Thursday, May 19, 2005

Welcome to Paradise

by Anne Zelenka
I haven't complained about Maui lately, so here's my monthly it's-not-paradise post. As of about a month ago, Maui has no scrapyard for old cars and appliances. But Maui residents are resourceful. They know what to do with their unwanted junkers and Jenn-Airs: leave them by the side of the road. Maui has turned into a junkyard.

I appreciate that Maui is teaching me so directly that disposing of our waste isn't automatic, that there are limits to what we can do to our environment, that sometimes there just isn't a place to put the stuff we think we no longer need. Still, I would like to live in a place that has an actual junkyard and doesn't force me to confront the reality of the disposable American lifestyle each day as I chauffeur my kids to school, karate, and swimming class.

Old cars by the side of the road don't bother you? Try this: two tourists from New Jersey were beaten up and robbed in the only park in my town that has a playground. Nice, huh? Spirit of aloha, right?

They say that Maui embraces you or chews you up and spits you out. I think "they" have got it backwards: I'm chewing on Maui and it's making me gag. Quick, give me a spittoon!


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