Okinawa Sunrise

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Give Thanks I'm not sending you Habu Sake!

A very merry holiday season to you all. Okinawa, both on and off-base have come into full holiday swing. I am loving listening to Japanese Christmas music whenever I walk into a shop. Even if the only words I catch are "Merry Chrisimasu"! They are only two of many words which, happily for those learning, are borrowed directly from English like "keyboardo" or "Kohi" for coffee and "hamburga" for hamburger.

In other news you will be happy to know that Michelle and I did not destroy any government property on Thanksgiving and our new apartment remains char-free! Our Turkey turned out splendidly as this picture attests!

We also used the weekend to take a trip down to Kokusai street in the prefectural capital of Okinawa, Naha. Kokusai is the main shopping drag in the city. For you Washingtonians, its like the M street of Naha. It was great fun although I'd sworn of buying for the day. We stopped into a traditional restaurant for a bowl of Okinawa Soba, an area specialty of Noodle soup. It came with some interesting accompanying dishes which I could not name. I know one was seaweed, very tasty if a little slimy. My favorite tourist friendly adjustments to traditional restaurants are spaces under the table for your straw flipflop-clad feet so that you don't have to settle on your haunches and have major cramp by the main course!

Although it was Sunday, I was suprised to see a huge hoard of Japanese school boys and girls heading down the street for an afternoon shop. I can't say definatively that all Japanese kids go to school on Sundays but there wasn't any other explanation for why they were all headed down the street en-mass... Another curiosity on Kokusai street is Habu sake. While Awamori is an Okinawan specialty, a fermented sake, Habu is a native Okinawan snake. It lives in caves and cool woods and keeps out of the city unless it arrives in a bottle of Habu sake. If it bites you, odds are you will not make it to the hospital. Which is why it boggles the mind that one would want to throw back some shots of something a Habu has been marinating in for sometime. To each his own I guess!


Blogger Holly said...

I think it's generally a good idea to confirm that a snake is good and fully dead (preferably roasted and cut into small pieces) before letting it anywhere near your mouth.

And even then....

love all the photos :-) so much fun! glad you are doing well...let's talk soon! i got a new phone card, whee!

8:08 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I think it's generally a good idea to avoid snakes in general. Don't think about them, look at them, talk about them, eeeeks! Creepers! I got the chilly-willies just looking at those little creepers in the jars.

Yay for you for making such a beautiful Thanksgiving spread! Looks delicious and scrumptous and I'm sure a good meal was enjoyed by all. And school on Sunday? No thanks. I'll stick to the American tradition of slacking off on the weekends :)

9:31 AM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

that turkey looks delicious natalia..very good job! im proud
all those poor, unfortunate children forced into going to school..on a sunday! (gasp) thats child abuse!i hardly get through a 5 day week..
and those snakes are soo creepy! who would down thatt? does the snake add flavor? or do u eat the snake? or is it just decoration?....either way its kinda gross

4:42 PM  

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