The vast majority of the tourists are from Canada, UK and Australia. Out numbering those from the mainland USA. What does that say about the economy? And the worst is still ahead. With this being an election year, any plans to stabilize things are on the back burner until after the November voting. The "fixes" are going to hurt us very badly and no politician wants to jeopardize their chance of being re-elected. Not much further to go before the US $ is on par with the Thailand Baht.
At 9:00 PM I picked up two sisters, they wanted to go to dinner and were craving pasta. Their original destination was Antonio's, up in the Longs Center. They quit seating at 9p. Same with Gian Don's and Aroma d'Italia. In fact, the only two places still seating were Denny's and Sansei. They opted for the later. That is one problem we have here. The idea of dining is still in the "plantation" rather than "cosmopolitan" mind frame. Folks from the big cities don't even consider dining until after 9p. I know I didn't when I lived in the Bay Area. So, if you do get to visit Mau'i, remember to go out early
---> or starve.
My friend Peggy, and her family, just returned from a scuba trip to Egypt. One of the things she mentioned was arranging a taxi from the airport to their resort. The rate are via negotiation rather than a fixed meter. And when you arrive at your destination, the driver tells you that the fare he quoted was "per person". So you can be charged 2, 3, 4 times the amount that you were expecting to pay. There are many nuances when dealing with cabbies on a global scale. On Mau'i the meter rate is standardized but you can still get gyped. If you are leaving our airport and, passing the first traffic light, you see that Krispy Kreme Donuts is on your left, you are being ripped off. The airport taxi drivers are famous for pulling this trick on first-timers. Whether you are headed for Wailea/Kihei or anywhere on the west side, they'll take you through Kahului and Wailuku. Padding $10 to $20 to the usual fare. If Krispy Kreme is on your right as you pass it, your driver is honest. These same drivers are also cheating the company they work for. They are only going to record on their trip sheets what the proper amount is and pocket the additional monies. This is especially true when the bigger and better runs are few and farther apart during the slow times.
If you plan on visiting Mau'i, drop me an e-mail and I'll do my best to help you avoid the pitfalls. Even if you don't ride with me.
My last fare of the night was a short pu-pu in Wailea. Some tourists had been partying at Makapu Beach and were caught by the Wailea Patrol rent-a-cops at 3:30 AM. One was suffering from alcohol poisoning but refused medical treatment. He had evacuated the contents of his stomach but was still suffering from the excessive dry-heaves. I declined the ride until the rent-a-cop produced a trash bin liner for the guy to use. He kept it sealed around his mouth the entire 3 minute ride, expelling small dribbles of bile into the sack. Luck may just be on his side and he'll live but probably wish he was dead when the hangover kicks in. Binge drinking is not just an American phenomenon, as these kids from Canada and the UK proved.
12 fares / 104 miles / 4th quarter $100 bracket
I have the phone tonight, we'll see how it goes. All the others have done a pretty shitty job since the holiday season started. They've become lax in their procedures and it has shown. I am going to try and set the benchmark for the crew. I've tried to maintain my standards, even though its been really slow this year. Wish me luck.
THE PICTURE GALLERY
Over The Limit?
Please don't drink and drive
Please don't drink and drive
"Let's all be careful out there!"