Friday, November 28, 2008

A Helping Hand...

So today I was on my way to work, and I was in a line of cars waiting at an intersection. I see the light up ahead is a red light. The van in front of our line for some reason only known to that driver decides to go through the light anyway I see a car out of nowhere (which has the right of way) coming from the left on the cross street. Now it appeared they were just going to miss each other...

At that point things kind of slowed down and I watched as the two vehicles impacted with a loud bang and then a screeching stop. Our light goes green and people start moving. I get to the intersection and pull off to render assistance, as others just pass completely oblivious to what had just happened.

I go to the van first and am assured by the driver and passengers that they are ok. I then go to the little white car and find that its driver is not so lucky. At first it didn't appear as if she was moving, but once we got the car door open she was coming to. I ask her if she is ok and tell her that I know first aid and will help her. Don't think she understood.

I climb into the backseat and do the best I can to stabilize her neck until the paramedics arrive. Fortunately some of the bystanders understood english and told her to quit moving. The medics were on scene within minutes and started tending to the woman.

I stand around and wait for the JP's (Japanese Police) as I am thanked by several Okinawans for stopping to help. The JP's arrive and with a brief struggle of the language barrier and then the help of an interpreter (via phone) I am able to give them my side of the story and then head off to work.

I am kind of taken back by the whole thing in what I saw, there was maybe one other person who stopped briefly to help but everyone else kept on driving....I am not sure if it is a cultural thing or what but it just left me kind of puzzled.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thoughts on Sushi

Ok, so I have been here for just over two weeks, and since I have gotten here I have had the opportunity to try various sushi dishes made fresh and served at the comissary on Kadena AFB. Now I must say, before I got here, I was hesitant about eating sushi because well some of it is actually Sashimi (Raw Fish) so I decided that I would start off kind of small and go from there. The first sushi I tried here was a cream cheese and some kind of sea creature or imatation thereof, and it was actually pretty good. I decided to get a little bolder and try sashimi, well unfortunately the first time around I bought it and ate part of it but didn't finish the rest so I ended up tossing it in the trash. Today I got to the comissary and decided to buy a couple different dishes, one was Summer rolls (wasn't all that great) and the other was sashimi...Now I didn't read exactly what was in it (would spoil the surprise) but I must say it was unlike anything I had ever tasted before, so I scarfed it down pretty quick and LOVED it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

First Adventure

Ok after today's boring ass boat drills, I finally got out and drove, no particular intention or direction, just get in my car and go...The first place I ended up was at the end of a dirt road where there was a trail and on my right was a coral beach and on my left was some creepy cave...

I chose to take the path to the beach. Finding it fairly secluded I broke out my camera and started taking pics of hermit crabs and shells and the city across the water where I had driven from...Out of nowhere this local appears and with a little bit of trying to understand each other he told me about a beach around the corner I could wade out to...Lets see I have my snorkel gear, and my camera gear...Ah hell with it, I started to walk and got around the corner finding that the coral is too slippery and I wasn't going to risk my camera or gear so I went back to the beach.

I decide I have had enough of the beach and then head up to the cave...There is another guy (different person) looking at the same thing. We kinda break the language barrier and neither of us can figure out what the cave is, other than there is a shrine in front of it...Old Burial tomb...perhaps...Well we look down into the mouth of the cave and he gestures me to go in...I shake my head and motion him first...We decide we are going to go together (Strength in numbers) we start to go in but realize neither has a light and it is PITCH BLACK (cue creepy horror music) and it got VERY COLD ok both of us are starting to get creeped out, so we decide it is best to go no further. We chat for a bit (best we could) and then part ways.

The next hour I find myself just driving down the hwy over a couple bridges making stops along the way taking pictures :) At one point I come to the end of a road where I have to execute a 50pt turn to turn around...HOLY SHIT!!! I go the other way and come to a beach where I took pictures of a bunch of crabs LOL

My last stop brought me back to base where I went to the beach and took pictures of the sunset...Finally got those pictures, it has been a hectic week and it was nice to get out today :)

Of course my adventure had started during the boat drills where I got to ride in the humvee and man the M60 Machine Gun :-P (See new pics) That was cooooool

Now I am in my room with a REALLY nasty sunburn and headache LOL but it was WORTH IT :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I haz car will travel

Ok, yesterday the plans to get the car I wanted went to hell so I had to come up with one that was a little more reasonable and within my price range...Today I picked up said car that I mentioned in my previous blog entry...Now I was a little dismayed to find out that this car cosmetically is UGLY as sin, but runs actually quite well and the A/C is FUCKING COLD (Definitely a good selling point)

I met up with the owner and was a little unsure where the bank was (needed the cabbage to pay for the car) so I had the guy drive us over to the bank...This would give me a feel for the car and a chance to feel and listen to it w/o getting distracted.

Turns out by the time we got there, the bank was closed...WTF FAIL!!! Ok so much for getting the total amount of cash needed out at once...So we head over to the ATM...It turns out that I am limited to a set amount that I can withdraw each day (DAMN IT!!!) so we finally settle on the max amount of cash and the rest as a check...Good to go payment taken care of...

