What Happens When You Talk Story in Hawaii

talk story in hawaii

Do you wonder what does it mean to Talk Story in Hawaii? There are few places in the world where you meet a total stranger who instantly turns into a friend than when you Talk Story in Hawaii. It’s part of Hawaiian culture. Where else in the country can you be physically in a state in the United States yet encounter a foreign culture, except maybe Stockton?

Almost everybody you meet has perfected artistic skills you do not possess. Some can find the honu (turtle) within the stone when carving a sculpture using another rock. Others can paddle a canoe blindfolded. Or weave a cloak from feathers and flowers. Each person seems to have a story to tell, a tale to share.

You can meet a stranger in the grocery store, bonding over slabs of butter. A conversation begins and 30 minutes passes. To Talk Story in Hawaii, it doesn’t involve any set time limits. But it’s much longer than a stray comment a person in Sacramento might mutter while standing in a check-out line, how about those Kings, huh? Nothing like that.

When you Talk Story in Hawaii, it is much more personal. It can be several anecdotes tied to a lesson or just a funny ending. It’s an amazing concept because it makes you stop and consider the person in front of you as a person. A living, human being with desires, hopes, dreams, successes, failures. It makes you relate to people as whole individuals, not some delivery system or consumer purchase.

There is a purpose and a dignity to the exchanges. You leave the interaction knowing more about that person than, say, just the fact some guy is here to spray the yard with insecticide. You learn he and his wife moved to Kona two years ago, and he joined a family operation, learning a job he truly enjoys. Bought a house, owns a dog. You can tell when he asks if you want the inside of your garage sprayed or if you need a flytrap to get rid of gnats.

Smiles are genuine. Kindness is authentic. You feel the Aloha, and the magic of Aloha is it makes you want to be a better person yourself.

The price of some business transactions is to interact. Really, is that so bad? We’re not always in such a rush that we forget to connect with the people around us.

Before packing up, I stopped by my neighbor’s house to Talk Story in Hawaii with two of my favorite Minnesotans in Kona. Mentioned to my friend, Jean, that I let a vendor steamroll over me. He had promised delivery of our quartz before I left the island. However, after he cashed my check, he called to say he would prefer to ship it when I come back, and I said OK.

How could I be such a wimp? I asked Jean. I would not behave that way in Sacramento real estate. I would demand people keep promises they want to break. What Jean said was very insightful. She said I backed down because we don’t want people we must rely on to resent us. If they resent us, they might turn to sabotage. So true. Now I don’t question my actions.

I spent my last day in Hawaii this trip at one of my favorite beaches, Two-Step Beach. Snorkeling. Talking story. And, if you are interested, The Coffee Shack just south of Captain Cook is for sale at $2 million. That buys a successful business, quite a bit of land, fabulous view, and a residence.


Elizabeth Weintraub

Subscribe to Elizabeth Weintraub's Blog via email

Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.