Reality check: living on a remote island

Isolated. Remote. Vulnerable. Limited. Out of stock.

These are words that do not describe the tropical paradise known as Maui. We residents know better.

Forecast of any storm or tsunami heading this way will cause panic and frenzy buying. People over react and hoard. After several years of witnessing this response, I’ve become jaded. Just head uphill and everything will be all right.

Yet, when I walk into the stuffy sauna where I work for the second consecutive week, I am reminded that I must exercise patience. The air conditioner broke two Thursdays ago. Thankfully the parts have been ordered. When will they arrive? We don’t know. In the mean time, I am shouting over the fast-spinning sound of four standing fans and sweating saltwater through my sundress.

I went to Costco to get four items: eggs, flatbread, underwear, and dried, sliced shitake mushrooms. The shitake was completely out of stock. There was only one box of underwear my size. All the rest were Large and Extra Large. The colors were not my preference, but it was better than nothing.

When I was shopping for curtains, I had to visit five different stores in Kahului: K-Mart, Walmart, Ross, Macy’s, and Savers. None of them carried the right size, fabric, or color of what I wanted for my windows. I gave up and used the ones that I had — ones that neither fitted nor matched.

Then there was the hunt for an electric kettle. Walmart had two models in stock. One of each. One was missing a lid. The other was more expensive than worthwhile. I had no choice. I bought the fifty-dollar kettle. I wasn’t about to visit five stores again.

I ask older residents what they do about getting what they need. They learn to live without. They grow it. They make it themselves. They fix it themselves. They swap with others. Or they order online.


About BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.
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