Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Lesson In Aloha

Shakka's up!  A photographer behind me yelled this and I snapped this photo at the 2012 Honolulu Color run.

I guess I'm missing Hawaii a bit... so here's a post about Hawaii.  It was like a scene out of a movie, but it would have ended much differently on the east coast...

Where we lived and worked in Hawaii is right next to a private Catholic school.  I was headed to pick Jess up and pulled out of our driveway and followed a car that was leaving the Catholic school.  The next thing I know HUNDREDS of pieces of paper fly up into the air and litter the street.  The driver had left her binder on top of her car!  It was like a movie scene on the last day of school.  The driver realized what happened and pulls over.  This street is really a two way street but it could only allow one way traffic at a time because of the cars parked on the side.

I had two options.  I could drive over all of her homework and pass her and be on my way or I could help this girl pick up her papers.  I chose the later.

I pulled over, threw my hazards on and starting picking up papers, some were flying down the sewer drain, there was not much I could do about that.  The girl was embarrassed and kept say I'm so sorry.  The guy behind me stopped and got out and helped pick up the papers littered everywhere too.  When we had finished picking them all up and handing them to her she thanked me and I got back in my car.  As I drove off I noticed that quite a few cars had began to line up as we had stopped traffic.

But I noticed something as I drove by.  No one was honking, and no one even looked impatient, well maybe the first guy looked impatient, or maybe just tired.  I think someone might have even smiled to me as I drove by, as a, hey thanks for helping kind of gesture.  The bus driver that was waiting to get into the school smiled and waved at me.

I feel like if we were on the east coast that would have ended much differently.  Someone might have gotten out to help, but the rest of the people would have honked, and people would have driven over the papers because they were in a hurry.

I was giving someone directions once REALLY fast at a red light in Maryland, 175 and Snowden, the light turned green and seriously not even a second later, as I was finishing up giving the guy directions, the person behind me LAYED on his horn and yelled "come on!!"  I looked in the rear view mirror both he and his passenger had their hands up in the air like what are you doing?!  It wasn't very nice of me, but let me tell you I took the LONGEST time getting through that light, to the tune of that mans horn.  That story is still slightly infuriating.  

I like Hawaii, I like that it's laid back.  I like the Aloha.  Whenever you put your blinker on, someone lets you in, even though Honolulu has the worst traffic in the United States.  You flash them the shakka out the window and you're on your way.  That is a much different hand gesture than you might see driving on the East Coast.  The only time that I'm recalling hearing someone beep their horn was when I was driving back from the west side where there is a cluster of resorts.  The guy beeping wasn't local, it was a tourist in a rental car.

Engage:  Are you a patient or impatient driver?  What is your biggest driving pet peeve?  Let us know in the comments.


  1. Hi Jim,
    Wait til you hit Florida. I think they were trained to lay on their horn here.  Seems like the worst offenders are the transplanted seniors that seem to have no patience.  As you mentioned, they throw up their hands like your a stupid driver (at least that's my thought.)  This is my first year at driving here as I've always preferred to be the passenger.  It's a brand new experience.  No one waits, gives you a break, etc.  Oh well, I try to be patient with their impatience.
    Waiting patiently for your visit.
    Love, Grandma

  2. there is this entrance ramp onto a bridge i have to take every day to get home from work. it goes from two lanes, to three, down to one in a span of about 50 feet. and no one ever knows which lanes are supposed to merge with which. ugh. I'm the mean girl who will ride the bumper of the person in front of me so people who are trying to pass inappropriately (like on the shoulder or the far lane that disappears) can't get in.

  3. I miss the Aloha too!  LA freeways are a bit different than Queen K highway in Kona.  :)  But, I have to say I'm an alright driver... I have a reggae music playlist that I play when the traffic starts to tense me up and I calm right back down.  Stressing doesn't help the 405 move any faster!

  4. i like that you have a calm down driving playlist, awesome.

  5. maybe you should make a "chill out while driving playlist" like Jillian. :)

  6. you'd think with the sunshine that they'd be more patient… they need some aloha! They are probably all transplants from the busy east coast… see you soon :)


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