Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Jed Clampett Moment

by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer
This is the twelfth day that I have been on Okinawa, and the entire time I have been staying in temporary billeting, a place owned by Air Force Inns and locally as the Shogun. My room is cozy (cramped), with a small refrigerator, microwave, and a television. Basically I am living out of suitcases and eating most of my meals at the Kadena Officer's Club which is one block away.

So I am very ready to get my own place!

Housing here for Americans is expensive, and there is not enough housing on base to accommodate all of the civilians that are necessary to make the base function - especially unaccompanied civilians like me. So the government picks up the tab for off-base housing, within generous limits. Today I hooked up with a housing agency and began looking at apartments. The ones that I was shown was nice, I mean really nice!

The first place that I saw provided me with an honest-to-God Jed Clampett moment, because when I stepped inside I knew exactly how ol' Jed must have felt the first time he walked into the big house next door to the Drysdale's. It was huge, and nice, and had a long view of the ocean from the balcony.

The drawbacks were that it was on the tenth floor of an eleven-story building (in fact, it was the tenth floor!) and the neighborhood was isolated. I wouldn't personally have to lug my heavy American furniture up to that level, but several items wouldn't fit into the small elevator, and I feel for the guys who would have to drag it up all of those steps. The other problem was the neighborhood. Not only was it more isolated than I would like, but when I noticed some commercial signs on a nearby long structure and asked the housing agent what sort of business it was, she replied, rather sheepishly, that it was a "love motel!"

The balcony of that apartment overlooked the "love motel," so it might be interesting to sit out in the evenings, peer over the railing, and watch the comings and goings!

Another place that I looked at was a house one block from the Sunabe Sea Wall and the East China Sea. That area has many American residents, local businesses, and much more to do in the immediate vicinity. It would be a safe place to get out and walk in the evenings.

I will be looking at some more places tomorrow. Needless to say, I am very anxious to get my household goods unpacked and resume my life.

It has been another beautiful day on Okinawa!

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