Image by Candace Thoth from Pixabay

Hawaii looks like a beautiful place. And I long to visit one day. It looks like perfection, like life there is a constant state of paradise and beauty. But I do know people who have lived there and it seems that paradise is more like every other place in the world, with it secrets and mundane routines. There is definitely a cost and a downside to the "perfect place." But hey... I'm still going.

Redditor u/Higglesworth98 wanted to hear truth from those that spend their days in paradise by asking.... People who live in Hawaii, what are some misconceptions and/or things people don't realize about island life? [Serious]

Same old, same old....

lilo and stitch water GIF Giphy

Life can often be very routine. There's less space to build new stuff so new developments are generally a much longer timeframe. If you're not comfortable going to the same two beaches, the same three restaurants and the same coffee shop on a regular basis, life can be very difficult here.

captain199

Island Staples

A major employer and source of residency is the US military.

Those of Japanese ancestry make up the second largest ethnicity.

Staples like groceries and gasoline cost a fortune to account for shipping costs.

Yesarooni

Alea....

Lived in Aiea for 3 years.

It's not all about Zippys, Hilo Hattie, and Abc stores.... Apart from the tourist stuff everyone is living and working normal jobs.

Dating is rough if your if your looking for a LTR. Dating pool is small, but tourist and military people we pretty cool for small stints in my case.

Also very few mexican food places. :(.

Orangeglazedcattails

Things of Nightmares....

Damn giant centipedes. Found one a good 10" long on our pillow before going to sleep one night. Also had one get stuck half way in a sticky trap, and I woke up to the sound of it dragging that box all over the kitchen tile trying to escape. Nightmare fuel.

It's a beautiful place to live and has a lot of advantages, but f**k centipedes.

bravehamster

On TV

This isn't a thing anymore, but in the 1960s and 1970s EVERY TV show would have their characters greeted by Hawaiian dancers and get a lei necklace as soon as they stepped off the plane in Honolulu. For awhile I think a lot of people believed this is what happens all the time.

AnthillOmbudsman

Loveless in Paradise....

Bench Press Hulk GIF by Love Island Giphy

Dating is hard in Hawaii. The population is small, and there is a joke that "people are waiting for someone to break up." I could see it being lonely there long term if you didn't find someone quickly or move there with someone.

Reddit

Before Cali....

Born and raised on the Big Island, live in California now.

I can only speak to my own experience in the town I grew up in, on the island I grew up on, but it's a pretty damned normal life, just happens to be in a very beautiful and unique place.

Like any other tourist destination, the vast majority of visitors only see what's on the path of the "guided tour" so to speak. When you peel back that curtain, you just see people living their lives like anywhere else.

Murdathon3000

Peek a Boo

scooby doo halloween GIF by Boomerang Official Giphy

It's not very easy to hide from police on a small island... so "don't do crime kids and stay in school" is a very important message here.

Jonukas96

Crazy Expensive....

I was born and grew up on the mainland. My wife and I have lived in Hawaii (Maui) for almost a decade now. It is definitely a lot more expensive to live here. 2 bags of groceries is generally in the $100 range. Rent is crazy. Gas is stupid expensive. The other end of that is that pay can be higher too, depending on the job. If you get a good job serving somewhere fancy, it's not uncommon to leave with $300-$500 for a shift.

We depend completely on tourism here to survive. So as much as tourists can be annoying, intrusive, rude, and entitled, we need them. Distance is weird. If I'm gonna drive 30 minutes somewhere, we better be having a whole day planned. Eating out somewhere casual is at least $30 for two people. It's really like living anywhere else tho honestly.

I have fast internet, Wal-Mart and Target aren't far away. My family is on the east coast, so seeing them is hard during normal times. Forget about it right now. So that sucks. Also, I miss hoodies, good sammiches, and the woods. But Maui is stunning and magical and living and breathing.

NakedScrub

Influence of the West....

dancer hawaii GIF by ali mac Giphy

Pre Western contact Hawaii had a long and awesome oral tradition, but the islands did not have a written language or written numbers until the 1820s. The Hawaiian Islands did not have a Western system of land surveying/map making/ recording the sale of land until late into the 19th century. Some of the earliest surveys are dated in the 1870s. To this day the state of Hawaii it has two different systems of land registration.

Title searches in Hawaii can be complicated and difficult because many of the original documents were originally written in Hawaiian (which is one of the official languages of the state). Even today there are many clouded titles on land and disputes as to actual ownership dating back to the days of the Hawaiian monarchy, and some of those claims are still in litigation more than a 100 years later.

