My father always said, "Know how to get there before you start on your trip."
Living on an island makes it almost impossible to give traditional north-south-east-west directions. A quick look at a map of Honolulu shows that there is no grid pattern to our streets. Kinda kapakapi (mixed up, imperfect or uneven) in a comforting way.
There are four directions you are likely to go in Honolulu. Locals know and visitors learn that:
Mauka, (MOW [as in cow] kah) is toward the mountains,
Makai, (mah-KY [as in pie]) is toward the ocean,
Ewa, ("EH-va") is toward Ewa Beach, southwestward, on the Leeward side of the island, and
Diamond Head, is toward Diamond Head Crater, the opposite of Ewa.
Traffic reports, police officers, and the nice tutu (grandma) at Foodland supermarket will only use these directions.
So, if you are heading for the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet from Waikiki, you are driving "Ewa on H-1" (or "Ewa on Nimitz" if you like traffic lights). If you are heading to the University of Hawaii from the zoo, you are going "Mauka on Kapahulu Avenue." And Ala Moana Shopping Center is "Ewa of Waikiki on the mauka side of the street."
That's how it's done. Simple, yeah?
"The greatest thing in this world," said Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., "is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving."
Know how to get there before you go.