Here on the island, there’s a kind of car known as a “Maui Cruiser.” Sounds delightful. Part Maui. Part Cruise. Yet when the time came for housemate Karren Louise and me to find our own vehicle, an MC is exactly what we were not looking for. Cruisers have seen better days, meaning more tear than wear, a fair share of sun-damage and/or body rust, and an ocean’s worth of miles. Regarding ourselves as Cabernet Sauvignon women, regardless of our Pepsi budget, we vowed to manifest something amazing for the sum of $2,000. Now, before you laugh, you need to know that we did have a little “sumum, sumum” working for us. Cars on the island are selling much lower than Kelly Blue, so we regarded ourselves as having more money in our pockets than we had in our bank accounts. 

Of course, we reached out to our old friend, Craig—The Man With the List--as our main resource. Karren Louise took over the wheel of the search in the early days, propelled by the transport necessity of her new job. First, we looked at a cute, white 2000 Jetta owned by a girl and her dog. Well below Blue, it was a good buy from someone saying "Goodbye" to the island. Could we strike it rich on the first try? “No” our consulting mechanic said. “Notorious for electronic problems. Step away from the car.”  As it already had one non-working power window and another considering retirement, we complied.

Next we drove a 2001 Nissan Sentra with only 67,000 miles on it! You know you’re in Hawaii when you look at a used car on a Bird of Paradise flower farm and come away with an armful of those gorgeous showgirls without buying the car. Dang it was solid! But alas, too externally compromised, internally dirty, and overpriced to woo the ladies.

A week later, we looked at three cars and one of them broke our hearts—an “OooLaLa” Nissan Special Edition of burnished gold-brown that someone had turned into a hot rod, its muffler the size of a pancake with reverb to match. This was immediately followed by a vehicle with just one car door handle, a missing inside panel, and d'eau of pee. Karren Louise hit a wall. She’d been carrying the load of this process almost singlehandedly while I languished in a state of late blooming grief. Seems I’d hit my own wall. My psyche had finally realized that I wasn’t just on vacation in Hawaii and in response, served up its list of grievances for me to contend with. 

But now I was ready to jump into the game: cozying up to Craig, making phone calls, blasting emails, and checking in regularly with Kelly B. Three days later we set out on a mission with good five prospects and steeped in the spirit of teamwork. The first seller, whom we met outside I Hop at the Maui Mall, offered a 1990 Camry with only 70.000 miles and an interior that corroborated his story. He let us drive it off on our own, but to our dismay, we pogoed over speed bumps and caught the unwelcome perfumes of burning oil. The passenger side rear view mirror was missing, as well as the AC and the radio. No Thanks.

While waiting at I Hop, however, we’d received a call from a seller Karren Louise had talked to previously. He’d lowered the price and was available to show is his 2000 Nissan GXE. “Let’s go there next!” we agreed. And off we went to meet “GO,” the little car that could. Could be our Maui dream car. Could end our tiring search. Could be the reward for our faith in juicy provision. Did we find love at last in South Kiehi?

Next Blog: To GO or not to GO? That is the carmic question!

A Hui Hou, (til we meet again)


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