Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Day in the City

Blog post: A day in the city
Today we left the house around 8:30 and headed to Naha airport. We were going to wish Norihito goodbye. He's studying for a year in the US. We were joined there by Gray sensei and a some classmates and naturally Norihito's family, his mom, dad and grandmom. When the plane boarded he bid us all goodbye. In his departure I noticed something that distinguishes American culture from Japanese-they gave no hugs or kisses. He didn't hug his friends or hug or kiss his family goodbye. No one cried either. Japanese people usually only hug or kiss when they're boyfriend or girlfriend or "rabahs" (lovers) as my host mom said. I think Americans express their feelings more outwardly than Japanese. It's just a cultural differenc I guess. Right before I went on this 6 week trip I remember hugging and kissing my mom goodbye. Norihito's going away for a year!

After we left the airport we headed to the Okinawa times (the prefecture newspaper) building and my host mom had an interview for her sanshin playing. (A sanshin is like a 3 stringed ukulele and beloved by Okinawans.) She's going to be in the newspaper for her playing! That's a big deal! Right?
After that we eat lunch and headed to Shuri castle. Shuri castle is a world heritage site and over 500 years. It was the seat of the Ryuku Kingdom. Honestly, it reminded me alot of Mulan. It was built in Chinese style and used to welcome the Chinese traders.

After that we went and did some shopping around Kokusai dōri. I got all my gifts for everyone back home and some things for myself ;). We also went to Naha-D which is largest bookstore in Okinawa-I'm a book lover and I was extremely impressed by everything they have. They had a whole section devoted to miscellaneous foreign books. They had a whole shelf o German books, and I bought Momo by Michael Ende, I have to have something to do on the 20hrs of flying I have coming back. They even had Harry Potter in Irish and Ancient Greek-I'd be surprised if Philadelphia's Barnes and Noble had all those books. My host family also gave me a shirt they made that says `将来大者‘. That means `future big shot or future VIP`! I am always freshly astonished by everyone`s thoughtfulness here. The down side to all this hedonistic pleasure is that I'm almost out of money.

We went back to Kitanaka, picked up Katsuumi's new glasses and headed back home. We had pizza for dinner :))). At 8 okāsan drove me and Katsuumi biked to Katsuumi's English class. After the English class Katsuumi told me to ride on the back of the bike since okāsan wasn't picking us up. It's pretty common here for 2 people to ride the same bike. I'll say right now that it was terrifying! Flying up and down the hills and having no control over anything. I clinged to the seat for my life. It was kind of fun and exhilarating, like a Disney ride but scarier!

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