I’m just going to mumble and jumble around on my reflections out of my stay in Okinawa.
1. It’s a small world after all.
The world is big. There I was, landed in Okinawa, a very small part of Japan. And Japan, not in the slightest, has a very unique culture. One of their great attributes is really the fact that their traditions are still in tact. It’s incredible. Even I cannot compare that to my own motherland. It makes me realize though that if you take a moment, even just a minute, to know someone who is far different from you, you will eventually find similarity, a common ground. That despite differences, we are all the same. That’s a contradictory statement but that’s what I got when I talked to this two friendly Japanese girls.
They were the one who approached me. I tried my best to understand what they were saying. They were scribbling down their notebooks. They have a lot of drawings, and poems written on it, both Japanese and English. I saw that they drew minions of the movie Despicable Me. I pulled out cellphone and showed them that I play the apps Minion Rush. They smiled and showed that they too play the same cell phone apps.
I’m not just talking about culture from culture. If you take a minute to communicate with someone maybe you don’t get along, someone you feel awkward to talk to, or someone you even hate, you can find a commonality between each other. And then you can work on that common ground, explore it, expand it or dispose it. Either way, you find something and you define yourself among the others around you. If we can just listen, amidst barriers, difficulties and differences, you’ll quickly realize there’s a connection amongst us all.
2. Lost in Translation
It’s sometimes frustrating not understanding signs or other people with different language other than yours. I, myself, even got mad at a taxi driver before. It was so difficult to communicate with him, he was smiling at our questions and I really felt like he was stalling us. It’s awful to see the meter going up without an insurance that we would get to our destination so I really showed my frustration to that taxi driver. I really felt bad afterwards. You can find yourself easily lost when you approach a restaurant menu, a vending machine, an arcade game or looking at signs on the road. In the end, it made me realize how awesome it is to experience that. When you buy something or order at a restaurant, there’s a lot of body movements and hand gestures that go on first before you get to your point. And that’s amazing! I definitely extended my patience from being there.
One of my Featured Bloggers, Johanez Jonas, advised it best – Go to places where people don’t know your language.
3. Live while we’re young.
It happened during our first night out in Okinawa. There’s this group of kids that were dancing to the tune of this pop song that in chorus it goes “Tonight, let’s get some and live while we’re young.” All the kids were smiling, looking so happy as they dance and jump around, and they really just look so jaunty. It was so memorable. That moment was so infectious, I carried the message of the song and the smiles on their faces all throughout my stay in Okinawa. It added more on my zest for life, go-getter attitude.
[I don’t have the picture of that particular group but I will upload it and edit this post when I can.]
4. May Peace Prevail on Earth
Japanese people are the nicest group of people I know. Coming here on the island, we were warned not to worry about our belongings if we left it inside a taxi. They will go out of their way to bring it back. I experienced and proved that when someone chased me up to when I was going down the stairs just to return back the money I overpaid. And they really are just very well-mannered people. These are things I just don’t expect in other countries or areas I’ve ever been to. It’s even more exponentially admirable, amenable to think that they had a horrible part in history. Today, Japanese will tell you that the bombing of Pearl Harbor is the most humilitating part of history they wish to never happen again.
I guess, we all can really learn from them.
Some more of Okinawa …
Although Linda Arthur Tejera of Living With My Ancestors just recently bought a fancy camera, my favorite post from this prolofic photo challenge machine is this set of iPhone pics.