Okinawa Hai fallback


Yesterday morning before Joe and I headed off to the Smooth Move Workshop, we dropped the boys off into the hands of other people. Good people whom I love dearly and do not even for a second want to imagine saying good-bye to in two months. Gulp.

So it was like a hot date at eight in the morning. Just me and Joe and the 200 other people getting schooled on the intricacies of PCS’ing. As usual, I was determined to pay attention. As usual, I did not. Instead I thought about other pressing issues.

I like her red earrings! I wonder if her hair is naturally that curly. I want it either way. Whatever. That must be a picture of her kids. Is that two boys and two girls or three boys and one girl? Can’t pull off the stare it would take to figure that out. Anyway, her husband is listening to her each and every word. Or maybe he’s thinking about what to eat for lunch. She’s writing everything down in her planner. OH! They are going to TECOM too. ARGH. This guy is a painful speaker but good accent. Was that the guy that issued my driver’s license three years ago? Why do I remember that? OMG, my stomach hurts!

I’m not sure I learned anything but I did get a lot of people-watching in and that is NEVER a waste of time. I also got several pamphlets and one free pen. So if I were to WANT to pay attention I could read about it. That is unlikely to happen. I’ll probably just panic at full throttle when I miss out on some very important step that was clearly delineated in Pamphlet B.3 Appendix D. You’ll hear all about it.

I did have one serious question that I couldn’t ask the group. But I can ask you because I cannot see you judging me. What am I going to do with all the trash I’m about to make? Truthfully now, do off-base people bring their big trash on-base to save from paying the big gomi fees? I have strollers and grills and mattresses to put to rest.

And now for much more information than you care to know about me. My stomach was hurting me during the workshop. And I started to daydream that maybe I was pregnant because we want that and all. And what if it were a girl! Or another boy! Or twins! Because, come on, why wouldn’t I try to get pregnant two months before PCS’ing.

I am not sane.

I am also not sure how to handle the Okinawa Hai Society business. 79 people have signed up. And I thank each of you and totally meant to write a note on your page but I got shy. SEVENTY-NINE PEOPLE! But please, join in, if you haven’t! Or invite others to join. It has been fun to put faces to your names and hear what’s on your mind. Anyway, my point. I can set it up so there are questions that all the people who sign up have to answer. Or are asked to answer. So far, I have one. Something about being on your way to, or on, or used to live on Okinawa. Boring. Surely you can come up with juicier questions for me to add. Things about personal habits, hygiene, secrets, peeves and hobbies are always crowd-pleasers.

Again, not very sane.


All the posts in Meredith’s “Me & My Big PCS” series: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX

For posterity’s sake we have left this universally euphoric, terrified, confused, “what am I doing?!” series on Okinawa Hai.  However, we have closed comments for future readers.  If there is relevant information for all readers to benefit from, we have taken elements from this series and created new posts, which we’ve linked to from the original text. Thank you for joining us on this ride.


  1. Meredith,

    I am leaving Okinawa at the beginning of July, as well. We also live off base, so I definitely understand about all of the big trash that needs to go somewhere!!

    My friend had a great suggestion that has worked really well, so far. I went to Babel Fish Translation and translated the word “Free” to kanji, wrote it really big on a piece of cardboard, and put the sign by a couple of pieces of my “junk” out by the road. I came inside to get more tape for the sign, and when I went back outside, everything was gone!! I have no idea who took the stuff, but I really don’t care… is GONE!

  2. asking about hobbies and interests is alway fun and a question like “What do you love (or miss) most about Okinawa?” would be a great one.

  3. Meredith, I agree with Sue. Take it on base (it’s funny about things going fast, but it’s true, they do!). Also, you might want to check with these places: Kadena Recycling Center at 634-2833 or Environmental Flight at 634-2600, they might be able to guide you.

    As for Okinawa Hai Society, I cannot think of any questions right now (except for how to get that dang badge on my facebook page). As for your question, I have some friends and family back home joining who will not be any of the three options, is it too late to add something like “someone I care about lives on Okinawa” answer? Just a thought.

  4. I wouldn’t tell if you dropped off some large trash items on a wednesday night in New Lester….bulk trash pick up is Thursday morning. And to be honest it might not even make the night on the curb, someone took a lawn mower with 3 wheels in 45 minutes!

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