Friday, October 22, 2010

Pull or get out of the way!

 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!

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