Saturday, August 21, 2010

Some Road Sights

by Pa rock
Cultural Explorer

I scooted over to the PX at  Camp Foster this evening for a crescent wrench and a screwdriver, so that I could put together some furniture tonight.  While sitting at the stoplight waiting to cross Highway 58, I made a couple of observations about Okinawan commerce.

The first thing I noted was, like their small cars, Okinawan commercial trucks also seem to be small, but to make up for their lack of carrying capacity, they also tend to be overloaded.  One of the trucks that went sailing down Highway 58 while I sat at the stoplight was loaded with wooden slats,  not just loaded - but dangerously overloaded!  Another truck went by carrying four large cubes that appeared to be made of crushed aluminum cans.   Recycling is a big deal here.   After making my purchases (and then some!) at Camp Foster, and stopping by Captain D's for a fish deal, I was on my way home and passed an Okinawan firetruck.  It was a large, rambling, almost sloppy affair that presented as more comedic than emergency oriented.

During my first tour of Okinawa, I came across an overloaded vehicle, the vision of which has remained with me for nearly four decades.  My wife and I were driving down a hill toward our house when we passed a truck carrying several large logs that had been headed up the hill.  The logs were hanging several feet over the truck's tailgate, and the poor driver had apparently down-shifted as he was driving up the steep grade.  Shifting gears had caused the weight to shift toward the rear, resulting in the truck sitting on its rear end with the logs touching the pavement.  The truck cab and the driver, meanwhile, were in an elevated position with the front tires several feet off of the ground!  Ever the Good Samaritan, I stopped the car and got out and took a picture!

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