The Okinawan PO Phenomenon

Here on Okinawa there is what is called the po phenomenen. Po is post­ office; the phenomenon is the strange behavior of the patrons. Since most of the Americans here are military, each newcomer becomes quickly familiar with the terrain of the po. At our po we have approximately 25,000 boxes, 25,000 empty boxes, that is. Ours seemed the emptiest at first. By the end of the first couple of…

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Fighting the Bull

I recently had the challenge of attending an Okinawan bullfight. My advance information held that fight would start at noon, and admission was 1000 yen per person. When I awoke that rainy Sunday, I began wondering if the bullfight would even be held that day. I decided to play it safe and go. Safe, yes, dry, no. When I arrived at the stadium, I saw no cars or evidence of any activity. I stopped at the food truck and asked in Japanese, "Where is the bullfight"? The lady answered with sign language - holding up her fingers like bull horns in question. I answered hai, continuing my attempt at conversation in Japanese. She pointed up a small hill to my left. (I later realized that I never need my Japanese to ask my question. So much for my conversational Japanese lessons!)

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Can You See Me Now?

Just recently I moved into a new category of disabled. For many years I've been part of the invisibly disabled. Struggling everywhere - whether in a store, in a crowd, in a parking lot. I started asking young people to help me - playing the little ole woman thing. But I so often had to ask. And sometimes it's just easier to go home, stop shopping, stop looking for a parking place.

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Exercising – Okinawan Style

After several months’ observation of the exercise habits of Okinawans, American and native, I’ve come up with a list of do’s and don’ts for the partici­pants and the spectators: The primary rule-ichiban-is to ignore the weather, especially the rain. All sports can and do continue when the rain begins no matter what the temperature.

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Guys and Beasties

What is it with guys and those living creatures we gals aren’t fond of? Perhaps my view on this is restricted by the circles I now live in, but I think it has wider implications. I was fortunate that my son wasn’t too interested in the bugs and beasts, so I escaped the type of episode my brother subjected my mother to when he was about 12. He had developed…

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My Car

Riding home last week I decided to use the time to plan my column. It was raining a little and the 5:30 traffic was pretty heavy. Naturally my mind centered on cars as a topic. Once again my changing priorities became the obvious theme. In the past I’ve always tried to have new or nearly new vehicles for several reasons. First, because affording a car payment and repairs has been…

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Now I’m warning you up front. I’m writing about computers this week, but I’m going to try to make this understandable for those of you, like my husband, who aren’t very knowledgeable. (He’s computer illiterate and proud of it!) My odyssey started with the very difficult decision to purchase a new computer and network it with my old computer (tie them together). I reasoned that if I go ahead and…

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