Teaching In Socks

Island Hopping: part 2
May 12, 2009, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Shisar by the seashore

Shisar by the seashore


After brushes with fear and mortality in Iriomote, we headed to Ishigaki Island. We were only there a day, and it was day less about adventure and more about actually relaxing. I spent the day by the pool reading and drinking beer.

For dinner we went to the Hotel’s Yakiniku restaurant. For those unfamiliar, Yakiniku is Korean BBQ. Essentially, you sit at a table with a small, hot and very dangerous barbecue pit taking all of your table space. You then order plates of raw meat and the waiter bring you the various parts of dead animals you requested and some vegetables.

As the meal progresses beverages are consumed, your time management skills deteriorate and you begin to dangerously under cook or incinerate perfectly good food; it’s both delicious and terrifying endeavor. I find that it is central to success to not ask which part of the animals you are eating.

Perhaps the highlight of this meal was that prior to eating, I weighed myself on the hotel bathroom scale. After eating, I did the same and had gained two kilograms in the meantime. I’m not sure about the unit conversions (a kilogram is eight Kelvin, right? and a Kelvin is 2.54 inches, minus absolute zero?) but I am pretty sure I gained some serious weight.



From Ishigaki, we took a plane back to main island, Honto, and Naha city. On this island, there is an American military base, so on city street I ceased to be the great white exotic spectacle that I am accustomed to being.

Other than seeing Shuri castle– which is really a replica of a castle, filled with other replicas of castle relics (thanks WWII), Naha wasn’t entirely interesting. The heavy American influence on the city did pay dividends though. I got to eat tacos for the first time in months. Root Beer, a rarity on the mainland, was readily available. Despite my enthusiasm for the beverage my girlfriend was not as delighted as I was, remarking, “it taste like medicine. I attribute most of my taste preferences to my childhood experience with Flintstone’s Vitamins, so this sounded about right.

The last day we went shopping at the Duty Free Mall, which like all Duty-Free Malls everywhere in the world is not the bargain or tax-free, free-market wonderland they would have you believe it is. When the city monorail very conveniently drops you off outside a “Duty-Free” Mall, you know someone the city office is getting a cut of all that “duty free” commerce.

I’ll end, as all good trips do, on a small tangent: so, there was a monorail, but it did not have an Epcot center; since I was five, I was sure this was a international/galatic requirement for all monorails, anywhere. Someday they’ll change that law.


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