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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tell me how nice you are 

Last week the Clan Hank (Hank, MLWN, YW, YA, parents-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife (question: is the wife of my wife's brother my sister-in-law?) went to Molokai for a week of relaxation. When they say there's not a lot to do on Molokai, they are not lying. Part of the problem is that there are things to do, but you have to pay through the nose to actually do them. For example, at the Eastern end of the island is the lovely Halawa Falls. It's about 2 miles from the road, but to get there you have to transit a piece of private land. The farmer whose land is crossed wants some money. This shakes out as the requirement to hire a 'guide' to walk with you up the trail to the falls at $75 per head. That's pretty damn pricy for a walk that takes at most a few hours. A few years ago we went to the Big Island and Maui, they also have their fair share of super expensive activities, but there are places to go and things to do that, at most, cost a few bucks for entrance. Molokai has none of those. You either sit on the beach and have fun splashing in the waves or you pay a ton of money for all your fun.

We sat on the beach and by the pool and it was good.

Pictures to follow.

But back to the title. Molokai-ians are pleased to refer to their island as the "Friendly Isle". This reminds of a place where I used to live; Minnesotans refer to themselves as being "Minnesota Nice". Since this is a blog and wild generalities are what we're here for, I will use two points to make a line and present you with Hank's Law of Niceness: If the people in a particular place take pains to tell you how nice/friendly they are, they aren't. In general, the people on Molokai seem to not like the people who come to their island. The predominant attitude is one of annoyance at the tourists' presence. For example, I saw multiple "Welcome to Molokai, now go home" bumper stickers and signs in places where you'd expect to find tourists. Now don't mistake me. It's just fine to hate tourists. I've been known to partake of that myself. I can even understand why they feel that way: Molokai is very rural. I think the population of the entire island is about 7000 people. Try sending a constant flow of tourists to any isolated town of 7000 people in random America and the locals will probably be a bit short tempered. Just don't tell me how friendly you are while you're in the middle of all the hating.


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