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Oahu Includes Honolulu
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:37 AM
Location: NY
292 posts, read 882,936 times
Reputation: 85


You can't really compare Pidgin and German. Pidgin is not the Hawaiian language. It's more of a blend. My Maori friends in NZ speak Pidgin. It's more of a bonding thing, and to speak familiarly with it is to assume a familiarity with your conversational partner that doesn't exist . I am sure if you learned and spoke pure Hawaiian no one would be up in arms..

Last edited by tortoise31; 01-29-2010 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:52 AM
Location: Honolulu, HI
119 posts, read 347,876 times
Reputation: 50
it is big difference if you live in foreign countries as expat or military, huge difference. In the military you don't pay local tax, even though you live in the economy you don't really 'blend', you might think you are but you're not because you're sheltered. For example US Military in Germany you don't even pay local gas price and can shop duty free all you want and you still can have American products from American supermarket, thousands of miles away from home.

As an expat, you will experience the heat if the locals don't accept you, if the healthcare system changing, or if the tax is raised. You really experience the reality of living abroad/foreign places that way, not with the military. That's why if you're in the military you can practically disregards bad experiences from civilians as the probability of experiencing the same for military folks is highly unlikely.

I was an expat in Germany, Spain, and South East Asia for 10 years and now I'm a military spouse. I bet you, my life today is so much easier when I live outside the United States.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:29 PM
Location: Cordova, Alaska
201 posts, read 765,809 times
Reputation: 137
We were stationed in Hono 03-05, and loved it. So much so we requested to go back and are this summer! :-)

I have no clue if the greater community loved or hated us for being military.... we just enjoyed the islands as much as possible while there. Some civilian friends, lots of military friends, we spent our days off work playing at the beach, surfing, snorkeling, golfing, hiking, and trying every corner restaurant we could find!
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:09 AM
121 posts, read 224,805 times
Reputation: 92
Ten years ago I was stationed at Ft. Shafter Hawaii and loved every minute of it. Your duty stations are what you make of it. As a whole, I would say Hawaii appreciates the military. There may be a minority that have negative opinions about the military due to negative experiences. I had a run in with a local guy that started yelling at me because some other military guy took his girlfriend.

Other than that, every other experiences I had with locals were positve experiences. Here are a few tips to enjoy your duty station.

1. Regardless if you live on base or not, get out and experience Hawaii.
2. If you have food prejudicies, get rid of them. Try Sushi, plate lunches, spam musubi, locco mocco, malasadas etc.
3. Spend time with the locals. You will discover they are the sweetest people in the world.
4. Take advantage of your benefits. My wife and I would spend weekends at The Hale Koa hotel just for the heck of it. The Hale Koa is a beautiful military owned resort next to the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Even if we were not able to get a room, we took advantage of their awsome swimming pool and Waikiki beach.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:08 PM
Location: Kaneohe, HI
5 posts, read 22,042 times
Reputation: 10
I love Hawaii! My dad got stationed here just before I was to start my senior year of high school, so I can relate to your daughter. He ended up coming here early (Summer '95), getting on the housing list and I graduated early from my HS in WA in Dec '95 then we all joined him here. After a few more tours around the US he retired from the Marine Corps and was offered a job here. Both my parents love it here and so rented for a while and now own a small, modest condo. I've recently moved back home to help my family as my sister goes through cancer treatments and I've always felt very comfortable here.

My younger brother and sister had some interesting experiences in the local schools being white kids. My bro loves it here, my sis not so much. Like anywhere you're going to have to adjust. One thing I'm very thankful to the military for providing for me as a kid was the opportunity to adapt to different cultures and communities (from Okinawa, to Hawaii, to San Diego to Long Island (ha ha)). It was hard at the time but it is one reason I am so comfortable in Hawaii. There's so much diversity here between the different Asian, Filipino, Hawaiian, Southern CA transplant and Military communities (who are from everywhere!).

Also, the military helps provide structure to the local economy here. Like ANYWHERE in the US you will come across people who have prejudices against the military but it's mostly because they oppose the war, dislike political decisions concerning the military budget, etc.. Most MILITARY people have the same frustrations, BTW!

Hawaii is so unique in that it's very much the US of A but still very different from any other state (see McDonald's menu for deluxe breakfast: Spam, rice, eggs and sausage). It is an island that has a huge diversity of people who call it home (temporary or otherwise). As stated above you will find some of the sweetest people here, very loving, accepting and appreciative of your service to our country.

All of the advice here is good and the thing about pidgin is that it is more like english/filipino/hawaiian slang. I love hearing it but I cannot talk like that knowing how ridiculous it would sound coming out of MY mouth. This is a bad example but the closest thing I can think to compare it to is Ebonics. It is a cultural slang that isn't something you should try to mimic, unlike learning to speak Hawaiian, a fascinating and beautiful language.

Good luck in your transition and Aloha! You'll love it here!
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:36 PM
Location: San Antonio TX
109 posts, read 383,745 times
Reputation: 33
Aloha! I haven't posted here for a few days. DH is in Haiti and I've been side tracked with events in Haiti. However, I wanted to thank everyone on this tread for taking the time to write. Not just one liners but wonderful lengthy messages full of priceless information.

Left my laptop open and caught my daughter reading this thread ....I was hoping she would change her mind about staying in CA and come to Oahu with us. Nope, she is still staying to graduate with her high school class. Now, I'm trying to get her to attend a college in Hawaii. She wants to explore being a graphic artist. This timing of this assignment will be tough, but we will work through all the problems. Waiting for official orders to come across the desk.

Thanks again for the help and wisdom.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:19 AM
1 posts, read 958 times
Reputation: 14
My husband, son and I have been here for 14 years now from California. We initially came here for a temporary job opportunity for my husband and ended up staying. I now fully understand the gaps between the indigenous population including many generational Hawaiians and all outsiders. "Outsiders" include all races and cultures that are not born and raised here, where "pidgin" is the adapted form of the english language. But when you think about it, Pidgin ( Hawaii ) Ebonics ( Afro-American) Boston, New Jersey, Texas southern and more. are all the english language formulated within that particular culture. It's social, and I think in some cases almost like a code, and when spoken fast enough, outsiders cannot really understand the conversation. I have found that the people of Hawaii are kind, warm, welcoming and giving. That's what is called the aloha. And I think that when your local population has outsiders coming in attempting to change their enviornment for what ever reason, it can create a gap. I think that in Hawaii's dominion most temporary residents resist the "When in Rome" mindset....that may happen everywhere. The visiting families and individuals that are to come should not listen to hokus-pokus stories from people who have never been here, or listen to people that clearly exhibit boogi-man fears because this is unfamiliar territory or there are no "state lines" to drive from one state to another. As far as expensive is concerned...it's always a mystery to many how some can afford to live in California, New York, Hawaii, but they all run a close economic race and other metropolis cities come close. There is more to life than your home town, and no place lived has to be forever. When you come here, come to do your military job, explore new territory, see the rich and the poor and know that you do have the option to leave when your assignment is completed. There are beaches all over the world. Try this one out. While you are here, get the good and give some back as well. Blessings to you, our military. Thank you for your service.
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