Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sizzling times

It's hot. It's really really steamy fantastically beating-down-on-you hot. I'm guzzling liters of Aquarius Sports Drink and using all sorts of funny blankets to cover my windows to try to keep it cooler in my apartment. (My neighbors still have their windows open. Lunatics.)

Yesterday, Bridgit and I braved the heat and headed to Tokashiki Island (eleven months after we were supposed to go). Tokashiki is a 30 minute Marine Liner/60 minute ferry ride from Naha and is visible from the mainland. But what a contrast to my part of Okinawa!

We arrived at Tomarin Port in Naha bright and early and after hopping in line with scads of other people, we found out that the Liner at 9 was completely booked, but thankfully there were seats available for the ferry at 10. Although it initially put us in a bit of a sour mood, our spirits were lifted by this wonderful treat, which served as dessert for my breakfast. Yummo!

Zenzai is a fantastic treat and this one was no exception. It has shaved ice, azuki beans (LOOOOOVE THEM), mochi balls, coconut shavings, and sweetened condensed milk. It was absolutely delicious. Our moods were lifted despite being harrassed by some old dude who wanted us to skip Tokashiki and head to Aguni Island with his wife and friends. Ummm...sure.

Our boat loaded up with tons of schoolchildren and I was expecting the worst, but actually it was a pleasant ride and I didn't feel sick at all, which is a minor miracle with me. Unfortunately as we were disembarking the boat, Bridgit had a bit of an accident that left blood gushing down her head (I thought she was going to need stitches for a second) and also left us wondering if snorkeling was a possibility. (Salt water and open wounds = not so much fun)

We bought our Liner tickets for the evening and hopped in a bus for a 10 minute ride to Aharen Beach, which is famous for its clear water. It was apparent even in the bus driving through the island (where I saw billy goats! with beards and everything!) that the water was going to be amazing. Once we arrived at the beach, we were accosted by hawkers who we had to deal with to rent chairs, an umbrella, and snorkel gear. Although they were annoying, having all of the stuff was necessary. We spent the day swimming around the reef where we saw amazing fish. I don't really know any fish names but we saw some schools of fish that were tiny and shiny and appeared out of nowhere. There were also big white ones with purple and yellow stripes, some white/clearish ones, and all sorts of beautiful reef material. We had one leaky mask and somehow Bridgit didn't drown using it. I tried it for about 3 seconds and quit. It was a tiring day and we were ready to be back in our own beds/air conditioning by the end.

Here are some amazing photos of the beach. Unfortunately, cameras can't quite capture how blue/green the water truly is.

I have been spending time shopping like a madwoman lately and eating at restaurants that I've been meaning to get to or revisit. Today, Amy was down from Nago for the afternoon and we had some Thai food in Mihama right under the ferris wheel. Here are some more photos of my little part of Okinawa ---- I have been going to Manni Cafe a lot lately to read, escape the heat for awhile, and people watch.

I really need to take a ride on that wheel before I leave Okinawa. I have been taking afternoons off from school and am quickly filling my remaining days on the island. I can't believe that this week I'll start saying goodbye to some of my classes. My apartment is getting packed up and I am trying to maximize space in my bags. Amy was the lucky recipient of shampoo and some clothes today. Four weeks and I will be playing with Izzy and Endicott. It's a lovely thought. Scary, but great.

Also---- this is a long entry---- HAPPY 30TH ANNIVERSARY TO MY EXTREMELY GENEROUS, LOVING, SUPPORTIVE, FANTASTICALLY HIP PARENTS! (Who produced some pretty super girls and memories...)

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