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Shipping Woes Change Over Time

I clearly remember the moment: standing in front of a Matson container ship, holding up a toilet paper prop purchased from Daiei. You know, the old Holiday Mart, mauka of da kine, you know, Liberty House?

To this day, I still get a kick out of how we give directions in Hawaii. As a reporter new to Honolulu in 2002, I had to fake it at first.

May as well have been a foreign language to me, as I would have to decode directions as I set up interviews over the phone. Processing and scribbling notes, sometimes phonetically, so as not to let on I had no clue what in the world it all meant.

“Holiday Mart, mauka da kine, Liberty House? Sure. See you there!”

I can chuckle about it now. Back then, I got an on-the-job crash course on Island-style geography/history. That local tradition of referring to places from the past, sometimes several times removed. Think Don Quijote aka Daiei aka Holiday Mart.

But back to that defining moment, holding toilet paper, of all things. That was my TV news debut in Hawaii. First day on the job. A live report on the rush to buy necessities with a potential shipping strike on the horizon.

Toilet paper? No explanation necessary. Spam? Another local lesson learned.

I’m reminded of it now because shipping issues have really been a recurring storyline in my life in Hawaii. Thankfully, not for toilet paper, but for other essentials.

You know, like snow boots for the kids, which you waited to buy until the last minute before a trip?

Now, I’m an online shopping pro, so finding cute bargain boots is a breeze. Shipping last minute to Hawaii, not so much!

How frustrating is it to buy, say boots, for $15 and get all the way to checkout to see:

1) The company doesn’t ship to Hawaii.
2) The company only ships USPS by ground (aka snail mail).
3) The company will rush deliver, but the shipping is more expensive than the actual item.

At that moment of truth, you:

1) swear to yourself you won’t procrastinate again,
2) swear at your computer and
3) click shipping option C.

Then, you do an internal prayer that two-day shipping really is two days. Or, you’ll be on a plane and have snow boots waiting on your doorstep when you return.

Hmm, you think. Maybe I should contact the company and give precise directions for delivery to my house.

You know, mauka of the old Foodland and da kine, Blockbuster?

A footnote: The boots arrived with time to spare and currently are keeping my kids’ toes warm in Alaska.