As the most isolated population center on the entire planet, the Hawaiian Islands are incredibly unique in everything from our scenery and land formations to our culture and common quirks. Things that seem totally normal here – like throwing shakas in traffic or being cold at 70 degrees – are met with weird looks and confusion anywhere else. These 12 quirks shared by Hawaii locals might seem absolutely insane to anyone who isn’t familiar with Hawaiian culture.
1. Eat Spam on a regular basis.
Did you know that 7 million cans of Spam are sold in Hawaii each year according to Spam’s website? Spam haters obviously haven’t tried Spam Musubi.
2. Bundle up when the temperature dips below 75 degrees.
When you acclimate to tropical weather, any dip in temperature leaves you freezing – even if it is 70 degrees!
3. Use “mauka” and “makai” instead of traditional cardinal directions.
Meaning “to the mountain” and “to the sea,” respectively, mauka and makai make way more sense than east and west.
4. Get up before dawn for a sunrise hike.
You might think we’re crazy, but nothing beats starting your day with exercise and a sunrise.
5. Allow geckos to live inside their homes.
They eat all of the other bugs for you. Plus, they’re incredibly cute.
6. Call the contiguous 48 American states, “the mainland.”
It’s just what we do.
7. Plan our lives around avoiding rush hour traffic.
Otherwise, we might get stuck in two hours of traffic just to run to Costco – and nobody wants that.
8. Own only three pairs of shoes: slippers, fancy slippers, and hiking boots.
Really, what other shoes do you need?
9. Throw shakas all the time.
Funny story: I once gave someone a shaka for letting me cross the road while visiting Minnesota. Their face was one of disbelief and concern that I was throwing a gang sign at them.
10. Talk about distance in the time it takes to get there, not miles.
11. Not knowing who your real cousins are…
…or your aunts and uncles, for that matter. We’re all ohana, here!
12. Complain about anything, ever.
Because complaining about anything in your life will certainly result in anyone who hasn’t lived here saying “But you live in paradise!” Well, yes, but we still deal with many of the same everyday struggles as you.