Settling Into Our Sublet

We’ve moved in!

Today we moved into our sublet in the Ala Moana neighborhood of Oahu. We’re around 6-7 minutes walk from Wal-mart and around 10-12 minutes walk from the Ala Moana Centre Mall (the biggest mall in the Hawaii and a confusing labyrinth of mess!). The beach is a 15-20 minutes walk (maybe less) or a quick bike ride. Downtown Honolulu is also only a short walk and we’re downtown kind of people.

The positives.

We have an amazing deal ($1200/month including all bills and use of a car, no tax, and no cleaning fee), but this sublet feels different than my usual NYC summer sublets. It sort of seems half way between a sublet and a house sit. All my prior sublet experience is in NYC and that never gets too personal. Here I’ve already met five neighbors!

The bed is a SUPER comfortable memory foam mattress. The woman we’re renting from took a lot of care to prepare for us e.g., making room in the fridge. The apartment feels super comfortable. Like the bed, the sofa is super comfy. It’s one of those giant big L shaped sofas in sections. If Kathryn gets too hot with the lack of aircon and kicks me out of bed, I will be fine on the sofa. So far we’re not over heated at all. There’s a nice breeze coming through the screen doors and no mosquitos or flies – NONE. The lack of bugs is the best thing about Hawaii compared to almost any other beach destination. Overall the apartment feels “nice” – it has a good vibe to it.

The minor negatives.

We didn’t make it to the beach because I had to run to the Apple Store to buy an “airport express” – basically a wireless router. Our sublet agreement says “wifi” but in fact the apartment only had wired internet.

I noticed the lack of wifi when I visited the apartment a couple of days ago.The woman we’re subletting from said she has always wanted wifi but obviously isn’t technical and hadn’t wanted to go through the process of setting it up. So, she left some cash for us to buy a router and set it up. We had 3 routers in New Zealand, and just gave 2 away. We literally put them outside our house for people to take, since they didn’t sell at our garage sales. A frustrating situation since I could’ve easily brought one over if she’d been more upfront. I guess she thought it probably wouldn’t be a problem. Given that I’m on a Mac Air (as of last week) and it doesn’t even have an ethernet port, yes it is a problem!

The other thing that has made it feel more like a housesit and less like a normal sublet is that she’s asked us to only clean with dr bronners, vinegar, and baking soda. She likes to not use chemicals. I might be vegan but I like toilet cleaner!

We were also asked not to eat on the sofa, which seemed weird but now I realize it’s because of ants. Apparently the building has had an ant problem the last few weeks and one of the neighbors is going to come by with some ant stuff. Again, different from NYC where professional pest control are always available to come to apartments. Apparently a one time exception is being made to the no chemicals rule!

Today’s trip to Wal-mart – I bought a couple of pillows since the pillows here are feather and I don’t do feathers. Only $3 each. I know I keep going on about Wal-mart but the availability of anything we need at cheap prices takes so much stress out of traveling! Also, there are no Apple Stores in New Zealand so being able to just walk into one and grab something is SOOO convenient.

The drive to Wholefoods is less than 10 minutes! No more bus!


  1. // Reply

    Yay, sounds like you are enjoying it overall. We are pretty close by and have a terrible neighor who complains about everything, with 3 kids that is an issue.

    Funny about the ants, maybe its an eco friendly product for removal?? I always used to clean with on the products you mentioned, you’ll be surprised how well they work.

    Hope to get together soon! Let me know maybe we can meet up for some drinks:)

  2. // Reply

    Ha ha, this sounds lik our flat in Cambodia, with the lack of wifi (even though it was advertised as well) and the ants. We have to put all of our food, even cornflakes and boxed up sugar in our fridge. Otherwise the little things get to it and spread out in the flat. Now we haven’t got any food out anymore, there are no more ants either.

  3. // Reply

    I love and hate Wal-Mart equally… I hate everything that it does as far as globalisation and supporting a poor labour force… but as a budget traveller, it’s hard to escape EVERYTHING you need at more than affordable prices… we’ve paid $300 to fully kit out our Explorer with bedding/pillow/foam mattresses/kitchen utensils & BBQ etc… it makes me sad inside knowing what I learned at uni, but my bank account can’t argue.

    Interesting about the toilet cleaner! We’ve met Mossies that have eaten through my leggings in BC! (Not cool!)

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