Konbanwa ( pronounced cone-baun-wah, means good evening)こんばんは
Well it's been an eventful week! On Friday last week, I finally got my government ID, so now they let me on the bases without a big hassle and visitor pass. Nate and I also went to the housing brief so we could apply to live out in town off base, got a draft of our lease for our new house, and set up an appointment with the housing office to get rental furniture in our house before our belongings arrive from America. It's PCS season so things are a bit crazy. The earliest appointment we could schedule with the housing office was a week out, so we can't move into our new house until Tuesday, July 28.
Friday night, Joe took us to a local restaurant literally one house down from his, this little neighborhood joint. We were the only white people there so I was excited to try the local food. We ordered a few small dishes: quail eggs wrapped in bacon, tomato scallop risotto, garlic white fish, mixed sashimi, and some chicken skewers (at least it tasted like chicken). All the food was delicious. We also enjoyed some local sake, and got to visit Ricky Bob since he's currently staying with Joe. Joe talks about him like he's a human being so I know he's in good hands.
Fun fact, apparently it's polite to bring a 30 pack of MGD beer #cheapbeer to your local neighborhood restaurant as a welcome/introduction gift. I like this place already. Luckily, Joe had already taken care of this a few weeks ago so we were good to go when we got to the restaurant.
Saturday, Joe took us around to look at cars, set up our internet appointment and check out a few local farmers markets. We will be living only about a mile from Joe and there's 2 great local markets near our house. We checked out the main one and it had alot of foods that I had no idea what was what. Luckily, there's a facebook page set up to identify the local veggies and fruits and provide recipes on how to cook them. There are also little vendors outside the markets where you can sample their food, #costcolunch, and buy for pretty cheap. There is one vendor there that will be trouble. This guy sells these pancake/waffle things cooked in the shape of fish stuffed with custard or chocolate... for less than a dollar..... looks like this will be a must have snack for our trips to the market #newcrack
We also stopped by our new house so I could at least take a peak since I had only seen pictures. I'm excited to move in! It looks better than the pictures I saw. We then went for a quick lunch before I had to go back and do some MBA hw. We went to a local restaurant called Ootoya. Joe said it's healthy because he read it was a 'healthy restaurant' therefore it must be. Plus it made us feel better about those custard fishes we had chowed down on earlier. There are a few of these restaurants on Okinawa and they're pretty damn tasty. Apparently they are supposed to be based off a traditional Japanese dinner that your mother would cook, almost all the plates come with rice, miso soup, and pickled seasonal vegetables. Nate got some chicken cutlets, and I got a pork egg dish with mushrooms and rice. Again, all the food was delicious! #gonnabehardtoloseweighthere I'm stoked this place is just down the street from us.
The rest of the weekend we kind of took it easy. We saw a Ant-man and Trainwreck at the theater on base and I finished some hw. It rained most the day on Sunday and we got to experience our first thunderstorm Monday night. You could even hear the thunder over the movie. #maybeiwasjustreallyhungry
Tuesday Nate and I got our SOFA licenses, so we can now officially drive around the island. #watchoutokinawa Gonna be weird getting used to driving on the other side of the road! For those who don't know, SOFA stands for Status Of Forces Agreement, so it's an agreement between our military and the country that the base is on. #gettineducated
We finally also got some phones. Good news friends and family, we have iPhones again so you can easily keep in touch with iMessages using our apple ID firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com (that means you #original6) The lady helping us with our phones actually moved back to Okinawa after living in PB (San Diego) for 12 years. She also was impressed with my little Japanese that I've learned so far.
Tuesday night, Joe took us to another favorite restaurant of his near base. It was a little local sushi joint.
Unfortunately, my sore throat from this weekend has turned into a cold :/ So for dinner on Wednesday, I was craving some local ramen or soba. Nate and I set off on our adventure to find a spot I had read about on Okinawa Hai (great local newsletter). We were in the vicinity of this spot so we parked and decided to walk around to look for it. We couldn't find it so I stopped some locals and used what little Japanese I have to ask if they knew where it was. This guy drops everything he's doing (him and his wife were unloading some things from his car after work or something) and has us follow him. He didn't know exactly where it was either but talked to a friend on the phone and walked us around like 6 or 7 blocks looking for it, including crossing this main street. We finally get there and the place is CLOSED #justourluck I felt so bad that this guy basically walked us around for nothing but was so impressed by his kindness. We tried asking if we could buy him a drink from a vending machine (they have them all over town) or give him money as a thank you and he wouldn't hear of it. Mind you, this was done with a lot of hand signals to communicate between us since he didn't understand english. Apparently this is just how the local Okinawans are. Nate and I are still trying to think of a way we can thank him - don't know if it'd be appropriate to drop off a 30 pack of MGD on his door step....
After this adventure, we looked up another soba place near the American village. The American village is a big hot spot on the island with a ferris wheel and good restaurants (alot are overpriced though, right near the ocean. Again, we walked around and couldn't find it. We were getting hungry and tired #hangry so we just stopped by this local spot we saw on the street. It was basically this little shack with outdoor seating. You placed your order with this machine. You put money in, pressed the button of what you wanted, and the machine printed out a little ticket and gave you change. You then take your ticket to the waitress and they bring you your food. Interesting but efficient.
Today, Thursday, I had an interview with our housing agency, and I've applied to a few jobs on base (at banks and a logistics job). We'll see what pans out. In the meantime, I should have a car hopefully tomorrow, so I want have to rely on Nate as my taxi driver #drivingmsdaisy
It looks like we'll be experiencing our first Typhoon this weekend. Typhoon Halola made a turn towards Okinawa so we may be on lock down this weekend. Should be interesting. If anyone's interested in keeping up with typhoon warnings and info for okinawa (mom), follow "Okinawa Typhoons Pics & Info" on facebook - also makes for great entertainment since whoever writes it is pretty funny.
Wish us luck and miss you all!
Follow in our Footsteps:
JA Farmers Market
〒904-2142 Okinawa Prefecture, Okinawa, 登川2697−2−2
Hours: 9am - 7pm
〒904-2142 Okinawa Prefecture, Okinawa, Noborikawa, 1 Chome−1, 15
Hours: 11am - 11pm
Highway 1 Sushi
2-11-1 Isa, Ginowan City, Okinawa, 901-2221
Hours: Monday (closed), Tues-Sun 11am - 11pm
Ramen spot (near American Village and next to Four Seasons Steakhouse)
904-0115 Okinawa-ken, Nakagami-gun,
Chatan-cho, Mihama, 2-Chome
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Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!