I think I remember doing a post a couple years back about some culture shocks of Ohio. I think it was the price differences I noticed between Ohio and Hawaii. Well, I’ve got some culture shocks for this time that I came back from Ohio.
1. There’s space here.
I flew into Erie International Airport, which is not in Ohio, so I had a nice long drive home. Wow, there is just so much space. For like anything. It’s kind of weird. Not only is there space, stuff is really spread out. The island of Oahu only had one civilian airport. Ohio alone has at least 5. There are 5 within 2.5 hours of where I live, and three of those are in Ohio (the other two being in Pennsylvania). Highways seem a lot wider, and there are yards here. That was quite a layered culture shock.
2. Where are my slippers?
To go outside to get the mail should not require me to look for socks and then put on shoes and tie them. No, that is way too much work. When I say slippers, I am of course referring to sandals/flip-flops. But you would call them slippers in Hawaii. So, I don’t even know what they are anymore. I thought they were sandals, but I’ve had three people already call them flip-flops. Either way, they’re much easier to put on and use.
3. It’s cold.
Wow, it was pretty cold the first night or two that I was back. Actually, the last few days have been warmer. Last night was like burning hot. I would have had the windows open, but there were no screens and I hate bugs, so I’d rather deal with the heat than the bugs. When it gets hot in Ohio, it’s pretty hot. So, honestly, I’ll take the cold. In fact, I feel like I am already used to it.
4. Gas below $4 a gallon.
Stop complaining about gas price. Just don’t. When I saw that gas was $3.98, an exclaimed out loud, my dad reacted, “Yeah, I know, it’s ridiculous”. Of course, I was exclaiming the idea that it was inexpensive, and he the idea that it was expensive. Now I’ve seen it as low as $3.79. Gas had hit $5 when I was in Hawaii. People in Ohio need to stop complaining.
And that reminds me again of the high prices of everything in Hawaii. Well, I guess that is to be expected. However, it certainly puts things into perspective. It’s incredible the amount of things you can get dirt cheap over here, if you just look around. The Dollar Tree has so much for just $1, it almost had my jaw dropped. You can really get toothpaste and toothbrushes (brand name) for $1? Really? I swear I paid 4 times as much sometimes in Hawaii. You thought orange juice was expensive in Ohio? I’ll gladly pay $2.50 for 64 oz here. I’ve paid $9.99 for the same amount of orange juice in Hawaii. I’m not kidding. And I’ve seen it for $1.79 over here, too.
So, I’ve learned a little bit. My perspective has changed. One of the greatest things I took away from Hawaii was acknowledgment. One of the last people to interact with me in Hawaii was a lady running a shuttle service from the rental car place to the airport terminal. As she was kindly helping me unload my heavy checked bags, she commented on injuries people get from carry the bags by themselves. I agreed, and said “Yeaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh” in a kind of long agreement; no sarcasm intended and probably none detected. She then paused, and I noticed her pause and stop moving. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “You sound like you’re from here”. She had just gotten finished with helping my mother and grandmother out of the shuttle. She probably expected that all of us were tourists at first. She knew immediately that I wasn’t. I responded to her that I had been going to the University of Hawaii for four years and just graduated, so I probably would sound like I was from Hawaii. She agreed, and I was on my way. There was something about that acknowledgment that said a lot to me. I had been away for 4 years. Even though I went home for summers, I had been in a different culture. I really had gotten used to the real Hawaii. She knew it. I knew it. Even if it was just in my voice. That meant a lot to me.
Well, to avoid sounding too mushy, I’ll end it there. I enjoyed my time in Hawaii. Hope to be back soon enough!