December 29th, 2007 – by: Chariot13
The Okinawa coast from the ferris wheel.
When do I know I have jet lag? When I'm wide awake and ready to start the day at 5 in the morning. It is still dark out and Nicole is dead asleep, and despite these flashing indicators that I should just go back to bed, my body is saying "It's got to be at least 8am, right?! Right?!". No. Not even close. And what my body is really thinking is "Hey, idiot. It's 3pm. What are you doing asleep?". I'm trying to trick you body, and you're not cooperating.
But, other than this very slight time adjustment problem, things are OK in OK. Actually, they're going great so far. Yesterday (today for most of you) was my first full day on the island and we kept it pretty low key. Nicole knows what the long flight can do to you since she's done it on 3 or 4 separate occassions now.
American Village ferris wheel.
So, I took the morning to get situated into her apartment, and after showering off the 14 hour plane ride grimey feeling (best. shower. ever.), we headed out in her cute little car to see the island. I'll add some pictures to this post later, as I don't want to rumage around for cables and stuff too much right now.
She took me down to the sea wall where we had a really good lunch at this little cafe right on the ocean. It's an area where she actually lived for a while earlier this year, so she knows it pretty well. There were some scuba divers out because there's a coral reef right off the coast there and they can just walk out over the wall and dive in. We ate on the outside balcony area and enjoyed the ocean breeze and warm! sun (oh, how I don't miss winter).
Nicole in the ferris wheel.
We then went to what they call the "American Village", which seems like a silly place to go on your first day in Japan, but we wanted to go on the ferris wheel they have there to get a better view of the island. Besides the ferris wheel and arcade part, it's mostly a shopping area with some restaurants. With the U.S. military presence here, there seems to be quite a bit of American influence. I have been surprised by how many Americans I have seen so far and how many of the Japanese people are able to speak English to you as soon as they see you are not Asian. Almost everything here is even translated into English - including menus and street signs. It makes the U.S. look pretty unaccomodating to foreigners and gives me better apprecition to how hard it must be to try to get around as a tourist in a place where you don't speak the language and no one speaks yours.
Me on the ferris wheel.
Eating with a fork is not an option at a lot of restaurants. Good thing I practiced my chopstick skills.
When you pay for something, you are expected to put the money on a little tray they put in front of you, where they will then put the change you're owed as well.
Even at sit-down restaurants, you go up to the desk to pay your bill.
Tipping is not a practice here and is even considered rude on most occassions.
Sayonara for now!Rambling on...