When I tell folks in Texas that I’m from Hawaii, they often give me funny looks and ask, “Well what the hell are you doin’ here?”
Instead of getting into the historical specifics of my life and places I’ve lived, I will instead dog on Hawaii for a moment. Despite being referred to as “paradise,” it’s actually not a great place to live. The traffic is horrid, the cost of living is silly, and it’s ruled by insects (literally and perhaps figuratively too). Tourism is a huge source of the state’s income, and as such I will provide one example which summarizes my feelings about the place.
There was a park – Waimeia Valey, when I was a child we just called it “Waimeia Falls,” because we’d go there to hang out in the waterfall area, which was pretty epic. The area was also pretty big for archaeology, as it was a sacred place in ages past. When I went the admission prices were pretty low (read : “free,” because when you’re a kid it’s all either “free” or “too expensive.” There is no in between). We moved and when we came back to visit again in the 90’s, it had become somewhat of a theme park with high admission charges and cliff diving “shows.” I remember being so sad about it that I wanted to leave as soon as possible. We didn’t go in, and that vague, shadowy memory of it from my childhood is all I have to go on. That’s how I feel about most of Hawaii.
Sure, Texas has traffic, but it’s not the kind that makes you feel like you’re in a tiny prison room – might be that huge Texas sky and the fact that the lanes (like everything in Texas) are bigger. The cost of living is pretty low (at least around this area), and it doesn’t have the “jungle wildlife” feel that Hawaii does.
Most importantly, I don’t have idyllic childhood memories of Texas. This is probably gonna piss someone off, but in contrast, when we first went to the “beach” at Galveston, my family and I were depressed by it. It was cloudy, crappy, and the waves were a joke. My first thought was, “This isn’t a beach, it’s a place where the water meets the land.”