Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tourists Vs. Travelers

After a conversation with several co-workers today, we realized that there are only two kinds of people who come to Hawaii. It's very easy to tell who belongs to which group...

A tourist never thinks he's a tourist. A tourist thinks he is directly related to God. A tourist sees any place he goes to visit as his play ground. The place he has chosen to visit is strictly his playground, and anything more is an abomination to him.

He will seclude himself to only a few comfortable areas, and cannot be bothered to explore anything outside of his direct comfort zone.

Since the tourist sees his destination as something that exists purely for his amusement, he has no respect for the time of anyone else (even other tourists), the feelings of anyone else, the cleanliness of anyone's space or property, or the fact that he is an outsider in another person's home.

Now, this means that a tourist will only really encounter people in some kind of "service" industry. And those people, to him, no matter how he encounters them, exist to serve him. If a tourist encountered me (a stranger) in public, and asked me a question for which I did not provide an appropriate answer, I'd probably get lots of expletives and the finger.

Then there are Travelers. I love Travelers:

The Traveler is a person with a true love for life. The traveler wants to really experience every drop of the world around him that he can fit into a single lifetime. The traveler sees every person he encounters, whether in the service industry or not, as a fellow brother in his global family. He treats just about everyone that way, too. When it comes to really experiencing a new culture, he is in it to win it.

The traveler doesn't care how dirty he gets, how messy his burger is, or whether or not he and his wife have matching aloha shirts on. He will never be rude at dinner, and will try any of the local fare offered to him, no matter how odd looking or smelly. He sees brush-ups with danger as an exhilarating opportunity that will give him great stories to tell his kids.

A traveler, though usually less financially endowed than a tourist, doesn't act like a cheap jerk. He doesn't complain about the price of rental gear, food, or transportation. He doesn't try to get freebies. He's just in it for the ride, and if he can afford the tools to enhance his experience, he probably won't think twice about it.

The traveler knows no strangers, and makes friends with just about everyone he encounters.

Friday, June 11, 2010

When Vog Changes Things

There are many things I love about kona. One, I love that EVERYONE pulls over for emergency vehicles. Aloha spirit is a team effort thing: if someone needs help everyone helps by not slowing things down.

Things I don't like: vog, vog, and vog.

When I get up for an AM shift, before the wind pulls he sulfur gas over here. Kona is beautiful. A big mountain covered in green, up against an open seascape. You can see every kind of tropical bird or plant. Truly lovely. But around 11 am the vog rolls in. Sometimes so thick it looks like a storm cloud hellbent on blocking out the sun (but trapping in heat). It changes Kona from a lush island to a fairly dark grey hill with almost no visibility.

Then, come 6 pm, it's beautiful again.

Now, it's not always like that. Some days it's clear round the clock. And sometimes it rolls in while we are sleeping.

The worst change it has made is to my health. Constant sore throat, shortness of breath, coughing stuff out.

Now. It started to spew from the volcano randomly. In the 80's. It could possibly stop all together one day.

The whole vog issue may change our minds about going through with buying a home in kona right now. On the downside, if a doctor can't help me, we'd be committed to living somewhere bad for my health. On the upside, if the vog decided to quit it's nastiness one day, I would be happy and healthy AND my home will triple in value.

Decisions decisions...

Guess it's a moot point for now til we hear from our #1, which is a short sale.


P.S.short sale is real estate jargon for "half of all eternity."