or a week but couldn't imagine living there full time.


PeaNut 576,169
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:12:12 PM
Wow, that's crazy! How awful for your friend's daughter!

For what it's worth, I have family in Hawaii. My aunt and uncle have two blond kids (teenagers now, but they were both born in HI and have always lived there) and they haven't experienced this kind of thing. So hopefully it won't be an all-the-time thing.

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PeaNut 56,451
November 2002
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:22:48 PM
In the same boat here, only English isn't necessarily the primary language here.

It seems like picking on her to make themselves feel better, being quite jealous of her.

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PeaNut 504,759
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:25:34 PM
I truely understand. My family and I lived there for nearly 4 years. There were positives and negatives to my experience. I just learned to take the good with the bad.

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PeaNut 159,334
July 2004
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:29:23 PM
Wow, what island are you on?

I've been to Hawaii many times, but when I was a teen, my choir went for a competition, staying in Honolulu. As part of the trip, we visited several schools, meeting their choir classes. There were many white kids mixed in with the Hawaiians and Japanese kids. The choir director, an ethnic Hawaiian, who spoke with a surfer accent ala the surfer dude in Lilo and Stitch, said, "you may have noticed that some of our kids have light skin, and some dark. Some were born in the day, and some were born in the night."

It was cute then when I was 17. But now that I look back, I wonder if it was offensive.



PeaNut 314,427
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:34:42 PM
Jodi, I am so sorry! Which island are you on?

We lived on Oahu for three years. We did not experience this negative attitude towards haoles but I am aware of others who have.

In my daughter's kindergarten photo, none of the kids are wearing shoes. Shoes were optional unless there was a field trip My daughter is the only blonde and the only haole in the photo, but what you really notice (aside from the bare feet) is that all the kids have huge grins on their faces. They were all friends.

Little kids have to be taught that different = bad. I am so sorry that you ran into a family that has done that kind of teaching.

All I can recommend is that you look for friends across every spectrum - not just military or mainlanders but also local and native-born and immigrants from other countries. If you belong to a church that can help. I attended college while we lived there and made a lot of friends that way. We made friends through my husband's employment.

I hope things get better for you very soon.



PeaNut 32,544
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:42:25 PM
Awwww, Jodi, I'm so sorry that happened. I lived there for three years and I will say it was the best three years of my life. I dealt with a lot of that crap, but I never let it get to me. I was always the "haole lady" every where I went. I'm blonde and definitely can't pass for a local, but most of the time I would just smile and laugh and speak a little goofy pidgin, and all was good.

I think a lot of the locals really resent the military families. I know when I started working at my job, a lot of the locals had some real preconceived ideas about me because I was a haole from the mainland. Some people were really hateful, but I let it roll off my back and by the time I left, some of the most awful people were really great friends. Some still didn't like me, either.

In my case, it was all about attitude. I went to some really rough places on the island for my job. Most of the families were really kind and lovely to me. I just smiled and tried my best to respect the island way. I'm not saying you don't at all. I'm saying that a lot of times the locals already dislike you because of past experiences they have had.

I miss Hawaii so much, but it sure isn't for everyone.

PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
April 2001
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:45:53 PM
Oh no! That is horrible.

My sister, husband and her two kids live in Kailua. All of them are blonde and blue haired (well, BIL is bald). But, I have never heard of any of them experiencing such a thing. Yikes!


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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:46:07 PM
My friend didn't like it either...felt that as an Anglo, there was a lot of discrimination against her.

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PeaNut 96,783
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:54:46 PM
That is really terrible. I hope you and your friend propped up her child and assured her that the other children were just jealous. I wonder if someone had made THEM feel badly recently and they were turning it around thinking it would make themselves feel better. Which hopefully it did NOT.

I'm kind of astounded. I thought Hawaiians were all polite people.

Just Jodi

PeaNut 59,039
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:55:37 PM
Thanks everyone!
We are on Oahu and it truly is a beautiful island and we are very lucky to live here. My son and daughter have had no issues with fitting in at their schools (high school and elementary ) thank goodness.
I am open to all Hawaii has to experience and I appreciate everyone's advice.

CroppingKate, you might be right with the whole jealousy thing. I hadn't thought of that!

Kymberlee, we have definitely met some wonderful people and we will have wonderful memories of the island because of them.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 181,836
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:58:12 PM
My bf's coworker moved to Hawaii where he and his wife opened a successful business. They only lasted five years because their blonde haired, blue eyed children were getting beat up in school. Some places on the islands aren't very receptive to main landers.


PeaNut 32,544
March 2002
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:02:30 PM
I'm sure you have met some wonderful people, and I am so glad you guys get out and experience the island. Through my job, I met many military families that never ventured off post and then would say how much they hated Hawaii due to the exact thing that happened to your friend.


