Going to Hawaii was one of those once in a lifetime experiences because of it’s great distance from the mainland. It’s colorful and deeply bio-diverse landscape passed by our every moment on our 10-day journey. It is also a place of contradictions, there are gated communities vs. where the locals live. There are certain places like Honolulu where every square foot is developed and there are places off the big island where nothing is going on for miles.
In terms of food that I ate I can recall a variety of experiences. Because at certain portions in our trip my family was staying at Airbnb, we primarily went grocery shopping for our breakfasts. Unfortunately, we weren’t always able to invest in the local economy and my family just settled for whole foods. Which imports a variety of foods that we are accustomed to. This was our experiences at airport hotels and other similar establishments. One unique thing about Hawaii is it’s long-distance from the mainland. There are certain consequences because of this food have to be imported from far off places. People pay higher prices for food and it’s a higher cost of living if the essentials aren’t as cheap.
In contrast with our whole foods experience we did eat from a variety of local restaurants. Unlike here where you might find a Burger King, McDonalds or Wendy’s off the side of main street. There are a variety of successful local restaurants that can be found off of the highways. One of the surprising finds was a rather small looking restaurant which served primarily comfort food with a local charm. What made the experience very special was owners took their time and talked with us. Even pointing out certain tourist attractions that we might have wanted to visit in particularly a beach with green sand. When transitioning from one hotel to the next my family didn’t prep ahead of time. So, we were hoping to depend on restaurants but there were none open because it was Christmas. We ended up eating some Spanish bread and vegetables from a local market. We were hungry by the end of the day but it was more important that we contributed to the local economy. This situation felt fairly equivalent to a story my parents tell each thanksgiving. That in 1998 when me and my family first moved here from Belgium, we didn’t necessarily understand thanksgiving. They thought that all the shops would be open and they could eat something for dinner. Surprisingly this wasn’t the case and my parents ended up buying food from a gas station. In that way my trip to Hawaii let me accept different cultural experiences that I hope to share with others.
Bram Kools (2/17/19)