Rulz” about living in Hawaii.
an underlying, unspoken cultural etiquette to living in the Aloha
State, and if you’re not local, these rules can be totally
confusing. Actually, they’re confusing, even if you are local.
it’s an Asian thing, maybe it’s a Hawaii thing or maybe it’s
Uchida thing, but we have some strange customs. There’s no manual
or handbook – you’re just supposed to know “da rulz.” I’m
a local girl and don’t even know all “da rulz,” I can’t
imagine what it’s like for a visitor or mainland transplant.
My grandpa and I were washing my car the other day in his condo’s
community parking lot. Even though there were lots of open stalls,
he moved his car out of his assigned stall and onto the street so I
could park in his spot and use the water hose. Rule 1: NEVER park in
a neighbor’s spot, regardless of how long you’ll be there or
whether you’ll be with the car.
So my grandpa’s spraying down the car and I’m scrubbing it and
laughing and chatting away about my grandma, Mother’s Day, my new
boyfriend and other stuff. “No talk while you wash da car,” he
said sternly. I looked up at him, “What are you talking about?”
I asked, slightly confused. “No talk while you wash da car,” he
repeated. “Everybody can hear you. Just wash.” Rule 2: Respect
the neighbors. Always think about the people around you –
especially neighbors that you see every day.
I had never heard of this rule, especially on a Sunday afternoon at
4 p.m. But I had also never heard of going 45 mph in the left lane
on the freeway until I moved back from Boston, or letting all the
other cars go before you at a four-way stop, or NEVER showing up at
a barbecue without a pupu or dessert, or not talking on a cell phone
in confined places.
There are hundreds of these unspoken rulz, and I generally like
them, minus the road rules. They teach us consideration and help
make life just a little more pleasant. If we all lived by these
local rulz and just slowed down a little, thought about the people
around us more, popped our heads up from our own drama and looked
around, the world would be a better place.
problem is we don’t. I never thought talking relatively loudly in
an outdoor parking lot on a Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. would bother
anyone, but that’s where “da rulz” come in, and although many
of them are kinda bizarre, or confusing, or even annoying, these are
“da rulz” that make this place so special, and definitely make
me a better person for trying to live by them.
Uchida is the co-host of “Saturday Nights with Steve Bohlen and
Melisa Uchida” on KHVH 830 AM - Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. She
can be reached at email@example.com.