PeaNut 295,246
February 2007
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:17:55 PM
I have been struggling since moving here last June but not for Jodi's reasons. Culture is different, shopping is limited. I have yet to find a scrapping and/or crafting friend close by and that is what has made it difficult for me. However, IF these are the only issues I have, then life should be pretty good. I know I will get there, but it has been a huge adjustment for me. For my DH and DS - not so much.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 181,911
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:19:27 PM

I'm sorry. Please don't feel bad about not liking living there. It may be paradise to visit, but living there is quite different.

My DH had guaranteed jobs there twice, turned them both down. We did visit, I knew instinctively it wasn't for me. People tend to look at me cross-eyed because we turned it down.

We spent 10 years overseas, I loved every damn thing about it. But I was always, always sensitive to those who were having a hard time. I did invite them out with me, & I hope I helped in that little way.

Unfortunately, we were sent back to the States, I did everything possible to like the place we went, nope. I truly thought I'd lose my mind there, I really, really didn't like the area. And the frickin' snow! And so many people fought to get there, & all I wanted was to run like Hell.

It does help when the kids are doing well, my DD thrived in the place I will not name. Happiest day of my life when we finally got orders out. I literally broke down in huge, giant tears. Couldn't talk to my DH for a couple minutes I was crying so hard.

Good luck. I knew other people who didn't enjoy Hawaii, you aren't alone, & vent away.

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PeaNut 82,319
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:34:05 PM
I've had a couple of friends who moved to Hawaii for work after we graduated. No one lasted more than 2 years due to bad experiences like you posted, and because it was just too expensive.

Long ago Barney
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PeaNut 141,410
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:45:51 PM
My oldest son says everyone needs to live as a minority it is life changing. He lived there several years and readily experienced what you describe. He used to say they needed a commercial on t v feeding a big mean German shepherd dog. Big fat juicy steak with the dog biting the giver. He felt the locals just did not get the howlies were the ones feeding them!

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Gabby Pea

PeaNut 82,634
April 2003
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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:53:32 PM
My husband INSISTS that I would go crazy living in Maui.
He thinks I'll get antsy and not love it as much as I think I would.

I think he's wrong. But whatever.

I live in Seattle and really enjoy all 4 seasons. Round the year summer would be odd, although I did live in So Cal for 4 years.

We have a friend there that is having a hard time deciding whether to marry a local island girl. He said howlie kids have a really hard time in school there. I reminded him that the kid would only be half howlie!

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PeaNut 266,636
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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:03:06 PM
You can have our ignorant red necks and -38 c. I'll take Hawaii

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Legacy Girl

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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:34:13 PM

All of them are blonde and blue haired

That must be QUITE a combination! J/K! But thanks for the smile.



PeaNut 32,544
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Posted: 1/29/2013 5:59:37 AM
Hey Molove...that would be hapa haole. My husband is hapa...half white and half Filipino. He grew up on Oahu.

It's all just nonsense anyway!

PeaNut 97,456
July 2003
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:28:24 AM
There's nothing worse than being stuck somewhere you hate. And to have an experience like that, I'm shocked and saddened to hear that. I do remember the locals not liking the tourists so much, and having some resentment toward the military, but I honestly never heard that kind of talk unless it was just amongst the locals. None of them would have said it to a person's face, and never to a child. I think maybe you just ran into some a$$holes.

I went to college in Hawaii, and although I had no trouble assimilating, I was sooooo glad to get off that rock when school was over. I remember arriving back home to Ca. on a flight that landed at 6am. LAX was full of business folks heading out for business trips...and they were all so....white!! I usually consider Californians to be tanned, but after living in Hawaii for years, everybody looked really white. It was very odd....and my Hawaiian Tropic tan soon faded and I looked like the rest of the white people.


PeaNut 574,604
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:40:58 AM
As far as I know there is no place free of human prejudice.

I was living in an area renowned for its liberalism and avid pursuit of diversity. And yet my African-American coworker encountered blatant, in her face, racism on a weekly basis in stores, restaurants, etc. Lots of people were shocked by her experiences because they were white and had never seen it happen before.

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PeaNut 224,352
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:24:27 AM
I know people who have LOVED living in Hawaii and were sad to leave and I know people who have counted the days until they could leave. I am so sorry you are in the latter group.

I do not have any advice, but at least you have an end date you can look forward to!

I would have hopped up and torn that 'family' a new one. What kind of parents find that funny!?

Hugs to you!

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PeaNut 308,963
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:25:18 AM
We thought that once you leave the tourist areas-where people are very nice and welcoming-the locals are not very nice. Found this especially true when driving the Road to Hana-encountered many locals, and they were scary and most certainly did not want outsiders there.

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PeaNut 151,172
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:27:24 AM
I guess it shouldn't, but this surprises me! Jodi, that's an awful experience and I'd probably feel exactly the same way!

