Living in Hawaii *Tips from the Ohana*

Member tips for Living Aloha!

Be careful of the red dirt. It STAINS. Stock up on stain removers. Have certain shoes for stomping around outside, because they will get ruined LOL.

Stock up on summer clothes before you come, cos in “winter” here they sell winter clothes

I have learned that bread goes bad faster; fruit also. I’ve leared that centipedes are everywhere and if you stand in an area with lots of trees, shake out your clothes (i’ve brought one home before)
I’ve learned that you lock your car everywhere you go, because this whole island is a tourist hot spot so theives thrive in those areas
The Pet quarantine process isn’t difficult, just time consuming and confusing. Consult the base your leaving for the help, they have done it before.

Try places (eating out) even if they don’t look like they’ll be good because it can suprise you!

I’ve learned that Mahalo does not mean trash…it means thank you….hahahahhaa

The best thing for killing centipedes is brake cleaner….

I learned to make sure there are no piles of grass or leaves around the outside of my house because centipedes love dark damp places….

lock up your house….if you have a sliding glass door…use a board or wooden broom stick in the track to keep people from being able to open your sliding glass door…

don’t leave valuables in your car

don’t be afraid to maek friends with the locals….

learn the history of the island and learn to respect and honor sacred customs and places…

when entering someone elses’s home remove your shoes…it is a sign of respect for the person’t home…

Check expiration dates when buying foods in stores here

Pine Oil or Borax sprinkled around the perimeter of your house keeps centipedes away.

Always check outside hotspots for things such as centipedes (I found one in the girls outside toy box).

A regular old fly swatter will kill the majority of the cockroaches.

We’ve found spraying the flys with Windex paralyzes and then kills them instantly.

Don’t leave anything out that will attract ants, because they will invade your house.

The big black cockroaches don’t nessacarily mean you have a filth problem…they just come in to feast. You should only be concerned when you have the smaller brown ones.

Put a coakroach trap by your dryer, under your sinks and behind the fridge. usually they sneak in through the wierdest spots.

Go with an open attitude, if you are so against it then you are going to hate it no matter what

Get the TMK map book (borders, exchanges, Chevron stations) it will become your bible

Find the out of the way, small restaurants they are cheap and often really, really good

Comparison shop at the exchanges and commissaries as well as local stores, often the prices can vary depending on the location of the store.

(side note, yes robberies are bad in Hawaii, but the murder rate is so low, I swear every night on TV here in So Cal there is a story about someone getting stabbed or murdered here. I would definitely take the robberies over the murders any day).

Spraying around the entrances and windows with Ortho Home Defense has been one of the best things we’ve done to keep the ants at bay. You can even spray it inside, as it is safe for animals and children after it dries.

Get the book, “Oahu Revealed”… our copy has so many folded pages, margin notes, highlighter marks, etc… AWESOME book

In addition to the things already mentioned…I’d say ask for the kama’aina rate everywhere you go. Even if you just got here, you live here and have an address so you should be able to get discounts on several attractions…& get your local supermarket’s card (like the Foodland card) so you don’t pay more than you have to. (This is true for a mil. discount if you’re AD military- many places give it, just ask!)

Know the traffic pattern here- be prepared to sit and crawl, esp. going west, if you come out of downtown between 3-6pm, etc. The North Shore/Kam highway get parade-slow on the weekends. It’s all still drivable (is that a word?) but just know it’ll take you longer.

Definitely the petty crime thing. Treat your car like it could be gone when you get back to it (no matter where you park) and don’t leave squat in there.

And know Hawaii is a very exercise-friendly place. I LOVE that there are sidewalks everywhere, people walk and bike a lot. So get a bike if you live close enough to shopping, attractions, etc.! You’ll save gas too.
Oh, and buy that gas at Costco if you can’t get it on a miitary base.

Always have a backup battery powered alarm clock as the electric lines do go down.
The state tax is only 4.166% for now (unless they have already raised it), which often is half of other state taxes (especially Washington which starts at 8.6 and then goes up), so while stuff might seem expensive it can even out in the end, especially eating out.

