Naha, Okinawa- 2nd Visit

Saturday April 14th 2018

When we last visited this port on March 24th, we were only interested in spending our time enjoying the castle and it’s beautiful grounds. At our evening meal on that day, our table mates shared an experience they enjoyed, as their excursion took them to the Peace Memorial. After that Barbara and I considered that I should take that excursion today and she would investigate the local downtown shopping district.

As it turned out it was shopping nirvana for Barbara!!

Though our excursion was beset with several ‘glitches’ those glitches only served to provide cohesion for our group of 28.

Since I was traveling ‘solo’ I experienced the unexpected request by a lady (also traveling solo) when she asked if she could “bunk with me”! Now what she really meant was, could she sit in the single seat besides me. This was heard by several folks seated nearby and this joviality set the tone for the day. New friends were made, as we corporately bore the delays brought about by ‘the glitches’. Sadness and Joy. Sadness for what we witnesses at the museum and joy at being so fortunate to be together in peace.

Here is our guide for this excursion as he serenades us accompanied by his python skin covered “Sanshin”.

When my brother, Bobby Joe, returned from his military assignment in Okinawa, I was just a young boy, and WWII was history. Although I enjoyed the few stories of his life there, I wish I had learned more. Today, maybe some of my curiosities will be fulfilled.

Only one story that Max shared was this; during the occupation by our forces was this small mental image.

Imagine if you will a young GI enjoying a taste of home as he drained the last drops from his Coke bottle, then discarding it along his path. To a desperate populous those discarded bottles could be changed into ‘drinking glasses’ and turned into a source of income.

Although we visited several attractions during our eight and a half hour tour I am dedicating this blog to those who suffered and paid with their lives during that horrendous period of time, with images of this beautiful memorial, to that end

I am not sure whether or not this act spawned a small glass blowing industry but here is a sample of their beautiful products

Our ship is scheduled to arrive around oh’ eight hundred. What a magnificent sight our arrival must be to those shoreside, as they witness this maritime behemoth gently ‘kiss’ the pier. Hopefully the winds in the harbor will ‘becalmed’ …. and they were.

Our ship’s staff are still wrestling with the ‘blindside’ that corporate HAL hit them with in Yokohama. That, they did not deserve! I akin that decision to telling someone that they are going to have to take off their shoes, and walk through this bed of hot coals until you learn how to make a new pair of shoes. Utterly ridiculous! Although as I write this I think that they have it all f inured out, and Jerrryl at the “front Office” was a tremendous source of help.

Next – two days in fabulous Shanghai. Joy for our current dining room wine steward as he flys home to be with his wife, to be present at the birth of his son – Best Wishes – William.

I will conclude with an image of a gift I bought for Barbara; would you believe that most Japanese women carry one of these in her purse should she need to use a public restroom, and no towels are provided to dry her hands with.

Jack W Cummings – Far East Adventure 2018

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