I've been in Hawaii since the beginning of May, so almost 3 months. Out of all the moves we've made, its never been into a whole other culture. there are lots of subtle, little differences, and of course, no one tells you these things. you have to be a total "howlie," play dumb, and hopefully learn from that first mistake. for me however, I'm sure it will take more than once. ha!
my biggest issue is the language. English is spoken here, even though Hawaiian is a full language by itself. all the cities, street names, and local shops are Hawaiian of course ... and I'm just your basic, uncultured white girl. its kind of embarrassing.
some letters of the alphabet aren't even used. there are apostrophes everywhere, with emphasis in strange places. the vowels are pronounced differently than on the mainland. its funny, I got a Hawaiian/English translation book, but its no help because I don't get the enunciation of it all. sigh.
locals also think its pretty funny that we use a GPS. they say "it's an island. there are only so many places you can go."
I'm learning ... it's just a REALLY slow process. :)