Sunday, February 25, 2007

Pass me the remote...

Back in the earlier days of my time on Okinawa, I used to grimace as the weekend approached. I'm sure most of you cannot fathom dreading two whole days off, especially on a tropical isle. Unfortunately, I just saw it as 48 hours that need to be filled. And it was quite the task to keep busy and wasn't helped by the fact that I could never sleep past 7 am for some awful reason.

Now, I have become a regular person and absolutely adore my weekends. I have begun to live for my days off again. It's a great feeling and I can even sleep until 8:30 thanks to an extra futon to make my bed more comfortable. I get my cleaning done (sometimes) and call the parents before heading to the gym around 10 or so in order to beat the crowds and get the sweating out of the way. Today, for instance, there were only three other women in the workout room. Two of them were carrying on a long conversation with one woman rolling her feet on the machine and the other half-asleep in the massage bed. The third lady was reading her newspaper on the exercise bike and no one had turned on the loud television yet. It was unbelievably peaceful despite trying to run myself ragged. And then one of the older women, amazingly contorted her body into various ballet poses (also sort of looking at me...trying to garner whether I was impressed or not. I was!) and then started doing push-ups. At least 55 years old and doing push-ups. But that's Okinawa. I walked to my faraway grocery store and witnessed some marathon running. The islanders love to run (but according to one of my teachers, never really win the race because mainlanders and foreigners outperform them) and the streets were lined with drummers, water pushers, pineapple chunk stations, etc. And the runners themselves were quite the image. There were some who were walking, others were looking like they were on their literal last legs, and one girl was wearing a cheerleading outfit with a sash and saying hello to everyone. I stood and watched for a bit and then headed back to continue my perfect weekend.

Yesterday I decided that it was time to return to Mr. Donut for some coffee and crosswords. I hadn't been there since before Christmas and was walking along when my phone started vibrating. It was my friend Bridgit and she said something along the lines of, "I'm craving Mr. Donut! Want to join me?!" It was so bizarre that we would both be heading to a random place we had never visited together before, and yet, shows the mindset of foreigners on the island. (We did get our money's worth of chatting, people watching, and a strange coffee buzz that was too strong for the amount of coffee consumed. Perfect.)

Today has been a rainy day and I have learned to embrace the power of an afternoon movie in my PJs, a nap on my reclining legless chair with my soft blanket, and some tea (with some fantastic cookies that taste just like McVities Digestives, but are loads cheaper!). Eventually I'll rouse myself to figure out what I want to make for dinner and will enjoy another movie later on. This is my typical view for Saturday and Sunday. Lovely.

One of my students who was a foreign exchange student in Springfield last year was talking to me this week about what she misses about America. She said she misses sitting in her host family's living room on one of those couches with the two reclining sides, watching TV with her host sister and a dog in between them. Her host parents were always in their own chairs, reading and watching TV... and these are the moments that Kumy misses most. I agree. Probably my favorite memory of Christmas vacation (no offense to all the get-togethers and excitement) was lounging with Brooke all day and watching ridiculous TV. So while I try to recreate that feeling of comfort here in my tatami room, enjoy your weekend moments with your loved ones. (And make sure to add milk to your tea.)


Anonymous said...

the next season of america's next top model starts on wednesday.

Carly said...

Omigod! I think you have ALIENS!