When I was 22 I lived in Honolulu for a few months. It was beautiful and I loved it there. I’ll definitely move back if I ever get the chance. I did, however, learn a very important thing about living in paradise.
Hawaii is where the nightmares live.
Of course I’d heard about giant centipedes and flying roaches, but I thought I was an independent young woman able to handle life on my own and dispatch all bugs.
Then this asshole made his way into my apartment:
I spent half an hour hiding in my bathroom, hoping for a gecko to come eat it and save me. I’d heard that geckos eat bugs, so they’re fine to come into my apartment. Plus, they’re adorable!
When I worked up the courage to come out of the bathroom, no geckos had come to my rescue. I grabbed a shoe and managed to force the roach into the bathroom doorjamb, where I crushed it to death. I left it on the floor for two days until my roommate (who barely lived there) came home and got rid of it. She made sure to tell me that roaches eat their own dead, so leaving it on the floor could have attracted others.
On a recent hiking trip on Maui and Lana’i, I didn’t have any dramatic encounters with roaches. I still have never seen a demon centipede in real life and I don’t know what I would do if I did. I did see plenty of geckos and my mom and I even had to shoo one out of our hotel room.
I love Hawaii, but it’s definitely not the greatest place on earth (that’s Disney World). Living there has taught me that even though Wisconsin winters are awful, they exist for a very important reason: to keep roaches and centipedes a manageable size. Hawaii may be paradise, but perfect climates breed monsters.