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PeaNut 19,210
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:42:37 AM
Aloha everyone. I'm a born and raised islander. I am not pure Hawaiian just a little.
I think a lot of locals resent the fact that the *haoles* move here for the life style then they want to change the way the locals do things. Also some of the *haoles* look down at the locals. As in every culture there are some ignorant people. This family was one of them.
I'm sorry you had to witness this.

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PeaNut 220
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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:01:44 PM
I was about to say I will gladly switch with you. But it isn't so much the weather. I've heard from other military wives that the locals can be downright nasty in Hawaii. I'm sorry you had a bad experience today. Hope you can find somewhere else to go that makes you happy!


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PeaNut 168,696
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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:17:06 PM
we have good friends that live on the Big Island. They made a huge effort to get to know their neighbors, to "talk story", and learn about the local culture.

I have been to the islands a lot, and haven't heard that Caucasians have difficulties in the schools.

Maybe you could patronize local (family) businesses and get to know folks.


PeaNut 562,203
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Posted: 1/29/2013 2:21:18 PM
When I first read this, I thought, oh, poor thing, must be awful. However, that story is terrible. I hope you find nicer people during the rest of your stay. I love Hawaii, but haven't had to live there.

Just Jodi

PeaNut 59,039
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Posted: 1/29/2013 2:49:04 PM
Thank you for all your kind words! My friends daughter is fine and hasn't mentioned it so we are going to let it go and enjoy our time on the island. We go to the beach or just driving around the island almost every weekend stopping at shrimp trucks and local restaurants along the way and will continue to do so.

If you are ever up at North Shore Oahu don't miss the shave ice at Matsumoto's. Yum!


PeaNut 32,544
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Posted: 1/29/2013 2:58:40 PM
Jodi, the BEST place to have shave ice is Uncle Clay's House of Aloha is Aina Haina Shopping center. It beats Matsumoto's hands down. All of the syrups are freshly made and Uncle Clay mans the cash register. He likes to talk story so be prepared to chit chat awhile if you stop. So ono! We would always stop there after a day at Makapuu or Sandys before heading home.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 497,090
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Posted: 1/29/2013 5:21:50 PM
My neighbors had a couple of bad experiences there when they were on vacation.
They were not allowed on the public bus, The bus driver would not let them on, but let the Japanese family that was waiting with them on. He told the to wait for shuttle.

They were refused service at a small restaurant.

I really thought it was just them, but maybe not now.

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PeaNut 3,009
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:19:39 PM
Several years ago I had some friends who'd lived in Hawaii for six years and said that it was THE WORST. They hated being treated badly because they were from the mainland.


Getting blonder every day

PeaNut 162,956
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:23:32 PM
I'm sorry you're experiencing this! I feel the same way. I lived in NY my whole life and moved to FL 16 months ago. I'm still not adjusted, nor do I ever think I will be. I think you know pretty early on if it's a good fit or not. I'm doing everything I could to be able to move back up north. I'll deal with snow/ice/freezing cold in 1 minute vs. what we're surrounded by now!!

Give it a little more time to see if you find something nice about it. I know, it's hard when you have a negative view right from the get-go. I totally understand it!


PeaNut 314,427
May 2007
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:09:15 PM
The Hawaiian word for white people is spelled HAOLE.

From Wikipedia:
Haole: in the Hawaiian language, is generally used to refer to an individual that fits one (or more) of the following: "White person, American, Englishman, Caucasian; American, English . . . The origins of the word predate the 1778 arrival of Captain James Cook (which is the generally accepted date of first contact with westerners), as recorded in several chants stemming from antiquity. Its use historically has ranged from descriptive to racist invective. . . . Today it is often applied to any who are of Caucasian ancestry, or to those who think or behave in a foreign manner. [edited to take out symbols]

This is an actual word in the Hawaiian language.

It is not, under any circumstance, spelled HOWLIE.

And that's my Public Service Announcement for today.



PeaNut 46,619
August 2002
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:45:46 PM
My good friends, who grew up in Hawaii but had lived in CA and TX since after high school, moved back for a year and were miserable. Rather, the wife got to the point where she was deeply depressed. Her husband, whose family goes back something like 16 generations, was okay but he knew they needed to move back to the mainland to save the marriage. The situation seemed ideal -- they have a gorgeous North Shore ranch and a place in Diamond Head, kids were in the same school that their parents had gone to (I visited and it was fantastic -- it is Obama's alma mater) but it just didn't work for them. Just goes to show that "paradise" has vastly different meanings for different people.


PeaNut 128,923
February 2004
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:06:22 PM
I love Hawaii and we have friends who live on the Big Island and love their life there as well, but we have experienced more than one instance of stink eye.

I kind of equate it to any area where a small segment of the population frowns upon outsiders. Heck, I've lived in Maryland since 1990, but a few (very few) people will still decide to label me a southern hick when they find out I was born in Oklahoma and raised throughout the South. I always wonder whether I should clue them in to the fact that Maryland is actually below the Mason Dixon line but I don't want to shatter their high opinion of themselves. Lol


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