Andrew’s world in Japan

Andrew Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process &andrew0 connecting with other creative people.

An Island Paradise Can Still Have Ruffl es -Subtropical waters of Ryukyu-

 Here we are, I am excited to say, again on the picturesque island of Okinawa. Such a place of variety, yet far larger then I’d initially made the grave error of underestimating. Starring at a map, it doesn’t look so big. My imagination thought it possible to exit the airport and simply walk a short distance to my friend Masanao’s house. Several hours later, very confused if this is the correct bus or not, andrewwatching the fare continuously moving upward like a taxi, I freak out and jump off. Finding a lone highschooler having fi nished his baseball practice, I manage to communicate with him to borrow his cell phone and contact my friend. Actually, I’m still almost 2 hours away, but no worries, he’ll fi nd me there. Today is a much better plan. Head out into the beautiful blue ocean, attempt some wake boarding and explore some of the nearby smaller islands.

Okinawans are friendly folk. It only took raising a glass of Awamori and toasting to secure a sort of brotherhood. Friends of friends are even cowardly excited to share some time on their sea fairing vessel that we would follow up with a barbecue. Grilling on the beach seemed almost like a daily activity, unless it was just because Masa is a meat distributor as well as renter of barbecue equipment. As far as I can make out, the central plan was to do a little round on the speed boat, and sip some beers en route to their favoritandrew2e wake boarding local. Not much else to it really, except we were in for a rough ride.

What is it about smaller vessels on the open ocean that can really proceed to toss a person around? Maybe the smashing against the waves could have been remedied by choosing to position the boat differently. Boating experience is minimal for me. All I know is that my back took a beating. Maybe even had a few bruises. Attempting to wake board brought little reprieve. Board attached to your feet, you bend your knees slightly in a sort of crouch and as the speed increases, you try to stand up and balance yourself. This was my second attempt and I struggled. Most stands I made felt as if they’d just about jerked my arms out of their sockets. Probably I lacked beer.

andrew3Never mind, watching others successfully and fl uidly navigate the wake of the boat served as a momentary distraction. Capturing the money shot proved another major challenge on the volatile vehicle. Concentrating on syncing the sways of the boat with the stunts of the rider required all my available attention. Looking back at the photos, I am still none too pleased with my answer to the challenge. Beaches and clear waters birth that desire for some waterproof fi lming gear. Such a bright sunny day. Rock formations that look like fi ne art sculptures excite my eyes, so I settle with that.

Back on dry land, I’m relieved and ready to fi ll a savage hunger. Okinawan taco rice and Awamori beckon. Most likely there’ll be a bit of pork belly too before we hit the barbecue.