Tuesday, August 2, 2011

25 Days, 25 Things I Have Learned



Well after 18 long hours on a plane intermittent with Harry Potter movies, screaming babies and copious amounts of pre-packaged food, we landed on the island of Okinawa. Actually I wouldn't even say landed, more like stopped long enough to jump off the plane and immediately strap on a pair of wheelies (you know Dad, the kind of sneakers that are also skates).

So, so much to share, and once the rubber wheels are worn down to the stubby silver nub I will go into detail about some of our most recent adventures. But for now here is a list of 25 things I have learned in the 25 days I have been here on the island of Oki.

1. Straight out of the gate I was confronted by Yahoo! Japan and a screen full of Kanji...was I hacked? How do it know. And more importantly how do you spell English in Kanji so I can get back to my English lover?

2. You can order off of the menu Fried Rice, literally spelled Flyed Lice.

3. All Japanese food is fat free, 0 calories? You may also be eating furry caterpillar poo, but if you can't read the package it just don't count.

4. Cocoks Nail Salon- Oki's Mecca. Where women flock for toe nail art. And since I plan on having a appointment every three weeks for the next three years, I need to gather 52 gold coins (500yen tips) for the 52 toe designs in my future.

5. Sour vs. Awamori vs. Chu Hi- not sure what the difference is but consumption of any of these cocktails will cause you to think that you are fluent in Japanese.

6. Predator of choice: Habu Snake vs. Banana spider- an aggressive snake who hunts at night and lies awaiting in the grass in your backyard vs. an aggressive spider that attacks/jumps on you when not provoked and sleeps in your windows.

7. And because of this I have learned that living in the jungle is not as romantic as in the movies. Mother nature is pissed and wants her island back.

8. No substitutions- while the Japanese are very accommodating overall, don't f### with the food. If you don't like fatty spare ribs in your soba, too damn bad.

9. Karaoke rooms- these go for $8/ hour. Once in, singing Domo Arrigato Mister Roboto at the top of your American lungs and ending the night with some "Teen Spirit" by Nirvana is a must do.

10. There are more than just one shape of toilet, and flushing is just one of their many functions. Just ask my friend.

11. Wet towels- Are offered before every meal, I appreciate the cleanliness, but I can help but think there are offered to compensate for the crappy hand soap.

12. Chopsticks- why people in Japan are so thin.

13. They also prefer wood splinters as I found it is rude to rub them against each other to smooth them. Or stick them out of your rice.

14. 100 yen store - charges 105 Yen per item

15. Hai means yes- not hello, so I have spent the last 25 days walking into restaurants, bars and shops saying "yes" to everyone I meet.

16. The Japanese like their fruit and have dedicated entire theme parks to it, welcome to Pineapple Land, or would you prefer to spend your day at Goya Island?

17. Swimming with a Whale shark will be just plain cool and on my bucket list.

18. Heat- WARNING: Sitting in the direct sun, can cause your face to melt off like the dude who opened the Arc on Indiana Jones.

20. Sangria tastes better in Japan, and when consumed every night it can cause one to lapse into denial every day at 4pm.

21. Mayonnaise tastes great on everything- of course I knew this, but now the Japanese have proved it.

22. Yen spends like monopoly money.

23. Sushi also tastes better in Japan.

24. Socks with flip flops is still a fashion DON'T.

25. Typhoon Muifa, I would find her so much more enjoyable if she was names Typhoon Mulva.

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