This photo tells the story of island driving. There are surprise lane closures – for trimming back the overgrown foliage- that then cause backups. Then there is the motorcyclist who is ready for a long road trip in the Pacific NW with leather jacket, pants, and boots, plus several carriers. It took me a moment to realize the hilarity of the scene. Where was he going? Why was he dressed in all leather? He looked like he was ready for a cross country trip.
Contrast that with a story from earlier this week – a young man, who was driving a scooter, was killed when his buddy, who was also driving a scooter, stopped for a pedestrian. He wasn’t paying attention or was going too fast and slammed into his friend and flipped over his handlebars and died from head trauma – no helmet.
The most amazing thing I have seen while driving here was yesterday. I was driving home after going to the farmers market at the Windward Mall in Kaneohe. A fire truck was coming up behind me as I sat at a traffic light – the turn lane was full, the two lanes of traffic were full and there was an island in the median strip. As the fire truck came closer all of the cars began to crawl to this side and that side, but that wasn’t enough to make room for the fire truck. The miracle happened when two cars went into the intersection, slowly and cautiously, through a red light. You heard me right, people here know what to do in that kind of situation.
In Seattle I have sat in dismay more than once when I see drivers who don’t know what to do when a service vehicle comes up behind them.
I was stunned when I saw those cars pull into the intersection. Could Hawaii have better drivers than Seattle?
Lastly, did I tell you how much I love the Shaka?
Getting Shaka’d when you let someone enter your lane is like a synergistic event. In Hawaii there is aloha in driving. You just need to be open to it.
It is a completely subjective thing. It depends on your experiences. It depends on where you have traveled. It depends on your beliefs.
I try to find beauty wherever I go, in the smile of a barista or the full moon rising above the ocean.
I am thrilled when my mind is calm enough to see the beauty beyond the ugly. The fragrance of a plumeria tree in full bloom drifting into my car window while I sit in traffic. Ghost crabs scurrying across sand covered in micro-plastics.
Sometimes I feel that people want beauty to smack them in the face or believe it is reserved only for a special occasion or found over there but not here.
I find beauty in what is going on in my beloved country. I see an awakening. I see things not continuing as they have been. I see people not putting up with the status quo.
Yes it can be hard to see the beauty in something, but it is there. Don’t wait for it to smack you in the face.
Traffic. It is the plague of the modern world. It even exists on this small dot in the middle of the grand Pacific Ocean.
Thanks to a little research and asking friends who live in Oahu, I learned how to avoid standstill traffic.
It takes me 32 minutes to drive the 14 miles to work. I take the H3 (Interstate H3!) from Kailua to Pearl Harbor, Monday thru Friday. It is a road I think was built to link two military bases.
It is a cherry drive thru Jurrasic park-like, tall, green, mountains. There are some hairy places like when you exit the tunnel and it is raining on the other side of the mountains or if you let your eyes stray for 2 seconds and realize the part of the highway you are on is elevated a few hundred feet.
But this is paradise and yes even sitting at a stop light has amazing views like the one pictured above.
Wish I could share more photos of my commute and the snarled traffic of the H1, but I’ve got my hands on the wheel!