Five for Friday: Things I forgot about the US/Hawaii

Today’s post comes to you courtesy of the free wireless at Honolulu International Airport and the extra hour I got stuck at the airport with for various reasons.  Enjoy!

  1. The cars are really, REALLY big. Everything here could eat the little-bity four-door hatches that are ubiquitous in Wellington.
  2.  Portion sizes are really, REALLY big.  The goat-cheese salad I had for lunch at the Honolulu Museum of Art was about the size of 7 Wellington salads. (oh boy do I have stuff to show you from HMA btw!)
  3. You have to tip. And tax isn’t included with the ticket price.  I didn’t forget to tip at lunch or with the taxi, but I still had an “Oh, right, this thing” moment when I saw the bill.  And they bring the bill to your table instead of you going up to pay.  I’m not sure how I feel about this – I kinda like that in NZ the money part is completely separate from the food part, and you never feel like the check is a hint to hurry up and move on.
  4. The outdoors is so, so, nice.  I guess I did remember it, but it is still so amazingly nice.  I had lunch and breakfast outdoors.  Heaven.
  5.  There are a lot of bugs, and they are really big.  Like really, REALLY big.

Rainbow over Maui – the outdoors are nice


  1. “Everything is bigger in the USA, even the peas.” Said someone, quoted in the Statue of Liberty, and I can’t remember who. Before I saw the quote in the Statue of Liberty, I wrote home: Everything is bigger in the USA, even the cotton buds. 😀

    I pretty much lived on salads during my time in the USA. I wanted to avoid the “heavy” food, and with the size of the portions, a salad made a good lunch even for the Czech me (lunch is the dinner here).

    It’s interesting to compare. Here, they usually also bring the bill to the table, but usually on request from the customer (there are exceptions, like the cafe in my hometown, where you pay at the counter/bar). You may be expected to tip, but it’s not necessary. Let’s put it this way: tipping is a way of expressing your satisfaction with the services. So it’s polite of you to tip, but impolite of the staff to expect it. That’s the way I see it, anyway, and the way that makes the most sense to me.
    In a diner type of establishment in the USA, I encountered once another practice that was confusing to me, but actually made sense – the bill is brought to the table, you leave the tip at the table and pay for your food at the counter. Is this a more widespread thing? I’m not sure I find it more practical than what I’m used to from the Czech Republic, but as I said, it does make sense.

  2. And they don’t always ad tax to their prices that are displayed you have to work it out yourself! Makes GST in Aus look easy. Our bugs here in Queensland are big too. As are the cane toads, which I think they have in Hawaii too don’t they? Hope you had a great trip- so not jealous!

  3. Elise says

    On the Mainland especially, it seems that the goal of every American is to take up space. They take up space with the BIG cars, the BIG voices, the BIG bodies, the BIG advertisements and even the BIG hair. It is always quite an adjustment to come back.

    Honestly, it was easier to move from Hawaii to Germany than it was from Germany to Ohio.

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