Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hair and Mikoshi

It rained today. It's still raining. The wind is blowing like it did during the typhoon. My umbrella broke, you know how the wind catches it and turns it inside out. Uh huh. This is my third umbrella in 5 weeks (I lost one). After this, I get my umbrellas from the 100 yen store.

HAIR CUT STORY - Men can skip down to the Mikoshi Parade photo...

I had my hair done in town today. Communication was iffy, but all is well. I'm used to color, cut, shampoo, blow dry, in that order. Today it was shampoo (for about 15 minutes), cut, color, condition (including a 10 minute massage while the conditioner set). Then another rinse and style. They handled me like a china doll. I could barely feel the cut, but the massage felt great.

My appointment was 2:30, and Allan & I had a 'Hail and Farewell' to attend at 5:00. I wasn't sure I'd make it, but wasn't going to ruin this experience worrying about anything. I like the cut, but I never like the way they style it. I'm an old lady, but I don't want an old lady hairstyle. I don't know how to say 'spike it up', but I'm studying Japanese, so pretty soon...

I was out (in galeforce wind) by 4:40, and off to the 'Hail and Farewell', which is a gathering to greet newcomers or a sendoff for people going to a new assignment. Today, it was shabu shabu and farewell to Capt. Kobayashi, Allan's C.O.

The shabu shabu was fun. Large plates of raw thinly slice beef and pork were delivered to our table which had a pot of boiling water at it's center. We got vegetables from a buffet table and everyone put some into the pot. Then we picked up some meat with chopsticks and swished it back and forth. We each has two small bowls of sauce to dip the meat or vegetables into. We ate for an hour. I don't know how, but Allan has lost 5 pounds. And I found it.

In other news... recently, the gates of the base were opened up for the 33rd annual Mikoshi parade.

A mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine. Once a year, the Gods leave the permanent shrines, and enter a Mikoshi to celebrate and see the people.

Forty-eight mikoshi were carried through town and onto the base. One had an American crew.

There were also wheeled carts called Dashi, with drums and flutes (it's not rock 'n' roll).

Allan and I missed most of the festivities (like the actual parade), because we are still trying to get settled. We spend our weekends looking for a house and practicing our driving on the left in city traffic.

This guy was just too cute not to photograph.
He looks like he might have participated in all 33 parades.

It looks a bit like Mardi Gra, don't you think? The crews wear matching Happi (hoppy).
The Mikoshi Parade is the only time that base security is relaxed, and the Yokosukans get onto the base.

This gives the locals a chance to buy an American pizza. Japanese pizzas are a bit… umm, AWFUL.

They’re ½ the size at twice the cost of the pizza on base. Ever had a tuna, boiled egg, mayo and corn pizza? Yeah, that’s what I say. Well, it’s no surprise that American style pizza is such a hit. That's a Sbarro box she's carrying.

The base has two pizzerias, and I think Mikoshi Festival is like Dec. 24th for them. They sell a LOT of pizza!

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