Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Stroll in the Hood

by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

Monday morning, and I am typing directly into Microsoft Word for later transfer to my Okinawan blog.  Still no Internet connection at my apartment – obviously - so a trip to Camp Foster will be in order later this afternoon – sometime after my movers arrive and depart.  It is a little after 11:00 a.m., and I have been waiting on them since eight o’clock this morning.  They are now scheduled to arrive between 11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m.  We’ll see if that happens or not.

Mikano Mansion.  My apartment is the
entire left half of the sixth floor.
Late yesterday evening I went on another stroll around my new hood.  I had planned to go to one of the Okinawan burger joints down by the beach, but opted at the last minute to visit a McDonald’s that is about four blocks from my apartment.   I have heard several American’s state that the McDonald’s here is much better than those in the states, but that was not my experience yesterday.  Yes, they did prepare the sandwich while I waited, but my Quarter Pounder just didn’t have the same taste as it did back home.  (Maybe the Okinawan grease is cleaner!)  The fries did taste like those at home, only they were cold and stale.  I chose the “meal” option, which also came with some sort of tasty pork fritter that was mostly fat.  The fritter lost its appeal after just a few bites.   

The meal cost 770 yen – which is somewhere north of eight dollars.    But it came with a toy – a small replica of a McDonald’s Fish sandwich – something that I did not see on the menu.    (If I put up a Christmas tree this year, I will use it for an ornament.)  They were selling the complete set of six of the food toys for over three thousand yen – somewhere between thirty-five and forty dollars.  
I did not understand that pricing at all!

On my way to the McDonald’s I came upon two large Sunday flea markets where clothing and other assorted wares were displayed.  I noticed one vendor had a plastic tub filled with Old Spice deodorant sticks.  There were also paintings, jewelry, CDs and DVD’s, and a couple of snack shacks.  I didn’t buy, although it was so muggy I could have used some of the deodorant right on the spot.

Coming back from McDonald’s I walked along Highway 58 and visited several nicer shops there.  I was looking for a chair (as I have no place to sit in my apartment other than on the toilet) but found none that were priced to sell.  I also visited a place that we would have called a “head shop” in the sixties, but now is probably thought of as some sort of grungy teen boutique.  Their prices, at least, were boutique-ish! 

Whatever became of black lights?

Another store that I visited specialized in Mexican merchandise, and even has some small “Day of the Dead” figurines - which I collect on an occasional basis.  Again, they were proud of their stuff.  The Mexican place had many large clay pots, outside and inside, that were filled with water lilies and pond vegetation – and home to goldfish and other little fishes.    What a great use of junk pottery!

11:30 a.m. and still no movers.  I don’t mind not being at work because my credentialing hasn’t happened yet, so there wouldn’t be much to do.  But it is damned boring standing home alone.  God, I would kill for a chair – or a bed!

Post Script:  The stuff arrived around one in the afternoon.   Several sweaty Okinawan lads had it hauled up six flights and spread into the proper rooms in just a couple of hours.  They will come back when I call them (hopefully) to haul off the trash.  Tonight I sleep on my own bed instead of the sleeping bag on the tile-over-concrete floor!

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