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Let’s Set the Record Straight

coconut on beach o'ahu

By Dan Scroggins

Let’s set the record straight

Just a few things to prevent you from looking or sounding like a silly tourist, haole or typical mainlander while on vacation in Hawaii.

  • Honolulu is pronounced “hoh/no/loo/loo” not “hah/na/lu/lu”and it is a city on O’ahu, not the name of an island.
  • Hawai’i or the Big Island is not the most densely populated island, that would be O’ahu. It is called the Big Island because it is big.
  • It is shave ice. Don’t call it a snow cone, crushed ice, slushy or even shaved ice but shave ice. Also don’t forget to get ice cream on the bottom unless you are lactose intolerant or a vegan.
  • It’s not a Hawaiian shirt, it is an Aloha shirt and they are commonly worn by businessmen in Hawaii, but maybe not the flamboyant ones you are thinking of.
  • Not everyone who lives in Hawaii is a Hawaiian because Hawaiian is a race.
  • Hula dancers did not wear coconut bras (they were probably topless) and their skirts were likely made of Ti leaves, not grass.
  • Yes, Hawaii is the number one importer of SPAM. No it’s not gross, it actually tastes pretty good. It is not healthy but mainlanders need to stop using it as the go-to gross food.  Another go-to gross food (especially for kids) brussels sprouts, they are also very good. Choose something like Vienna Sausages because those actually are pretty nasty.
  • You will not be greeted with a lei at the airport, unless it is from a friend/family member or you paid a tour company for it (let me know if you are interested and I can arrange one for you).
  • It’s the shaka not hang loose and it is not faddish in Hawaii, rather it is part of the local culture.
  • No, we don’t go to the beach every day, just every other day.
  • Regardless of what most U.S. maps show Hawaii is not located just off the coast of southwest Texas.
  • Hawaii is the 50th state and mainlanders do not need a passport to get here.

Special Note:  If you need help avoiding “typical tourist” mistakes just hire Circle Island Tour to be your private guide to the island of O’ahu. We will help you have a real and authentic island experience. Aloha \m/

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