It has been an eventful week. As of tonight I have been here a week, and in that time I have acquired a Toyota FunCargo and as of today, a gorgeous house in an Okinawan neighborhood.
Last night Amanda wanted to go check out cars, so we set out off the base and into the city. She was my navigator and I decided to just jump right in and try to drive. It was so weird to try to signal with the right hand side of the wheel. I have to say, the people were quite friendly and patient with me. So after almost taking off my side mirror on these crazy little narrow side streets, we found our car dealership. The had me back into this teeney tiny little space which was terrifying since I had the car only a few hours at this point. But we got parked. So, this big dude named Alex told us it was up the road, so we took off on this little detour, ended up getting lost, but had a chance to see how people really live. Also we looked up and there was a giant bat flying over our heads! The flying fox! Before the evening was out we saw about five of them. What an experience. We decided to just head back to base since it was getting dark. We also had a dinner date with Amanda’s sponsor Samantha and her husband. What a nice dinner, I had the California Roll set – crab, avocado and cucumbers as well as a deep fried gyoza and Okinawan soba (noodles) soup for $12. Not a bad deal. The seafood here is so fresh and delicious.
So today, we had arranged to meet with two housing agents to see houses. I had two houses in particular I wanted to see and Amanda had others she wanted to look at. We went first to Isa House, not far from Camp Foster (close enough to ride my bicycle to work) and two blocks from Araha Beach. The neighborhood is Okinawan and very quiet.
So I can walk to the beach on the weekends or at night, but still have the quiet and privacy of my own house. Also it is located between Ginowan and Chatan, so I will only be about 15-20 minutes from Naha where I can train in Taira Sensei’s dojo.
And speaking of dojo’s, I have a tatami room right off the living room. It has the lovely paper screens that close it off and there is a little door that opens onto a little patio. My little backyard had manicured trees, and the owner of the house will come over and take care of those.
There are about three pieces of grass that I am responsible for clipping, but that seems fair. Oh, did I mention that I am getting a Mamasan? They are cleaning ladies. I am not fond of the idea, but it helps give jobs to the local people and the mold tends to get out of control, so what the heck?
So here are a few photos of the place. I have a nice balcony…oh I have a little wall around the front of my house that is a conglomeration of local coral, sea glass and concrete. The house is two levels, three bedrooms, small but three bedrooms with a balcony outside the master bedroom. I may make one into a library. There is no oven, so I may negotiate for a Japanese oven or buy one of those convection things. I do also have a Japanese washer and dryer. It’s pretty awesome. Perhaps as soon as next week I’ll be moved in.