If you live in Hawaii, you know what a gecko is. Little local lizards that run up the walls of our homes eating bugs, and then they poop everywhere. I decided to write a page on my experiences here on Moloka'i, local gossip, island pidgin, people I've met, you know "gecko poop". This could be valuable information for the next visitor who comes to Moloka'i. Kind of a self portrait of Moloka'i from my point of view. Does it have anything to do with food?... maybe, so here's the scoop on the poop.
The Coconut Wireless...
On May 15, 2017– For a couple of weeks now trucks have been going up and down Kalae Highway filled with tree branches, roots and dirt. It turns out that the red dirt road leading to Ironwood Golf Course is being widened and paved with recycled asphalt. I also found out that the road is actually owned by the state, not Moloka'i Ranch, and has a name, "Ahe Place". This is exciting news for me and other local golfers who have had to struggle with the muddy potholes which haven't been filled in years. As many of you know, the police shooting range is also located on this same road, just beyond the entrance of Ironwood.
On May 13, 2017– I heard on the Coconut Wireless that Chef Sherwood Hiro will soon be returning as Chef at Hotel Moloka'i. Chef Hiro previously worked for the hotel back in 2011. As soon as I get more information on this I will post it.
March 31, 2015 – While enjoying a pizza at Pizza Cafe yesterday with my wife, a streaker ran by our table waving his pants in the air. Naturally we were shocked at first, but it turned out to be a three year old boy who was recently potty trained. He apparently was successful in the men's room and was rushing out into the restaurant to tell his mother what he had done all by himself. She came by our table a few minutes later and apologized. I told her not a problem, I sometimes do the same thing myself. I have two boys, grown now, and I remember what a big deal it was to achieve potty training.
Hawaiian Pidgin English...
The slang spoken by the locals in Hawaii. Pigeon English was not created by Hawaiians but originated in Hawaii during the Sugar cane importation of field workers of Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, and local Hawaiian Nationalities. The words were created due to a miss pronunciation of common words of the English language.
There are rules for pidgin: Tourists may not speak it (or ull get ur ass kicked). Here's an example of Hawaii pidgin... "Ho brah! you see me kick dat one haole toris' ass dat try tok to me pidgin? man he shoulda see dat' shit coming brah! he stay 'tinking he da kine!" Source: urbandictionary.com
"Haole" – A word used mainly in Hawaii to describe a white person. Depending on how you say it, the word can mean either an insult or just a fact.
"Da' kine" – Word used as in reference to something or someone, or a whatcamacallit. A miss pronounced word for That Kind, The kind of... example: Hey did you see "dakine" today?
"Braddah" – Brother; Bro
"Ho Brah..." – Prelude to describing something intense or amazing
"Grind" – To eat like there's no tomorrow
"Dat" – That
"Eh!" – You know!
"Neva" – (or) He never wanted that.
"Howzit?" – What's happening? How's it going?
"Mo' Bettah" – Real good; great idea
"Onolicious" – Overly delicious!
"Slippas" – flip-flops or sandals
You can find more of "Da' kine" on this website, or check out this article from Maui Magazine to get a real taste of Hawaiian pidgin english, click here "Da Muddah Tongue". For Hawaiian food names, check out this site.
Moloka'i "Ever Wonders"...
Ever wonder why the speed limit going east into Kaunakakai is 35 mph, and going west out of Kaunakakai it's 45 mph? And going north uphill out of Kualapuu, the speed limit is 35 mph, and going south, downhill into Kualapuu it's 30 mph? Shouldn't it all be the same going either way?
Ever wonder why more of Moloka'i's Hawaiian Homeland isn't used for farming when Hawaii imports 85 to 90 percent of the state's food supply? Check out this website for the answer.
Ever wonder who is liable if someone falls and breaks a bone on broken sidewalks in downtown Kaunakakai? The sidewalks on Moloka'i are owned by property owners, not the county.
Ever wonder if I will ever open my own restaurant on Moloka'i? Believe me I have thought about it, but unfortunately too many restaurants have failed here, due to high rents, high food cost, available labor, and very little local support. Employment on Moloka'i is very low, so locals don't eat out much. To answer the question... probably not. It's the same with catering, not enough business to make it worthwhile.
Ever wonder what my favorite restaurants are on Molokai? First I would have to say the Moloka'i Pizza Cafe, a little pricy, but good pizza. Located at 15 Kaunakalai Pl, Kaunakakai.
