The prospect of me leaving this island oasis is terrifying and sad. I don't want to leave, I love this place. I could stay here forever - no, I'm not kidding. Yeah, Okinawa is F.A.R. from family and friends but it's lifechanging. Every time I see someone post that they can't wait to get off Okitraz, I cringe. I also cringe when people put down Minot. A part of me has been left in every place we've ever lived. We've made each place a home, had memories and milestones in each one of those places and I truly cannot say that I have hated anywhere. I know when we got orders to Minot, I was devastated. When we got orders to Kadena, I was ecstatic. But I'm not looking forward to our next adventure quite as much. I've gotten pretty frustrated with how things work around here, Superman isn't so keen on the rigmarole either. Did I mention that I really love this place. Japan was never on my list of places to visit, Asia in general scares me a little bit. Now that we are here, I don't ever want to leave.
So here it is, Why I Love Okinawa:
- Sunrises, Sunsets and the sun bouncing off the ocean. On my way home every day, I get to see the ocean and the sun bounces off the ocean in the most magical way.
- Noodles, everywhere. Ramen, Soba, Yakisoba, whatever. You can always find a noodle dish.
- Vending Machines. Eggs, tea, soda, juice, food, you name it. I have a new hatred for American vending machines. Why is everything carbonated, why can't I just get a plain cold tea or a nice Georgia coffee. Guys, we're doing it ALL wrong.
- Fresh, seasonal food. I shop at the Japanese grocery stores all the time and let me tell you just how much I purchase from their center aisles - very little.
- Japanese Politeness - Everyone says thank you, everyone nods their head frequently. Everyone is polite. People who work for minimum wage, still respectful and polite.
- Weird neighborhoods with weird houses
- Yakiniku & Sushi-go-Rounds - There is nothing better in the world than Korean-styled grilled beef and roast beef sashimi - nothing.
- Coffee & Tea
- Blue Seal Ice Cream - and their weird flavors like Okinawa Salt Cookie, American Cherry, and Beni-Imo. Even Baskin Robbins has interesting flavors here (and don't get me started on the doughnuts).
- Little Japanese Cars - less is more.
- Shopping Malls - THIS. They're open, they're airy and people don't steal from them as often as it happens in America. Our mall has an aquarium in it. It has like 5 floors and 2 floors of restaurants including a steak place. You don't feel like you're going to get run over by people. You have space to breathe. The stores don't even have metal doors (or doors at all mostly), they close shop with curtains.
- Japanese/American Preschools - everyone should be able to send their 2 year old to school part time for about $200/month.
- Konbinis - pay your bills, get a bite to eat, shop a little, get an American Dog (corndog) and coffee, pick up your Amazon packages!
- Stationery Stores. There are UNREAL.
- Pancakes and doughnuts everywhere.
- Last but not least - BEACHES, BEACHES, BEACHES (and ice cream vending machines).
Have you been to Okinawa? What's your favorite thing?