Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Category Archives: Hawaii

“Hawaii Life” TV show: Oh, Let’s all move to Kauai!!!

One new show I recently stumbled across on Comcast On Demand in the HGTV section was “Hawaii Life”.  The two episodes I watched both featured the island of Kauai and families moving from the mainland to Kauai.  One family was moving from Alaska to Kauai and the other show highlighted a married couple moving from Indianapolis to Kauai.  From the flow of the show, I’m guessing the show is either taped right after each family’s real estate transaction was closed or maybe it was actually filmed during some of the process.  To me, I felt that the show was taped after the real estate transaction was closed.  I’m not even sure the properties they looked at (during the show) were really the ones they considered.

It was nice to see the island of Kauai and the homes they considered.  As a promotional piece, this show is awesome.  It makes moving and living on Kauai super easy.  “Hawaii Life” skips the education issue by mentioning that the family from Alaska would home school their children.  We also don’t hear about the traffic problems on Kauai.  Don’t get me wrong, Kauai is a wonderful place but the paradise aspect of the show is overdone.

I know that these reality shows don’t want to show you the bad things but it would be nice to know the truth about traffic, education, weather, etc.  In a 21 minute show, I know you can’t do that.  People have to do their own research if they plan to move, not just watch a couple of real estate programs about Kauai, jump on a plane and move.

To be honest, these people had made previous vacation trips to Kauai and had jobs lined up before they moved.  Would I move back to Kauai with my family?  I’m tempted but in reality, I won’t be moving them back any time soon.  I miss the wonderful weather (especially during the Seattle wet winters) but I like my life in Seattle.  I enjoy the different seasons: the snowshoe hikes in the Cascades, swimming on the lake on Anderson Island in the summer, traveling cheaply to other parts of the United States with reasonable airfares, the Oregon Coast, the train trips.

With that reality show on your mind: Kauai hibiscus flowerWhat would you consider the most inspiring television show in history?  Don’t worry; I don’t have a clue either.  With this age of reality shows, most of us would prefer that the most inspiring show was the one that alludes to the end of all other reality shows.  I’m tired of being sucked into these train wrecks reality shows.  I have no self control and like watching them and I know is a totally waste of time.  What does the show “Housewives of Beverly Hills” offer me?  How is “Honey Boo Boo” going to teach me to be a better parent?

However, I do like “Pawn Star” and “American Restoration”.  Now that is interesting….a little history lesson at a pawn store.  Who would have known?


It’s Official: Fall is here in Seattle – Worthless Advice: Time to dress a little warmer!

Heck, if you haven’t noticed Fall is here in Seattle.  In my humble house, I finally turned on the furnace and restarted the gas fireplace this week marking the end of summer.  In Seattle, summer dragged on until October 9.  Now, I’m not complaining about that.  It has been a really nice treat for everyone.  I haven’t worn a coat for a long time.  There has been no noticeable rainfall for a good month and a half (maybe longer) and daytime temperatures were hitting 70 degrees.

However, the last few days, the weather has turned colder and I’ve accepted fall like the comfortable friend she is.  We flipped on the gas fireplace and experienced the smell of the dust being burned off.  Every year, my goal is to wait until at least October 1 to turn on the heat and the fireplace.  We made it to October 9 so I’m happy.

Since it is October, we are also in Halloween mode.  The decorations are coming out in our neighborhood, the leaves on the trees are turning, and the rain is back.  We won’t see the sun until the end of June.  Welcome Fall weather!  Enjoy the rain 24/7, the temperatures in the 40-55 degree range.

In a week, I’ll be sick of this rainy weather and will be blogging about how much I hate it and wished I was living back on Kauai.

Hawaii Waterfall

Wailua Waterfall 2011

A “Why People Are Stupid” Segment: A pet peeve

As you may or may not know, I recently escape from my extremely exciting life here in Seattle and travelled back to Kauai for some rest and relaxation.  I am quite fortunate to be able to stay with my parents in their guest cottage on Kauai.  While not quite the guest house of the TV show Magnum P.I., it suits me well for my vacation needs.

As with many people, visiting the old stomping grounds of one’s youth brings memories flooding back.  One in particular that annoys me is the recent mainland transplant person that insists on using as many Hawaiian words as they can in their everyday speech.  I’m not talking about tourists, I’m talking about the people that retire to Kauai (or any other Hawaiian Island) and try to make you think that they lived there their whole life.

This person could be male or female but they are transplants to the Hawaiian Islands.  It is so annoying to see them pretend that they have lived here their whole lives.  They sprinkle a few Hawaiian words into their speaking style with such abandonment you swear you were in a 1960’s CIA educational video on “how to blend in” tot the local area.

A lot of the Hawaiian words they use are perfectly fine.  However, when they sprinkle them into their regular mainland speech style, it drives me nuts.  They clearly don’t know or understand that a whole other dialect of English exists in the Hawaiian Islands.  This is called “pidgin” or “pidgin English”.  It is a slang that separates the tourist from the locals.

What exactly is a local?  I would argue that is someone that is born in the State of Hawaii that has a darker skin tone and a Hawaiian last name.  That is a very limited definition because Hawaii is a huge melting pot of different cultures and people.  You might have a common German last name but your family is almost all local.  And you might have a Hawaiian last name and only be one percent Hawaiian blood.  Once you live in Hawaii, you just know who is who from the way they act and talk.

Now, my pet peeve isn’t that I hate anyone that comes to Hawaii to live, my pet peeve is their insane belief that by speaking a few Hawaiian words, everyone will think they are locals and have lived there their whole life.

An example: You are at a fairly public place talking with a friend or spouse about a place on Kauai, our Transplant overhears you and wants to be your “Aloha” friend.

The Transplant of Stupidity (TTS): Aloha!  I noticed you were talking about that restaurant, it’s really good.

Me: Oh really.  I never did really like it.

TTS: I just took my ohana there and we loved the pupus!  I’m a ka’amina and I love to travel from the mauka side of the island here.  In fact, last time we were here, we saw some honi swimming in the waves.

Me: Really? Where are you from?

TTS: My hale is in Kapaa.

Me: No, where are you originally from?

TTS: I’m from here.

Me: I think you are not fully understanding my simple question…where did you move from before you lived on Kauai?

TTS: Well, I lived in California (or Washington or Oregon or Utah…it doesn’t matter TTS come from everywhere) before I moved here.

A local person would use pidgin English for that whole conversation and you wouldn’t understand what half of it meant….but the local would.

I know that I will never be considered a “local” on Kauai.  Once you are a haole (a foreigner, Caucasian) you are always a haole.  You do have friends that are born and raised there and are Caucasian, but are always describe as haole.  Their local friends will call them local haoles to separate them from the transplants.  I’m not a local haole and I don’t try to pass myself off as one.  I do run into people I went to school with on Kauai and I still have friends on Kauai but I don’t speak “pidgin” to the same degree they do.  They might say I’m a local haole but I’m not comfortable saying that myself.  I accept that I’m a haole and I’ll just stick to my mainland English.  I can still wear my local style clothes and eat my local food (because the food is really awesome) but I won’t try to say I’m local (considering I haven’t lived on Kauai since college).

In reality, I’m a tourist in my old stomping grounds and this leads me to enjoy Kauai for the great place it is.  I know good bodyboarding beaches and I know good snorkeling spots.  I can visit a secluded beach or swim in a mountain stream only the locals know about.  I accept that.  I just won’t sprinkle Hawaiian words into my speech in a sad attempt to pretend that I lived there my whole life.

A hui hou kakou (until we meet again)…which no one says unless they speak fluent Hawaiian.




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