I left Okinawa in late November to visit G in Missouri and to attend his graduation from his Criminal Investigator training school! We then spent Christmas/New Years with our families in Puerto Rico and I decided to take advantage and stay for four more months to finish my last semester of University. In hindsight the time has flown by.. but I promise you the days were long and stressful. I am so close to being home, because the countdown is down to 4 days until I’m back in Okinawa!
I wanted to write down a list of things I missed while I was away and if I’m honest I am really dreading the day we leave Okinawa for good. *insert crying emoji here* G keeps telling me that if he continues his military career we will probably be back in Oki at some point, but my heart hurts thinking of the day we pack up our house and fly out of that little island for the last time. I know a lot of my readers have already gone back to the states, so you totally know what I mean.
Here’s a list of things I can’t wait to go back to:
1. Convenience stores – I think I miss Family Mart the most! The awesome employees who greet you the second you walk in, the delicious bento food, the weird drinks and candy you just have to try, the iced coffee that only cost $1, the clean bathrooms (you know for when you’re on road trips and have an emergency, HA!).
2. Japanese language – I miss saying Ohayo Gozaimasu, Konnichiwa and Konbanwa to the gate guards, even though they try to speak with their perfect english. I love hearing people speak and trying to figure out what they’re saying. I especially miss taking Japanese class, let’s see if I can find a new one once i’m back in Japanland.
3. Food – I’m pretty sure the day after we arrive I will be stuffing my face with Thai Food from the restaurant close to our house, as well as all of the other restaurants I miss dearly. I’m also ready for trying out new cafes with my friends (my favorite past time).
4. Driving – seriously I even miss driving! When I was having an especially bad day I would lay in my bed and take myself back to Okinawa. I would picture my little blue car and me zipping through the streets of Oki. Even though Japanese drivers sometimes are slow pokes, don’t know how to merge onto streets, among other things, I miss how polite drivers are. (I get the worst road rage driving in Puerto Rico)
5. Produce – I miss shopping at the Japanese grocery store. I miss fresh produce, meats and especially salmon! A friend of mine got me the Eat Okinawa book that the admin of the Farmer’s Markets of Okinawa (I recommend you follow this wonderful group) wrote and I’m so excited to dive into it, and to start shopping at farmer’s markets!
6. Daiso – Of course I missed the magic wonderland that is the Japanese ¥100 store! I already have some ideas for DIY’s and I can’t wait to step into Daiso after too much time away.
7. Home – I especially miss our little apartment! I cannot wait to sleep in my own bed, to watch our shows on our 60” TV, to cook with G in our own kitchen, to take baths (seriously i’m a bath person and have not taken a bath since I left Okinawa), to re-arrange our guest bedroom (i’m finally going to convert half of the bedroom to an office where I can work on blogging!!).
8. Friends – Can’t forget my lovely friends. I miss them so damn much!! All of my close friends from Puerto Rico moved away, so I’ve been stuck at home doing nothing but studying for the past four months! I cannot wait for the day I see and catch up with my Oki friends!
All of a sudden we have 2 years and 2 months left before we leave (seriously, how did this happen?), I missed 6 months of quality Oki time… and this is just a reminder that we need to make the best of the time we have left in Okinawa.
Q: If you were stationed in Okinawa and are stateside now… What else do you miss about Japan?