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"People in Hawaii do regular things just like everyone else in the US, we go to school, we work and pay taxes, we go to movies and shop at the mall and we drive cars..."
- Melissa Dawn Taeko Lee

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USA

Hawaii - we don't live in grass shacks!
by Melissa Dawn Taeko Lee, Hawaii
Aug 16, 1999

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When people find out I live in Hawaii their first reaction is, "you're so lucky!" followed by an assortment of ridiculous questions like, "Do you live on the beach? and What's it like living in another country?"

Then there's the requests, do the hula, say something in Hawaiian, teach me how to surf.

Well, just to clear a few things up, Hawaii is part of the United States, it is in fact the 50th state and has been so for over 40 years, we live in regular houses like everyone else does and very few people actually live on the beach because waterfront property is very expensive.

People in Hawaii do regular things just like everyone else in the US, we go to school, we work and pay taxes, we go to movies and shop at the mall and we drive cars.

Not everyone can dance Hula, which is in fact a difficult art form which takes years to master, not everyone surfs, some people don't even know how to swim, the official language of this state is English, just like every other state in the United States, however, being that Hawaii once was its own kingdom, there is a Hawaiian language which is spoken by many people and taught in school, as an elective. I don't speak Hawaiian except for a few words I've picked up. I actually speak Japanese, which I learned in high school classes.

People in Hawaii wear regular clothes, although we favor a more laid back style for the most part. It's usually pretty warm here so we can wear shorts and t-shirts throughout the year. We don't wear those coconut shell bras, they are in fact very uncomfortable.

One thing you do see here that you won't see much of on the mainland (the other 49 states) is slippers. They are called shower shoes or zoris in other places, here they are just slippers and we wear them everywhere, school, shopping and sometimes work. However we do also wear normal shoes, Nike, Fila, and all those other types.

So, I hope this helps clear up a few misconceptions about my home, which like any other state, has its good qualities and bad. Maybe later I'll tell you more about those.

Until then, Aloha!

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