Our outing to Okinawa

Our outing to Okinawa

Our outing to Okinawa

In China, one of the biggest things for a department is their so called outing. The company offers some compensation and an additional vacation day to go on a short trip with your colleagues. This year, our trip was to Okinawa, a southern Japanese prefecture. We left Wednesday and returned Sunday.

The pictures online looked very promising: white beaches, crystal clear water, perfect weather. But not for us. It was raining the whole time. What should have been a white beach and a bright blue sky looked more like a gray and windy autumn day at the shore of the North Sea back in Germany.

My first time to Japan

I have never been to Japan before. This trip earned me a stamp of entry and brought me another step closer to my goal: Once in my life I want a full passport. All the pages have to be full. I want to be forced to get a new passport, not because it expired, but because there are no pages left. There are six more years and only eight pages left to go. I am on track!

My colleagues told me there are passports with twice the number of pages and suggested getting one like this. But how could I possibly fill all those pages? That’s just stupid.

Our tour through Okinawa

On our first day we took the car to an ocean park. It holds the record for the world’s largest aquarium window, but it still felt far too small for the large fish and aquatic animals in there. I think the largest must have been a whale shark. The dolphin show wasn’t much better. But hey, compared to what we did to the fish at the fish market later that day, they are just fine.

After lunch in a traditional Japanese restaurant (no shoes, sitting on the floor), we drove to the island of Kourijima and Cape Zanpa to enjoy the incredibly beautiful nature of this island.

For dinner, we went to a fish market. We chose the fish at the market while some of them were still alive. A restaurant close to the market prepared them for us. Some of them were alive longer than I would like to admit. I told myself: “If this is not the best fish in your life, you are becoming a vegetarian.” Well, it was. Sorry, fish. We ate most of it raw, parts grilled and others stewed. Raw fish was almost our sole source nourishment for the whole trip anyway.

On the second day, we visited a traditional Ryukyu village and a not-so-traditional American village. Since Okinawa is home to ~14k U.S. Marines you can find all kinds of vital things for daily life. My colleagues were super exited to try A&W root beer floats. I warned them, they wouldn’t listen, we threw it away.

The rest of the trip was full of shopping, eating and drinking. Life’s good.

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