The Cook House prime rib on Thursday nights, thick and prepared just right. We usually get it to go and take it home to eat, because it gets crowded in this small local restaurant. Located on Highway 470 and Uwao Street, in Kualapu'u.
I also like the sandwiches they make at the Sundown Deli in Kaunakakai, especially the Club Sandwich.
You can read my review of all Moloka'i restaurants here on tastinghawaii.com. CLICK HERE
People around town...
I've met so many people in the last 12 years here on Moloka'i, if you ever wondered if Aloha lives, you should live on Moloka'i... where do I start?
Glenn Davis is the new Honorary Mayor of Moloka'i as of November, 2012, and does answer to "Mr. Mayor". You will see him on his bicycle riding down main street Kaunakakai almost every day. I always say hi to Glenn and how are you? He always says "regular".
George the bread man, George Kahinu used to drive the Love's bread truck until his son took over. George is our Love's Bakery Manager here on Moloka'i, and is one of the most outgoing men I have ever met. He always greets everybody with a hand shake, a big smile, and a "howzit?".
Weymouth and Jule Kamakana: Weymouth, retired fireman, and his wife Jule, and my wife and I used to be in business together for four years when we operated a specialty food store in Kaunakakai called Bamboo Pantry. Unfortunately the rent was so high we eventually went out of business.
Blossom Poepoe and George Kanemitsu Bakery and Restaurant: Manager Blossom, and owner George Kanemitsu, of the famous Kanemitsu Bakery were also avid golfers a few years ago before George's health went bad. I always enjoyed their company up at Ironwood Golf Course, and still do when I see them at the restaurant or around town.
The Yuen family, who own Kualapu'u Market in Kualapu'u, and Moloka'i Market in Kaunakakai. This is a very enterprising family, providing the island with not only food and wine, but the aloha spirit!
Estella Ramos: I met Estella a few years ago when she was a checker at Misaki's Grocery Store in Kaunakakai. She worked for them 18 years, and finally retired a couple of years ago. I visit with Estella in Kualapu'u every couple of months, where she lives with her husband. She fills me in on all of the Filipino news around town while she cuts my hair.
Jonathan, Daphne, Zack Socher & Wendy Doenges: Owners of the Big Wind Kite Factory, and now their new store Beach Break and the Blue Monkey, have supported many local artists in their stores, including my wife and I. They are great people, and in my opinion, very Moloka'i.
Teri Waros: Teri is the owner of Kalele Bookstore in Kanakakai. She was the General Manager of the Lodge & Beach Village at Molokai Ranch when it was still in business. Teri knows a lot about food service, so we always have a lot to talk about. It's also nice that she carries my cookbooks in her wonderful store. Her bookstore is located at 64 Ala Malama Avenue in Kaunakakai.
Ani Van Eps: Owner of Kanakakai art gallery "Moloka'i Art from the Heart". Visitors will usually find what they are looking for in Ani's gallery. Located at 64 Ala Malama St, #1, Kaunakai.
The wonderful vendors at the Moloka'i Farmer's Market: You can find all kinds of things their, from t-shirts to coconuts with a straw in it, but the real find is the spirit of the people who, week-after-week, sell their wares and display the aloha spirit of Moloka'i.
The late Allen Beard: I considered Allen to be my tall Texas friend. We played golf occasionally, but what I liked best was his wonderful spirit and since of humor. He was a grill master and served the best meals at his house, along with the finest wines from the store he managed in Kaunakakai, Moloka'i Wines & Spirits. We miss you Allen.
Cathleen Shimizu-Sakamoto, retired Molokai Department of Health inspector. Cathleen is a good friend of mine.
The golfers at Ironwood golf course: I have met so many locals at Ironwood that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. People like manager, Darrel Rego, and my old fried "Fudgie" who passed away a few years ago, what a since of humor she had. Ted and Squeaky, Cheryl, Amy and Amy, George and Blossom, Harold and Sue, Goro and Pearl, the late Ace George Harada, Eugene, Naka, Jeff, Dana, Andy, Speedo and Lulu, Chris, and Kukui Club President Zach Helm and his wife Etta, Kaleo and Cheryl, Jennie and Billy, Scotty, Lee, and so many other friends and wonderful potluck cooks who have taken this old haole in, and have also taken his money more than once. Thanks for many good games, meals, and good times!
To Be Continued!