Go to the flea market at the stadium for basic clothing and stuff for your place cause you can get some good deals.

Learn how to pronounce the alphabet properly so while the hwy looks like it should say Like Like (meaning I like you), it really is lee-ka leeka

Make sure you have a hurricane kit

And on the first of the month (or if it is a weekend then it would be the first weekday) between June 1st and Nov 30, around 11:50 in the morning you will hear a siren going off, DON”T PANIC!! it is just a practice siren to make sure it works.

Get the Polynesian Cultural Center yearly pass up there as it is only 29.95 for adults and 19.95 for kids.

~Learn some Hawaiian. I’m sure whenever anyone finds out they’re coming here, they look it up online. But I felt more prepared by knowing the Hawaiian alphabet has only 8 consonants. Also learn a few words – mahalo, keiki, mauka, etc…..It’s interesting to me how an odd Hawaiian word gets thrown in on a daily basis.

~Buy Oahu Revealed. Pick restaurants, beaches, hikes, based on it.
Also the spiral map book.

~Make it the adventure and opportunity that it is. So many people would DIE to be in your slippas

EVERYTHING rusts here. Our stainless steel grill, our knives, etc. Dry anything metal immediately.
Keep your pancake syrup in the fridge. The ants can find it in a cabinet even in a fairly new home. I found that one out the hard way this past weekend…LOL! Also, COMBAT makes an ant killing gel that works pretty well…we had to put it around a light fixture and it did not drip!
Big thing for me was realizing that it really is more of an Asian Culture than anything!!! You don’t have to say or do everything that crosses your mind, you might be regarded as rude…

Be prepared if you are obviously a different race to be treated differently… but that doesn’t nessacarily mean that you’ll be treated bad… just different!!

Oh and regarding the syrup in the fridge… sealing it in a ziplock works as well…
works well on anything sweet…

-Take off your shoes when you go into someone’s house. It’s considered rude when you don’t

-Bread goes bad REALLY quickly. Everything goes bad really quickly. Don’t buy too much food at once — it’s usually best to go shopping once a week because a loaf of bread will mold after a week.

“Terro for sweet ants”. Its a godsend for keeping ants away. You can buy it at Longs drugs.
As soon as i open something from a box (like cereal, or chips, crackers…etc.) I put it right into a ziplock bag. Yeah, so i have a cabinet full of like food thats in gallon sized ziplocks, but it was that or wonder if there were ants crawling around in the raisin bran.
Get out and try something new, eat somewhere new, …basically enjoy Hawaii. I could list of bunch of places that could be worse than here…and how many people do i know that wish they lived here. Enjoy every day and dont take it for granted.
And along those lines – don’t wait! You never know, you may not be here as long as your orders say
Don’t waste time “waiting” to go do things, see things, or try restaurants.
Another random odd thing I found was that the Police officers can use their own cars to pull you over…they will have a single blue light at the top of thier own vehicle….Crazy but good thing to watch out for. *Oh and this is not from experience I haven’t got pulled over I just saw that and asked a local and they told us. How weird I thought!!
On the bread issue…we extend the life of our bread by buying it at Costco (yes, it’s cheaper to get two loaves at Costco than at the commissary) and then put one loaf in the fridge and one loaf in the freezer.

Bugs are a fact of life in Hawaii and really cannot be avoided. I learned to love my ‘pet’ geckos as they kept away the 4 inch roaches and kept down the itty bitty sugar ants.

The Hale Koa is nice but for PCSing you must have a statement of non-availability (can’t remember which branch you are but if Army from Schofield Guest House and/or Tripler Guest House) or it will NOT be covered by TLA. Count on about 6 weeks for household goods to arrive. If you move into on post housing there is Aloha loaner furniture. They no longer loan out furniture off base. Count on several weeks for a car to arrive depending on what part of the country generally take 2-3 weeks.

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