Necessity is still in Ginowan

Eva and Jan Fr. Mack
Sun 7 Jun 2009 02:18
A brief note from Ginowan outside Naha on Okinawa: We have a great time here still learning about the Japanese system, or when it comes to handling foreign visitors – the lack of such. In fact hardly any of the locals speak, or want to speak English. This is even more surprising when you take the number of American Service Men on the island into account. Coming into the marina you initially become quite frustrated over the lack of language and the lack of available information. The staff seems utterly unprepared and embarrassed that a non-Japanese speaker actually turned up. We are frustrated too that no one can explain where to get money, where to find the bus and where to hook up to Internet.
The frustration is short lived. After a few hours a local Japanese Yachtie, Ken on Jennifer, comes along and dedicates his day to help us and to making us feel welcome. Then some local American, Bud and Judy, turns up. After a few days you feel like home. Suddenly the staff is all smiles and an effort to help. Last night we had Ken and his wife together with another couple on Necessity for dinner. We begin to see why so many western yachties get stuck in Japan for a year at the time.
Jan and Eva

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