Archive for the ‘Hawai'i’ Category

The Island of Convenience Stores

After two weeks in Waikiki, I have determined that the maximum distance it is possible to walk in any direction without coming across an ABC covenience store is 12.6 metres.

Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration – it’s probably more like 20 metres – but I can still assure you that these things are everywhere. It’s as though the local government has concluded the entire economy of Hawai’i will catastrophically collapse if visitors are not, at all times, within four seconds walk of everything they could possibly ever need.

A quick spot of research on the internet reveals that the central Waikiki area contains a positively absurd thirty-seven stores within a one mile radius. On top of that, one of the busier parts of the city has four shops at a single intersection – literally one on every corner.

Now, I’m not sure about you, but this strikes me as just a tad over the top. I know there are a lot of fat American tourists on the island, but has society really reached the point where people can’t even cross the road to buy a Snickers?

Having said that, the proliferation and product range of these establishments is extremely convenient. The list of items I’ve bought there in the past fortnight includes sandwiches, beach towels, sunscreen, diving equipment, ice cream, souvenirs, magazines and clothing. Most appealingly, they sell Canadian Club for US $9.99 a bottle, which is cheaper per litre than some of the soft drinks at my local 7-11 back home, and offer it alongside a much tastier range of snacks.

The downside to this, of course, is that I now fear spending further time here will lead to me becoming one of the aforementioned people who are too fat and lazy (or intoxicated) to cross the road to buy such things.

Oh well, at least when I start posting images of myself looking like Marlon Brando in The Island of Doctor Moreau, you’ll know why.

View of the ocean at Waikiki Beach

As far as I could ascertain, this is the only location in Waikiki that doesn’t have an ABC store