People like people to be grounded. They want you to be *from* somewhere. I’m in Hale’iwa on the North Shore of O’ahu right now – in a state where origin is important. Here, you’re not kama’aina, or a local, unless you can answer the question “Wea you wen grad?” But I contest you don’t have to meet qualifications to have an understanding, respect, and deep appreciation for a place enough to call it “home.”
I call several places home throughout the world – that is, I can give directions to tourists, point out business tenants from days past “That used to be Long’s Drugs, now it’s Barnes & Noble.”, and talk good story with the locals. These places include Kaua’i, Palm Springs, Anchorage, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Vancouver.
It’s difficult explaining my connection with Hawai’i, especially to people who have never been there, or those whose sense of place is static, except for maybe going away to college. To simplify, I say I’m “from here”. She asked the haole equivalent of “Wea you wen grad?” and I nearly slapped her. No like explain, haole! I’m sure in her static world, you’re only from where you “wen grad”, but for those if us who travel easily, it’s a bit more complicated.
Just as irritating are those who ask how
I like the heat in Texas. Well, thank you for assuming I haven’t traveled, and have never experienced hot weather. Between Hawai’i, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs, I’m good with the heat, thank you!
So from now on, all anybody needs to know is I’m a citizen of the world. I’m done explaining.