03 October, 2006

The Typhoon Attack

Like the title clearly says, the second day of the trip was the day the typhoon really hit the Okinawa islands. I turned on the TV as soon as I woke up in the morning, and the news showed the disastrous mess of the islands where the typhoon has gone past earlier. The Okinawa islands look small from the mainlands of Japan but they stretch north to south covering quite a large area and unfortunately, that stretch is almost every time the railway for typhoons. On the TV I could see broken telephone poles, flipped cars, flooded houses and broken everything. Nearly 80% of the population (18,900 households) did not have electricity in the Yaeyama Islands. They are accustomed to typhoons than us here in Tokyo, but this one was said to be the biggest in ten years.

By the time we knew that the typhoon did not go off its usual course we had completely given up on the idea of giving a try to go to the isolated island, so instead we went to the gas stand to feed our one-day-travel mate. That stand was connected with the rent-a-car office so we could fill in gas and just leave it there.

Although we had no intentions or hope to fly at all, we still went to see the Air Dolphin that we could’ve taken the previous day. As expected, no one was there and the plane wasn’t flying. Imagine, a nine-passenger-cessna flying through the storm clouds of the largest typhoon in ten years...

So this was actually good. I could commit myself to enjoying the main island: I called the dorm to tell the owner that we’re extending a night. Knowing our circumstance he laughed and said ok.

From the airport we took the only railway in Okinawa Yui Rail (it’s a monorail) to near Kokusai St. It didn’t take time to decide where to go first because we were starving, so the first place we walked into was a restaurant where we could have local Okinawa cuisine. The representative Okinawa food is probably Champloo, a stir fry of veggies and tofu with egg, but I decided to have a full pork&eggs meal since I hadn’t had breakfast yet.

This pork&eggs was brought into Okinawa by the Americans when the islands were still under occupation. The Pork Luncheon Meat brought by the Americans became daily food for the local people. Pork&eggs meal set is a set of fried sliced pork luncheon meat and fried eggs eaten together with rice, and it’s really simple but really really good. Even just writing about it makes me hungry.

By the time we finished our food and got back to the dorm the wind was getting strong and I could feel the typhoon coming right nearby. For several hours we stayed inside because the rain was pouring and the wind was knocking off everything on its way, but I grew kind of boring and hungry again too. So we decided to go on an adventure in the wet weather but that’s for tomorrow.

Coming down with a cold and I want to get back home asap. Later.

No comments: