It's been over a week so I suppose I need to fill everyone in a bit more this time. Don't worry, I will attempt to make it easy to skim over. Even with the story I will be posting, I will leave something out and I will make sure to post on facebook if I do.
1.Tug O War
2.The John, The Loo, The Throne..
3. Taco Rice, bring your Tums
4. The sky is falling, the sky is falling
Tug of War, Japanese style.
Every 12 years in Chatan they have what is called the Sankamura, which is the 3 town tug of war. Chatan, our town, hosts it and they do a big festival/ceremony for the rope and those who are going to pull it. Of course they had to scare the bad spirits away...for 2 hours...before actually pulling the rope, but hey, I was along for the ride on that hot day, so all was great and I really liked being able to experience this. There is much I am afraid of leaving out, but let me say this 1st. After one round and rope burn, I was ready to tap out and did. One local national proceeded to tell us in Japanese that we were not done yet when we left early, but I didn't agree with that..I think we were. This rope if you can kind of see it in my picture, was so thick, it stood up from the ground all the way to my knee. The big rope had side ropes that people branched off of to pull. We were pulling for the wrong team, so I am glad we didn't win, Chatan did win! That is our city. Which ever of the 3 cities wins the tug of war wins bragging rights as well as the spirits smiling on their crops, which are sure to be plenty..must have been before the city was covered with concrete! The cities competing for glory were Chatan, Dendo, and Tamayose. After the couple of festivals I have been to I have learned the Okinawans and Japanese don't do anything half way, except for the little guys and girls, and everything is larger than life.
Bidets and more.
Some may not like my next topic, it's about the toilet. I will try to keep it as classy as one can when talking about the bathroom and some may just choose to skip this section. It may be a known fact that Japanese toilets are weird, but add glorious to that list too! I will be adding pictures to this blog or fb hopefully of one toilet that has scared me, but in time of emergency, I will not turn down. The buried urinal. It looks like something that belongs in a boys restroom in an elementary school except it's lying on the ground, and buried. I am not completely sure which way is which but since it works out in the end, so be it. The scary part is I am wondering if it is for *cough cough* BOTH functions. Some places you go, there are unisex bathrooms. I was mortified when I found this out myself, first hand. I begged Mark to go with me so I would not be alone, the 2nd time I had to go back, but I don't think he got how completely uncomfortable and American I was at the moment. I thought at first, maybe I just didn't lock the door right and the other person didn't realized it was occupied, but after talking with Steph Pak I found out my suspicions were very real and the same thing happened to her at a KFC near Kokusai Street and the guy that was in the bathroom explained to her, it was normal, and apologized. THE BIDET! I was just going to leave that one alone, and open the offer that if anyone wants to discuss it further, come talk with me, I'd be happy to, but today I ran in to bidet ultra, IT HAD HEATED SEATS! Mark simply said, you'll like the bathroom at lunch today and I knew exactly what that meant. Mark hears about bidets all the time from me now, I sing their praises and love it when I find a place that has them, I remember all the places I have been to that have them....I will say that I am amazed by them more than I should be and I will leave it at that. *wink*
Taco Rice..ole..Believe it or not this is an Okinawan original, born and raised in Okinawa and some places have even went as far as being Taco Rice fusion restaurants. Which we went to one today. My opinion on Taco Rice: Not going to go out of my way to eat it. I would take it over pizza, but then again, I hate pizza and would take anything over pizza. Honestly it's not that bad but you better not fill up on it and/or take your medicine for acid reflux or heartburn because unfortunately it doesn't settle well. Mark loves the stuff, so do his coworkers, but I, Talya, am officially, not a fan. What is Taco Rice? Picture steamed sticky rice, that you would get with your Japanese meal, now put seasoned meat on top, finished off by cheese, lettuce, a bit of tomato, and always, salsa, home made might I add, on the side. There are various ways to make this dish from simple to elaborate (which we had today). You are given a spoon and you may choose to do what Mark and I among others do: dip your spoon in the salsa and then proceed to get a spoon full of your Taco Rice goodness.
Big Ol' Jet Airliners.
Can we pretend that air force jets flying in the afternoon do not exist, I could really use a nap right now, nap right now, nap right now. (Me trying to be clever, changing B.O.B. and Haley's song Airplanes). WHEN I came to join Mark at our lovely apartment I was so thrilled, I still am, I love our space, it's just enough for us and Hercules in February. Some told Mark, "Ooooo, the jets are SO loud in that area! Don't rent there!" There is a sign right before you pull on to our street that says, "No more Sunabe Air Base." I thought it was just some protest sign put there by someone that didn't like our all American apartments. Well, I found out soon during my 1st full week here what are the commotion is about. The flight line is right by our beach and our house which can be pretty cool except when they are flying jets that surly can break the sound barrier very loooow above our house...and beach...and road...and town. It is the loudest thing I have EVER heard, EVER. Let me just say, the Jackson tornado of 1999 went down my street...above my apartment...I lived on the road with the bus garage, remember what happened to it? Yeah....jets trump tornadoes. I woke up from my nap today thinking there was an air raid and that Kim Jong Il finally pushed the button! I still love our place, we are the 1st renters in the apartment, evah! So that is amazing but those jets...oooo those jets...God Bless the USA...lol