Jun 18, 2008

A long one...

Hi all.

Again, sorry for not updating for so long… the fact that we don't have an internet connection at home is really uncomfortable. But now I started a new system (Iris's idea) – I am writing this post in advance at home, and I will upload it once we will get to the university to log in.

Before anything else, I wanted to show you this video we took in the hospital:
This is how they move files from one place to another… cool, eh?

Another few nice things in the hospital (no pictures, though):

  1. The lines in front of the desks are actually drawn on the floor… when we saw it, we were amused. When we saw that people actually walking on the lines, we were laughing hard!!!
  2. The method of paying is real nice – you go to a machine, and pay to it, no lines or anything. When you are done, there is a picture of a lady bowing down and saying Arigato Gozaimasu (Thank you very much)!
  3. Another cool thing for me – it seems that the Japanese government is going to cover all of my medical expanses! I picked the right diseases!

(I did discover, though, that the paper work for getting this discount is not so simple…)

That is it with the hospital. Now we will move to the Museum.

In order to tell that story, I have to tell you about Naomi.

Naomi is a 37 years old Okinawan woman, divorced with six kids. Her father is a member in a Japanese Israel loving Christian sect named Makoya. So it happens that she lived in Israel as a kid, and knows Hebrew. She is a really nice and unpredictable person, and although what she does for living is translation and teaching (she also knows English), her "thing" is connecting people. She knows lots of people, and if she hears about a common interest, she will immediately arrange a meeting between them.

Our connection with Naomi started after Iris arrived. We got a call from her, explaining that she met me at Passover dinner (I must say I don't remember her from back then…) and wanted to ask if I can give Hebrew lessons to a Japanese kid that she teaches, because she moved to a far place.

So anyway, back to our story – the museum… Naomi's boyfriend was part of a symposium concerning the American bases in Okinawa from an economic perspective. My professor was also part of this thing (I think he was one of the organizers, actually), so she suggested we would come and meet her boyfriend, and maybe have a look at the lectures (not actually sit there and listen, because it is in Japanese…).

The plan was to get there, see the lecture for two minutes, and then she had to go somewhere. When she is gone we would tour the museum, and when she will come back, we will meet her boyfriend.

What really happened was that we saw the lecture for two minutes, met my professor for a second, and then she went to do what she said, and we stayed at the museum. It was real nice – it is a museum about Okinawa and the Ryukyu kingdom (the ancient kingdom that was here before Japan annexed it). It was real nice and interesting, but a bit exhausting… So we went for a coffee – it was real tasty, and our first cappuccino in Japan (we really missed that), and waited for a phone from Naomi. After a while her boyfriend came and asked us if we are Raphael (I already told you that this is my name here…) and Iris. This was Naomi's boyfriend… it seemed we didn't have reception at the museum… He gave us a phone and we talked to Naomi – she couldn't male it back to the museum… we were on our own.

So we decided to go to a nearby mall and look around. The museum is in part of Naha called Shintoshi – the new city. It used to be a huge American base until a few years ago (about 15 I think) and now it is a new part of the city. The mall was real nice – we bought a camera for the computer and some other stuff. And also a very tasty ice-cream :)

Now, these are the toilets in the museum (not too special, you can see lots of them...):

As you can see, there are lots of buttons - to wash the buttocks, set the power level... and the funniest one - to do a flushing sound, so other people won't be able to hear the sounds you make... I must say that they have this button only on the ladies room, though.
Notice that they have no button to flush the water, though... just your regular handle.

On the other hand, they have lots of toilets like this, too (not in the museum, though):

Just a picture of me outside the museum, talking to my family in Israel (it was around my birthday):

One last thing - try to guess what this is:

Hint: It has something to do with my birth day, and nothing to do with Japan.

OK, it appears that this method of writing makes the posts extremely long… hope you enjoyed it.


P.S. – I must admit that I am quite far behind with the updates… this was about two weeks ago…


Eli said...

נשמע מעניין, זוכר משהו מיוחד על העבר של האי? , שמעתי כדרך אגיו על כל הכפתורים הללו על הכסאות השרותחפ, מקווה שזה לא מסוך יותר מידי.
תמשיך לכייף

עברתי את הרעיון למכללה בה אני רוצה ללמוד תואר שני

Yiftach said...

לא מאוד מסובך העניין עם הכפתורים, סתם משעשע...

כל הכבוד על המעבר! שיהיה בהצלחה... (אגב, איזו מכללה זו?

מיכאל said...

it's nice to hear your voice, even though you'r just saying "eyze magniv" :)

Yiftach said...