November 9, 2011

Wikiwiki - Fast

Wiki means fast. So wikiwiki means more faster super fast. Now you can thank Hawai‘i every time you visit Wikipedia, since otherwise it wouldn't have such a cool name.

You may have heard of "Hawaiian time." Like other islands and nations, time is not of the essence here. People and family take greater importance, so if you're in the middle of hanging out with a friend, it's okay to be late to something else. In Spain they had a saying that "only the trains arrive on time." I'm pretty sure even the trains would arrive late in Hawai‘i. (There are plans to build a commuter rail line, but that hot topic is for another day.)

So far, I've arrived after the starting time for a few events, only to find that I'm comfortably on time. Finally, a place where "Tracie time" is acceptable!

Image courtesy of
Speed isn't even really possible on the roadways. O‘ahu is relatively small (less than 600 square miles), so there are only three freeways. Their names are not hard to remember: H1, H2, and H3. Funny since they are part of the interstate system, but they don't quite connect to any other states.

Plus, the fastest speed limit I've seen 60 - exactly wikiwiki. But, if you can't be truly "late", there's no need to be driving crazy fast. Which is good for gas mileage. One of the things people cautioning us about the high cost of living here was the cost of gas. Considering we can't go fast, and it's not too far to go anywhere, then the cost isn't as big deal. And we still have Costco!

One last thing about driving. Since we shipped our car, it still has the Michigan license plate. Which automatically shows we are recently from the mainland. Tourists in their rental cars can hide safely behind their Hawai‘i plates. I wonder if people drive differently around us, knowing we are new here?

It does make the license plate game more challenging, since you can't keep your out-of-state plates for very long. If we're hanging out, running late going somewhere, and I run the opposite direction, and shout "South Carolina!" - now you know why. And then you will be on the lookout.