Whale song

Whale song

The major news on island this past week is, unfortunately, bad news: Beached baby This beached baby humpback whale was found on Torii beach on Wednesday, March 20th. Those who first saw the calf at sea wanted to try to rescue her, but she was already dead. No one’s really sure what happened, and it’s an(…)

Walk that goat! Okinawa’s Bios on the Hill

Walk that goat! Okinawa’s Bios on the Hill

Have you ever heard someone say, “If you don’t like the weather in [name of city], just wait a few minutes, and it’ll change”? I have. In fact, I’ve heard this same expression used to describe Chicago, Los Angeles, Valparaiso (Indiana), and parts of Texas. As if these were the only places with frequently changing(…)

Oki End to End: Mini Geography Lesson

I just couldn’t wait to share this with you–I recently saw it in my feed. It’s a time lapse video of a person driving from the southern tip (Cape Kyan) to the northern tip (Cape Hedo) of Okinawa Island. Since Okinawa is only 67 miles (107.8 km) long, the trip takes 3 to 4 hours,(…)

100 Yen Stores: The Most Fun Consumers Can Have!

100 Yen Stores: The Most Fun Consumers Can Have!

It’s fun to visit another country and find little cultural differences, or learn that there may be a different way to do or say things than what you’ve always known. I take it another step, and admittedly get a little “judgy.” Here’s my running tally on “Who does it better–Okinawa or the U.S.?”                                             (…)

Shisa! Shisa! Things I learned about Okinawa’s icon

Shisa! Shisa! Things I learned about Okinawa’s icon

Fair and temperate Okinawa: what beast, pray tell,  is this? Be it friend or foe? Spend any time on Okinawa, and you’ll see pairs of these creatures on rooftops, or perched at the entrance to most homes and buildings. They’re called shisa, and they’re everywhere. Okinawa’s icon, for sure. When you think of Okinawa, think of(…)

I’ll Drink To That! Okinawa’s vending machine drinks

I’ll Drink To That! Okinawa’s vending machine drinks

On Okinawa, and in Japan in general, there are what seem like a babillion vending machines. I heard once that there was a machine for every 5 people, but the number seems to be more around 1 machine for every 23 people, according to the Japan Vending Machine Manufacturers Association. I decided to do my(…)

Japanese Trash Talk

Japanese Trash Talk

In my very first post, I mentioned that you shouldn’t get your hopes up when you hear what sounds like the ice cream truck. Here’s an example: (Open this in Media Player:) truck 1 I know, Beethoven’s a bit sophisticated for an ice cream truck. In the U.S., we’re more used to “Pop Goes the(…)

It’s about bloomin’ time!

It’s about bloomin’ time!

Little known fact: I’m a plant killer. I’ve always thought I had a black thumb, and I warn people of this when they ask me to plant sit. But lately, even I have caught the gardening bug. Here’s my fledgling cucumber plant, with its leaves still folded up in the seed: Why the sudden urge(…)

To the left, to the left!

To the left, to the left!

When my hubby (who will forthwith also be called “B,” “the hubster,” or any other ridiculousness that comes to mind) was a wee lad, and just starting to learn to write, his mother was delighted that he took after her, by holding the pencil in his left hand. Alas, the gods conspired against her pride,(…)

totes kawaii

totes kawaii

Whenever I’d chat online with friends from Mexico (I studied abroad in Puebla to learn Spanish, and didn’t realize I’d also learn to like drinking beer, as it was cheap and tasty), I’d always confuse them by posting “awww.” “What’s that mean–awww?” they’d ask. My response included baby animals, romantic gestures, and anything miniature. “Is(…)