We head over to USO to get the paperwork done and it turns out I need a copy of my orders, and also a Japanese letter of attorney (Don't ask) neither of which we had...FUCK!!!

Back to HQ for us...Well this time luck turns and fortunately the Legal Chief is there so we got that paper, and one of the guys that works in PSD was there so I was able to get a copy of my orders...Back to USO

Ok we get there and this time everything is in order...well on top of what I paid for the car, I had to shell out money for insurance and title transfer, now it has the option to be paid every 3, 6, or 12 months...I say to hell with it and buy a years worth of insurance...With that another fair amount of money is tacked on to what I have already paid out...But now I have a car and a new friend (the guy I bought the car from) We head over and drop him off at his home and bid farewell...

Now I am behind the wheel for the first time and have to find my way back to White Beach (where my barracks are) fortunately I have another shipmate with me and he reads off my right and left turns as we make our way back...We actually made it back w/o getting lost. Of course the whole trip back, I am scared shitless, it is rainy, the roads are slick, and it is getting dark, not to mention first time out actually driving more than a block from the base.

We made it back and I come to discover that making a turn into a parking spot is going to require some practice but hey its a start.

Speaking of driving, tomorrow and Wed, I get to learn how to drive and maneuver boats for my Harbor Security Class, hopefully it is nice out on the water tomorrow WHOO HOO :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

First Week on the Island completed

Well, here I am exactly a week later from the day I arrived on Okinawa. My check-in is complete with the exception of meeting the CMC, CSO, and CO tomorrow...Should be fun...They are the last three that I have to check in with.

On another twist of events it turns out I won't be able to get the SUV that I wanted so badly to drive around in for the next three years due to lack of fundage and the falling through of Plan A, B, and C...Talk about bad luck and timing...But I will be getting a car tomorrow so I won't have to wait till next weekend which would have been the case for the SUV...Now I can FINALLY get around the island YAY!!! Oh and the car gets better mileage LOL I promise pics will come once I get the cable to my camera (For those of you who have been asking)

So lets see what did I do today...Slept in late :) Kinda lounged around my room and then discovered in fact the pool across the street is in fact open, so I went and took a swim, I thinks thats where I will be spending A LOT of my time now until I get into base housing and Lori gets here, then we both will probably spend A LOT of time down here.

I am finding that despite being isolated from the rest of the world, White Beach seems to be a really nice and quiet place with very very few people, hell there was only one other person at the pool besides me. There is also a restaurant here called Naps and it is on a cliff overlooking the water below another cliff that has an even better view of the water and beach and also has cabins you can rent out...will have to look into that.

Well that is about it for updates, in other news I have completely tron'd out my computer so now it can surf the web, watch TV, watch DVD's make phone calls, and play games :) sweeeeeeet.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Venturing Out for the 1st time

Ok so today was my first day off on the island...Wouldn't ya know it, I was BORED off my ass...Kinda sucks not having a car, but on the flip side I did get to test drive my soon to be car earlier this morning, didn't really take much getting use to driving on the left side of the road and I actually did pretty good (didn't kill anyone) Anyways after that, I decided to go on a little adventure and take a cab to Camp Foster (Marine Base) and pick up a couple things from the PX...

I called the Taxi service and cab came here and picked me up to take me to the base...As my luck would have it, my driver was new and trying very hard to learn English, it made for a fun conversation and ride to the PX because I am trying to learn Japanese as well...Both of us were doing terrible at the other's language but we also both got a good laugh out of it.

While heading to the base and talking with my driver, I got to take in the island. Everything from sugar canes to kids walking to the insane traffic, I think I am going to like it here...Though I could have done w/o paying the 36.00 cab fare (OUCH) but it was kind of worth it considering I got to where I needed to go and got to kind of experience a little bit of culture.

I got to the PX and paid my driver and said sayonara (no I am not kidding) then I headed into the PX...Talk about a crowd, I think I might have been safer in the cab LOL...I got what I needed and then left. Found the Scuba shop (glub glub glub....Glub glub glub LOL) found out that scuba certification is really cheap...Only about 252.00 and seven days of my time and I can get open water certified :) Will have to set some money aside for that :)

After enjoying an icecream cone at Baskin Robbins it was time for me to head back...This time the cabbie wasn't much for coversation and it cost me 39.00 to get back to base...Eh guess you can't win them all.

I get back to my room with my new little gadgets and low and behold the power of BLUETOOTH...I got my headset sync'd with my computer and by paying 10.00 on yahoo got 1000min of VoIP via yahoo IM...for those of you that don't know what that is, basically I can use my internet to make phone calls...The only drawback is if connection goes down bye bye phone call....But it is MUCH cheaper than vonage and no little gadgets required.

I also bought a TV adapter for my computer and am still tinkering with it to get it to work...so far I have one english channel...

So far I have: Cell Phone, Internet, TV (sorta), Way to call home (now), Car (SOON) and housing (SOON), Can't wait till Lori and the Kittehs get here then we can get settled and go on more adventures...YAY!!!

PS: Did I mention the spider that was bigger than my hand that I saw or the Gecko that damn near fell on my head LOL...So it begins LOL