The good ole days
There is a frequently asked question in Hawaii, "How long have you lived here?" I use to despise that question since it is usually asked in an arrogant way. I was always under the influence that a person who actually moves her on their own free will is actually here by choice, whereas a person born here that never left is only her because because their parents conceived them here.
Fast forward 15 years later and I am now asking the question myself. I am also cussing the "F " and "H" words behind my breath every-time I am in traffic caused by visitors and an overflow of rental cars causing a traffic jam.(even though I am "F-H" person myself )
I recently made the rounds on the Kaua'i bus to my doctor and run a few errands. I have not used the bus much the fast few years and to my dismay the buses are overcrowded. Like the airlines, seats are closer together giving you no personal head space between you and the people sitting in front, behind you and next to you. As my luck would have it, the person in the seat behind me was a chronic cougher who do not cover her mouth.
My Doctors office was filled with out of town walk-ins causing a 90 minute wait. This used to be a small ma and pa doctors office used by the community, now with tourism at an all time high I cannot even go to my doctors office without tourists and large crowds.
The public pool is no longer like cheers bar where it used to be a place where everyone knew your name and they were glad you came. No longer are there the friendly hello's, head nods and small talk. Everyone is waiting for a lane to swim laps, and yes most lanes are now occupied by visitors.
I no longer recognize as any people at the grocery store and the wait at the checkout lane is out of control.
Restaurants are charging an arm and leg and the quality of food does not reflect the high prices being charged. The restaurants make money off visitors with no worries about return business. Most restaurants after 7:00 P.M cater primarily to visitors. There is no incentive for our restaurants or food trucks to pass on reasonably priced meals since tourism is peaking and every night there will be new people, here today gone tomorrow. No need for restaurants to be concerned with repeat business, since new visitors come everyday replacing the ones from the day before.
Real estate is out of control. many locals living 2 and generations in a small home. A fixer upper home in Hanamaulu on Kauai can cost upwards of 500,000 with no garage or basement. Hanamaulu is no resort, more a working class neighborhood.
The only thing that hasn't changed I cannot write about or talk about, since soon it will be discovered by the masses and I will be neglected for a more wealthy looking visitor.
I understand why locals are disturbed, I have only been here 15 years and can hardly believe my eyes on the changes and overcrowding.
Times are a changing, it's time for more roads, more hiking trails, more franchise restaurants like Olive garden, Red Lobster, Red Robin, In and out Burgers and some good cheap buffets. For now I'd settle for a nice Wendy's with a salad bar.
Things will never be what they were, everything changes for the good and the bad.For many reading this, these are the good ole days, for me and the people of my generation the good ole days are gone. I sure miss them