4/9/09

secondhand hawaiians

here are some shots from two salvation army stores:

the first, in kailua-kona, on the west coast of the big island of hawaii.



this place was pretty all right. i've had some stupendous experiences thrifting on my previous trips to our 50th state, so i was pretty jazzed to get another crack at it. you might not be surprised to hear this but my wife and i spent a good chunk of our honeymoon in honolulu driving around to thrift stores, and bought so many books and clothes and records and stuff that we had to buy more luggage while we were there just to get them all back. kind of embarrassing in hindsight but at the time it was fun.



look at all these records. .25 a pop. you believe that?



and the books. so many damn books.



i can't think of anywhere else i've been that's had that many board games. obviously buying a lot of this stuff was out of the question, considering you now have to PAY most airlines for the privilege of checking a bag through, and shipping costs are, trust me, not something you want to consider.



i ended up getting a couple andrew hill records, an ellington, and a milt jackson record from 1974 that looks amazing, but i haven't had a chance to listen to yet. all in perfect shape, all .25 a piece. where else can you find stuff like that? nowhere, take it from me.

we also took a beautiful 2 hour drive over to hilo, on the other side of the island, and went to the "Sally Shop" (so cute!) in downtown hilo, which was one of the most beautiful, relaxing places i've ever been. i haven't felt that at home anywhere since the first time we hung out in galveston. downtown, i mean, not the thrift store.



the store was actually kind of dingy.



they had some interesting stuff, though. kind of a loose definition of what constitutes "valuable merchandise," but it's the islands, man, what do you want?



i was, alas, foiled in my quest to find some more athletic shirts to add to my collection. one of my favorite things about our honeymoon was that we decided to bring almost no clothes with us, and just hit up thrift stores after we got there. this was partially to make it a little easier to pack, partially so we'd look a little more like locals (i'm sure we still stuck out like sore thumbs) and mainly just because it was fun. i was hoping to replicate that this trip, but it didn't really work out. oh well, should have gone to more stores i guess



the thing that makes thrifting in hawaii so much fun (aside from the fact that you're in hawaii) is that it's basically a closed system, it's the most isolated place in the country, so just by definition it's not going to be nearly as picked over as any store on the mainland, and there are going to be things here that you just will not find anywhere else. add to that the fact that people are passing through here from almost everywhere on the planet, and they can't afford to gouge you on most stuff the way bigger stores can (because none of the locals would be able to afford to shop there) and you have an experience unlike any other.



some of you are probably wishing you could slap me in the head right now for not spending every waking moment at the beach with a rum drink in my hand, but the hardcore thrift junkies know what's up. trust me when i say that we did our share of laying in the sun and consuming beverages with little umbrellas in them, but come on. going to thrift stores is one of the coolest things about going ANYWHERE and i got to see a part of the big island that i GUARANTEE you is not in any travel books. whale watching, luaus, hiking up a volcano? PASS. point me to the nearest salvo and i'll meet you for caipirinhas by the pool later on.

aloha

d

2 comments:

A. said...

I seethe with jealousy. Not over your trip to Hawaii, but the .25 records.

Del Strange said...

My girlfriend and I do the long distance relationship thing. When she comes to visit, the two of us usually spend the better part of our 'vacation' scrounging around secondhand stores. Far more time than we spend on whatever the big tourist draws might be wherever we're staying.

Coincidentally, she's half Hawaiian on her mother's side.