This is the last Friday I have to spend alone, but with the tank on empty and nothing being for free, where does one go without the husband? I am thinking nowhere. This is the last Saturday Mark has class. I shouldn’t have suggested Saturday classes while I am visiting my husband in Japan, but I figured it would be quick and painless. Boy was I wrong.
The Naha Tug of War was enjoyable if you like the feeling of Time Square on New Year’s Eve, which some do and some don’t but something tells me it, was not that bad. We actually got on the train pretty fast after the show, though we did have to wait in a line that wrapped around the station. Nationals got a free ride home or to the festival after the tug of war, we did not. They estimated that down near Kokusai Street where the tug of war is held there were over 250,000 people that gathered for the yearly tug of war. Only about 15,000 of these people assisted in pulling the rope. Since we pulled a mini one in Chatan back in August, Mark and I were just fine missing out on pulling this rope. To join in on pulling the rope it is more than suggested that you wear long pants as well as tennis shoes due to the fact that the street is packed like sardines and the chances of you getting stepped on is great. All ages come out for the tug of war and watch who will win the battle of the north and the south. Though the result of this battle just gives the winning side blessings and good fortune for the next year and it is a custom to retrieve a piece of the rope from the winning side to bring the good luck to you and to your home. More often than not, the tug of war ends in a tie. The giant rope is not moved enough to give one side alone the glory and bragging rights. They have a time limit and at the end of that limit or in the event one side actually wins, the golden ball in the sky releases streamers and confetti for everyone to revel in and for the cleanup crew to keep busy. After the rope pulling you are welcomed to a giant festival a few meters down the road, a little over a mile. There are rides, food and game vendors, and a beer paradise much like the Eisa festival but much larger. They have fireworks at the end of the festival and luckily we did NOT see the mad dash home because we left early to beat the crowd. God willing I will be there next year. I may even pull the rope, or just skip the rope, walk Kokusai Street and go to the festival. We shall see.
I am going to be alone. I can’t give away too much, OPSEC for all you knowledgeable on military terms. While I am alone there are 2 tours I can take. There is a tour to Ie Island, which you are taken to my a 30 minute boat ride then get to go on a hike, or I could go on a tour to the butterfly observatory. Both of these events are right up my alley, though mentioning the journey to Ie island made Mark a little jealous, so I may not go, or I may go anyways, because hey, it bees like that sometimes. :p I think I now know what to get Mark for Christmas though, we will see what I can put together in the upcoming holidays.
Speaking of holidays the season of turkey and ham is approaching and Mark and I are honestly just considering letting someone make it for us! I have cooked a turkey twice and the rest of the dishes once. I don’t consider myself a good cook so in order to make it a great Thanksgiving, I may need to leave it in someone else’s hands. American holidays are observed by the Americans and as Mark found out from his Japanese coworkers; many look forward to being able to order a big, juicy turkey from on base. Our holidays seem to be the only time you can get one with ease. Next week is Halloween and at the school I volunteer at, the kids will be having book character day and the teachers have to dress up…now I need a costume and have a week to find one with limited cash flow. I am a creative person though; I am hoping I survive this. At least it will be on a Friday! Did I mention we have to take them trick or treating…is it selfish to ask for prayer?
Sayonara from the Scott’s!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Now, just because I bought this beautiful piece does not mean I know how to get in it or that I now have all that I need to wear it. I still need an obi, obi cords, tabi socks, the kimono shoes (which also have a name but I forgot), the underwear and collar that go underneath, hair accessories, the scarf that I need to tuck inside my obi, and the basic kimono strings meant to ties the kimono together and used to keep it in place. I will then need to find a place, which my Japanese friend Yoriko-San has found a couple, that will dress me for a fee. I still have to find out the cost when you have the kimono, without, 21,000 Yen and up. That’s over $200 to rent a kimono and have them dress you. With some places though, that includes pictures and hair styles, as well as makeup. This is starting to look like my Christmas gift for this year.
I still don’t have a yukata, the summer kimono, but you can get them for good prices around here as well and will get one closer to the summer. Those are easier to wear and I will need to learn to put on my yukata myself. I will find a murasaki one, purple, to wear. These kimono are only for the summer, you cannot wear them any other time, unless you have it on around the house.
So there you have it! I bought my 1st kimono, I am on a kimono high. Anyone who knows me knows, of course, I would have this pink contraption as mine, the kimono hustlers must have smelled it on me. This will not be my last kimono purchase. Good thing Mark understands.
Sayonara from the Scott’s!
Friday, October 1, 2010
I completely forgot to tell everyone about the milk. Gyuunyuu! On base milk is the scariest thing you will ever drink. I have not had milk off base basically because Mark and I can not read Japanese and don't want to buy the wrong thing. Yeah, you assume that the carton with a picture of a cow on it would be milk, but we have bought things before in error and an error in milk we cannot afford. Okay, maybe I am making more out of it than I should, I'll leave it for you all to decide. Mark bought milk Tuesday, Sept. 26th, 2010. The Sell By date? Oct 24th, 2010 is that date. Sept. 26 is not even when the milk was put on the shelf! Milk that last forever long, milk that we have a month to drink. Technology is wonderful or an abomination? So, Mark and I are low on groceries, my options are running low and cereal with milk seems to be what I crave every morning. The milk is low and I know that if I pour this milk on my cereal we will be out. That is not the point, the point is that when I pour my milk to get ever last drop I also got every last CLUMP! THE MILK HAS CLUMPINESS NASTY ON THE BOTTOM. The “even worse” part for me is, IT WASN’T SPOILED! Yes, the clumps were not sour milk. Flashback to a conversation I had with my coworkers when I had just started, everyone loves to shop on base, it’s cheap, we go, the nationals love to go, they even bring their friends. People escort as many as possible to come get this cheap, food. From American, Korea, Mexico, Japan, everyone shops on base. The one thing, well I won’t say one, because there are a couple I am sure but the one thing my Japanese coworkers shy away from buying is, yes, THE MILK! Because why? Because, “it has the “cheese” in it,” as my coworker Ms. K told me. Ms. G agreed. So far, I had not encountered “the cheese” so I figured it was just a once in a while thing. I am believing now you get a surprise at the bottom of every carton just like our cereal boxes when we were growing up and will now throw the last of the milk away. I had cinnamon rolls and milk for breakfast just now and I feel like I am going to be sick. It may have been a onetime thing and goodness knows I won’t tell Mark because he will look at me with his forehead scrunched and maybe rightly so. Moving on…
Big changes going on at work, I am confused, what else is new? They moved me out of my one class and put me in another, for a month, or 2, or for good? I am seriously along for the ride, getting everything out of learning more Montessori. One day I hope to get certified and have my own school.
I may not be going to school on the 25th of Oct. Getting signed up and getting things paid for by the military is turning in to a royal pain.
I have much to do. Need to get some things done around the house and play with my Instant Immersion Japanese lessons Mark bought for me.
Sayonara from the Scott’s!