| 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.
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...