Maui96793

Climate Needs

I am kind of surprised no one has said that the homeless population is outrageous in Hawaii.

saltywings

A big part of that is the fact that homeless people come from the mainland to be homeless here because it's a more livable climate.

I've met soo many homeless people who came from like Washington or Colorado.

And then also, when all the mental health hospitals were closed, there still hasn't been any programs or ways to help people who needed those services and therefore, homeless.

And then now Covid.

Hi_Supercute

Molokai'i it's just what it is...

Relaxed Island Life GIF by Sentosa Giphy

Depending on which island you're on, you legit can be out of food and have to wait on the barge to come by for basic crap.

It's like living in the mainland when you have shortages from storms and such. The grocery store just has what it has and if it doesn't wait a few days for the next barge.

On Maui and Oahu and the big island you don't really see this, but out on Molokai'i it's just what it is.

payperplain

Oahu

Born and raised on Oahu. Every local I know doesn't wear shoes or slippers in the house. And most dislike going to tourist spots (like Waikiki). Also a half hour drive is considered a long drive.

kira621

Bad Times

My dad moved to Oahu and stayed out there for many years. I would go visit when I could.

The biggest thing I noticed was the drugs and outright poverty that seems to go over looked. With that came violence. My dad got mugged and put in the hospital coming out of a bar. I was beat up walking out of a hotel once.

per_alt_delete

The Theme Park

We went to Kauai a couple years ago and while there we attended the agricultural fair. A local told us he dropped $500 on he family at the fair. He said that was it as far as amusement parks so every year the fair was the thing. It hit us then that for us we could go a couple hours to say Busch Gardens or a day to Disney World. If they were to go to anything like that other than the fair it would be a major haul to the mainland.

AllSoulsNight

Big Island

look at this turn around GIF by Shinesty Giphy

You don't honk (much) and NEVER flip off someone in traffic.

A quick shaka will do, since you may know them or see them at the store soon anyway.

We lived on O`ahu for a decade, and have family born and raised on there and the Big Island, but will never be "local".

Don't try to talk pidgin. I know the lingo and tonal inflection, but still, just no.

Wrathchilde

I'll be there for you...

Lived on Oahu for about 4 years from 2012-2016. How expensive everything is is definitely at the top of the list. The one that most people don't expect is that I had a hard time making friends. I'm guessing this could be hard in any tourism based place but I'd go to the restaurant or bar and meet tons of people. They were all there for the week. It seems that even residents my age were all only there for a short timeframe as well. I just had a constantly rotating group of friends and it got old.

That's part of the reason I moved back to the mainland. Also everyone was always stealing stuff. Mopeds and other goods get stolen all day every day if it's not locked, it's gone. It was frustrating the amount of stuff that would just go missing or get broken into.

All that being said, I would live there again. I do miss it every once in awhile.

FeelinFishy16

flying out...

Was stationed at Oahu. When I first got there I thought the place was beautiful and had a great time. But after 3 years I kinda got sick of all the disrespectful tourists and the fact that it is a small island and the only way for me to leave was flying.

aznsensation8

Haole

Being called a haole can be derogatory or neutral depending on how it's used. I'm a white woman married to a brown man. Once, we were having dinner out while I was pregnant and our server told us we were going to have the cutest hapa-haole baby. She was pretty nice and I'm pretty sure she said it completely innocuously.

Another time I was visiting the Big Island (I lived on Oahu) and was checking out an off-the-beaten-road beach that belonged exclusively to the locals. It was crystal clear that I wasn't welcome, and though they never called me it to my face, I heard them call me a haole amongst themselves and it definitely wasn't neutral.

When I first moved to Oahu, my husband's employer hosted us for a dinner party with some of his new co-workers.

Another white dude who had lived there for about 20 years pulled me aside and told me point-blank that I should expect to be called a haole and not to let it bother me. That I was a white person from the mainland in their space - it was my trade off. Broadly speaking, it wasn't really an issue while I lived there. Most people were really nice as long as you weren't acting like a self-entitled fool.

Reamund

The Florida of Paradise...

bob ross painting GIF Giphy

Lived in Honolulu for four years. People tend to think of Hawaii as a peaceful, laid back place but really it's a freaking madhouse.

I also lived in Florida for five years and I always tell people that Hawaii really is what people only think Florida is. I've shared many stories on Reddit over the years of the endless string of lunatics and crazies I dealt with on nearly a daily basis out there. There's something about being on a remote island in the middle of nowhere that really brings out the loony in people.

schnit123

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REDDIT

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They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!