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Monday, March 10, 2014

"The Good Ole Days..." 'James "Kimo" Rosen'

 James “Kimo” Rosen is a retired professional photographer living in Kapa'a 
with his best friend Obama Da Dog, Rosen also blogs as a hobby.
 A similar version of this blog appeared in the 03-10-14 edition
of the Kauai Garden Island News;
If you like it please click recommend on the top right or bottom of page. The link is below.


The Good Ole Days

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 past few years and to my dismay the buses are now overcrowded. Like the airlines, seats are closer together giving you no personal head space between you and the people sitting in front, behind and next to you. My luck would have  it, the person in the seat behind me was a chronic cougher who did not cover their mouth, not a pleasant experience for this germaphobe.

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. Great for visitors, not good for kama'aina. I bite my tongue since I believe to have the best doctor in the world, so I put up with it.

Driving is also out of control with bumper to bumper to traffic and when you do mange to gain momentum on  the open road  you will most likely be tailgated, nobody on Kauai seems to follow  the simple rule of one car length for each  10 miles per hour...

The public pool is no longer like cheers bar. It used to be a place where everyone knew your name and  they were all 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.

My favorite place to shop has become a mecca for visitors too. I believe the concierges at the local hotels are now telling visitors on rainy days to go to the local Big Box store and wheel around an empty shopping cart and pretend your shopping and eat all the free samples of food.

I no longer recognize as many 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. 

Real estate is out of control. Many locals live two and three  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  or talk about, since soon it will be discovered by the masses and I will be neglected for a more wealthy looking visitor.

 I have only been here 15 years and can hardly believe my eyes on the changes and overcrowding. I can only imagine how those born and raised here feel.

Costco outdoor cafe is about the only affordable place to eat on Kauai. Costco knowing this makes the cafe available to all, you are not required to show your membership card to eat there. I believe this is Costco's way of giving back to the community. The long lines prove the fact that reasonably priced dining is desired and needed. 

Times are changing, it's time for more roads, more hiking trails,  more franchised restaurants like Olive garden,  and some good cheap buffets. For now I'd settle for a nice Wendy's with a salad bar. 

This past year has been a banner year for tourism on Kauai.  My friends in visitor related business are delighted. They tell me this past January and February had a record number of sales in everything from bicycle rentals to shaved ice.

Things will never be what they were, everything changes,sometimes  for the good and at times for the  bad. For   many reading this, these are the good ole days, for others and myself, the good ole days are long gone.

 Sometimes we complain about family, yet still love them. Kauai is like family to me, I Love you Kauai! Oy, the problems of living in a small tourist ridden community.  


Hana Hou, (Encore)  Shared From Facebook...


Eagle 6 said...

comment from Garden Island newspaper;
"Strange irony, fast food places are not only the most affordable, but have cleanliness standards that surpass almost any restaurant anywhere around here. I don't recommend fast food, but the irony is fascinating."

Uncle Aina said...

comment from Garden Island newspaper;
"This is just an angry rant about the same ol stuff. I thought kimo was going to bring something new to this space."

ChumpChangeChuckie said...

comment from Garden Island newspaper;
"Nothing is more permanent than change, but there is one thing I wish would change, and it hasn't. Kauai turns into a freaking ghetto after sunset."

msh808 said...

comment from Garden Island newspaper;

"Kimo, let this born and raised resident tell you exactly what he thinks... I find it ironic that you (a self-admitted "visitor" yourself 15 years ago that decided to stay) complain about the very people in whose situation you were yourself in those many years ago. Your concept of the good old days is far different than this 58-year young locals. It is refreshing, however, to find that we are both tired of the same thing - self-professed know-it-alls who come here and offer their enlightened opinions about what is wrong here (forgetting the very things that attracted them in the first place). Paradise exists only in your mind (and in heaven) - anything else could be improved upon with a little less complaint and a bit more aloha!"

melpas said...

comment from Garden Island newspaper;
"I agree with you Kimo even though I was never born on this island I have been here longing to go back to Oahu for the convenience of everything and the better prices of food and even restaurants. My family and I have been here for only 4 1/2 years and we can see why my husband had left in the first place after Hurricane Iniki. Unfortunately, people come to live here on Kauai by the droves and the buses cannot handle the amount of people who ride them on a daily basis. Because we also cannot stand up on the bus. At least they don't want us too. Well hopefully a time will come that the Dept of Health will start the colored signs and that will help with your eating choices. Good luck with your continuance of living on Kauai my family will be going to Oahu right after graduation."

Deborah Anne said...

Buy your own island! lol

KimoRosen said...

Great Idea Deborah, do you have around 2 billion I can borrow? ;D)

Deborah Anne said...


KimoRosen said...

Private island would be no fun, I would have nothing to gripe about! ;D)

Deborah Anne said...


Deborah Anne said...

The older we get, the more things bother us..think young.

KimoRosen said...

isn't that strange the way we get with a years behind us, sometimes i feel like Mr. Wilson on the old Dennis the menace show...

KimoRosen said...

"Hey you kids get off my grass!" LOL

Deborah Anne said...

Had a neighbor like that when I was a kid, think he mowed his lawn everyday lol