Don Quixote in Ginowan?

Hello everyone!

It’s 7:41 pm Sunday night, which means it’s 6:41 a.m. for most of you reading this Stateside. Eventful week, eventful weekend.

Let me begin by saying, I’m in LOVE with Okinawa. When it looked as though there was a possibility of landing this job, I began reading everything I could get my hands on regarding Okinawa. Being here has exceeded my hopes and expectations.

I finally began seeing clients in a very limited capacity. I’m on triage which is doing intakes with walk ins. I can’t talk too much about work, that’s why you won’t hear a lot about it. I feel like I’m making a difference in a meaningful way here. I have a whole new perspective on the Marine Corps and what these Marines do for us. I’ll leave it at that. But the job is as good as I hoped!

The end of the third day in a row…Sensei had a fabulous Counter-Terrorism shirt on given to him by the NYPD. I had to give him a little harassment. He has a wonderful sense of humor and has me laughing to tears whether in training or in the after training training.

Now on to all the other stuff I can talk about… Training!

This week, Sensei had scheduled me for Thursday, Friday and Saturday…I was a little worried about Thursday as we tend to ‘finish training’ in the wee hours of the morning. But Sensei was sensitive to my work and I was home by midnight. I met a wonderful Lithuanian – Aivaras¬†Engelaitis and his wife, sons and friends. How wonderful of an experience. I am learning so much about different cultures and places. I remember one politician, it may have been Clinton who said how important it was to leave the US to find out about different places. He was right, what a different way to see things, and to understand how we are seen as Americans, the good, bad and ugly. So most of you have seen the photos of us at the table after training. It’s lovely, I am thrilled beyond belief and I am in for the hardest workouts of my life. I woke up this morning and every muscle in my body was making itself known to me….wow! But I feel stronger already. I’ve also eaten more foods than I ever would have attempted at home…to name a few – salmon eggs, some local Okinawan fish (kajima??) and tripe, yes I ate tripe and I liked it for the most part. So Sensei is off to New Zealand and I will see him when he gets back…I think he was promising me pain, I think that’s what he was saying…something about I will think he is the devil!!

So Sunday is rest day here, no working out, no doing much of anything….well there are some things to do…I decided to clean the house, which is not really a problem since I have very little in it, except I have to announce here and now, I do have someone else living with me…. He is quite awesome, I’ve name him Henry…no I don’t know why, he just looked like a Henry to me.

lizard friend
He is tiny but powerful! He is standing guard waiting for any bugs to cross his path! A welcome addition to my home.

So after sprucing up the place and washing sheets and towels, I decided to investigate one or two stores I haven’t been to yet. Don Quixote, don’t ask me, I don’t know why it’s named Don Quixote. Maybe because if you go in search of something you’ll find it at this store. They carry everything and by everything I will add a few examples:

A large selection of what I assume are condoms and shall we say ‘revitalizing’ items…
doughnuts and pastries
These things smelled heavenly and drew me over from the Green Tea in a milk carton aisle. I did not buy today, but I know where to find them…I did buy a little tofu dish…stop groaning, I don’t want to hear about it from all you people. I’m in the land of bean sprouts and tofu, I have to man up!
magic bullet
The Magic Bullet! there was a little infomercial being played! Every one loves the Magic Bullet!
mis-spent youth
I call this ‘Misspent Youth’ – Richard Macintyre, you will certainly remember Boone’s Farms from our teen-aged years!! Who knew it would turn up in Okinawa.
yes, that's really what it says
Please do not adjust your monitor – yes it really says black man…I suppose they didn’t get sensitivity training, I walked around the corner of the aisle and came face to ….well you get the picture! Literally! Just another little fun experience in Okinawa.

Meanwhile, Amanda and I were messaging each other and decided upon meeting to go out to this place everyone talks about called Hamazushi. We decided to give it a shot. So after I got lost several times, we met up. The idea behind this place is that you have a little computer screen, you choose what you want and it comes around on a little track…we had a little difficulty figuring this out at first and I think we took someone else’s fish, but whatever….you go to a place like this, you take a chance that a Gaijin will steal your food!! Unknowingly, of course. We took one thing off that we decided was not what we ordered and put it back on the little tray.

me and amanda hamazushi
Look how dubious Amanda is!! But she was a champion and tried all kinds of stuff.
hamazushi rotating
here is the little track of food and the computer screen…this is wild!

So we enjoyed all kinds of deliciousness and cake and coffee for the grand total of about $10 apiece.

Then it was off to Nitori for shopping. Nitori is much like Target and I have one about 1.7 miles from my house (I put that .7 in there for you Dennis, I know how much you love my precision!). I bought a full length mirror so I can finally stop going outside to see what I look like before I go to work. It’s in my dojo also, so I have absolutely no excuses not to train.

So that brings me current…next week I am off to Shureido to get a new gi, since I only packed my light-weight junky gi and it simply will not do. Then to the giant aquarium in Okinawa…check it out….

….there will be many pictures!

Oh I forgot! Let’s go Mets!!!! They are the Amazin’s!!!!