Tiki Steve's Hawaiian Photo Gallery - The Big Island of Hawaii. The first few days of my attempt to move there in January, 2008. There was an add in the paper about a room for rent on an "Organic Farm." This was near the town of Captain Cook, Hawaii.
5/15/2009 copyright © 2008 Tiki Steve

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Return to the Tiki Steve Picture Index Daze 19-22, When Not To Buy Organic

By TikiSteve, February 8, 2008

Warning: This post is very verbose. I just don’t know how to say it in fewer words. Maybe you should read it over a couple of days. It seemed like there wasnt too much going on for a while. I felt I wasnt making progress fast enough on the housing front. I didnt want to sit down at the end of the day and write, I didnt get all that much done today. But, things are happening. I learned some important things about housing in Hawaii. The magic number seems to be six months. What I mean is that if youre renting for less than six months I believe it fits into the Vacation Rental category. And, that is highly taxed. Im looking for cheaper, longer-term housing. But, I dont want to sign a six-month lease. Not yet, anyway. So, that means Im limited to the shorter-term, highly taxed rental market. Unless, I rent something off-the books; something that is not legally rental property (this will be important later). Much of the rental property in Hawaii is not officially permitted housing. Some of it is very nice, expensive beachfront property, but the landlord doesnt have a rental permit. So, I saw the following add in the newspapers (online and print).

KAILUA-KONA, ROOM+

Private entrance,
cable, utilities. Clean, quiet! $155/ week (and up) plus month deposit.

Thats about the lowest price you can find in Kona. I called the lady. She had an east coast accent and sounded protective of her rentals. She gave me directions and I found the place. Theyre nice rooms and you share a bath in the house. Its about 7 miles from the touristy area of Kona and Im guessing about 1500 feet higher. That elevation difference is really important. On a sunny day like today, it is very warm and humid at sea level. But, if you go up 1500 feet, it is beautiful. Its a good deal for the Kona area. But, I would have to sign a 6 month lease. Im not quite ready to do that yet. So, that leads to another add:
$100- $150 Weekly in lower Captain Cook. Very private country style living on organic farm. This is an example of an unpermitted rental. So, no contracts are necessary. I decided to take a look. The area is beautiful. The coastline views from the area are amazing. There was a studio apartment available. You cant see it, but its below the tree house. When I first saw this ‘apartment I thought it would be worth renting it for a week, just so that I could say I lived there. It would be a part of this Hawaiian adventure. When I talked to the owner on the phone I thought he said his name was Mike. I pulled up and started trying to find the way to the main house. I saw what looked to be a hippie house in the ‘almost jungle. I didnt see a path to the main house the way I went. I saw a couple of cats, but no path to the house. I backtracked to the truck and started walking to the ‘conventional looking house next to it. As I went down the steps, someone approached and said, You need to move your truck. I said, Im looking for Mike. The guy replied, He lives next door. At that time Mike started walking out of his house and I met him. I called him Mike. He said, Its Mike-Ah. Theres an ah at the end. I dont know how you spell it. Mike looks like an ageing hippie. He is thin and has gray hair which is twisted into a braid that comes off the left side of his head. He is from west Texas. He lives in the main house with his wife, his elderly mother-in-law (who does not like to be referred to as elderly) and some young guy named Frank. There is also a Rabbi that rents from him. Somehow, the pictures I took of the studio apartment actually came out very flattering. The pictures leave out the damp details that come out in real life. This first picture is blurry. The detail I want to point out is the layer of damp leaves on the top of the apartment roof. The roof is a piece of corrugated fiberglass. There is a thick layer of warm, damp leaves (and other stuff) over the whole property.
Here is the entrance to the apartment. It looks much better in the picture than in real life.
(picture omitted from text)
The apartment has 3, mostly opaque walls. The wall on the left is screen. The entrance to the apartment is secured by a hook and loop.
(picture omitted from text)
It does come with an outdoor dream kitchen that is really only possible in a hospitable climate like Hawaiis.
(picture omitted from text)
It is a sell-contained studio apartment with its own toilet and shower. The white door at the rear leads to the bathroom.
(picture omitted from text)
I cant live without a good shower. This one, Im told has hot water. Im guessing its warm water because there is only one pipe leading to it (but Im nit-picking).
(picture omitted from text)
Actually, this is a brilliant design. The shower also sprays towards the toilet. You would never have to clean the toilet! Its self-cleaning. Im filing my patent (and stealing his idea).
(picture omitted from text)
A private* flush toilet
(picture omitted from text)
At this point youre probably thinking, How can this get better? The gap between living quarters and bathroom has an ocean view!!!! (seriously)
(picture omitted from text)
Notice anything else about the picture? The place also comes with a small pride of cats. Theres two cats on the roof in that last picture. Here it is again.
(picture omitted from text)
I didnt notice them either until they started fighting. Heres one more shot from the bathroom.
(picture omitted from text)

There was another interesting view of the main house that I didnt get. Part of the main houses roof consists of a very large blue tarp. I watched another cat walking across that flimsy part of the roof. The cat didnt look too thrilled about it. I chose not to live in this ocean-view piece of paradise. But, If youre interested, this Hawaiian dream can be yours for $150 a week. Utilities included! At first I thought about staying there for a week just to have a great story about living on an organic farm in Hawaii. Food is even free there. You can eat your fill of avocados, mangos, papayas, and a lot of other organic stuff. Sadly, it was the organic aspect that was the downfall of this dream. I went there twice. After the first time I looked at it, I thought, I could last a week there. But as I was driving home I noticed what I thought was fertilizer smell. There is a lot of farming going on in that part of the island. But, as I was walking around the property, I stepped in some of the farms ‘organic produce. It made a bad first impression. However, I went back a second time (I didnt get any pictures the first time). As I was walking through the apartments open air kitchen, I noticed more ‘organic produce on the kitchen floor. I like the idea of sacrificing some modern conveniences to live in Hawaii. However, basic sanitation is one of the things I wont give up.

Topics: the first 100 days |

3 Responses to Daze 19-22, When Not To Buy Organic

1. Roberta Says:February 8th, 2008 at 5:29 am OMG!!!!! What more can I say?

2. TikiGirl Says: February 8th, 2008 at 6:41 am Hmmm any more organic and you would have been living in compost with a toilet. I liked the cats, and especially enjoyed the appearance of a mop in one of the pictures good visual irony.

3. tcsteveb Says: February 8th, 2008 at 1:18 pm Ah, to live on a screen porch with a hot plate. Sounds great in theory, but probably not unless you, too, want to be coated in a layer of wet leaves. The arrangement of the bathroom is pretty common in Central America, though its usually a tiled room with a toilet on one wall, and the shower head on the other, not random sections of garden trellis and plywood. Think they guys name was probably Micah, like the old testament Book of Micah. But you knew that.


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