- - - 10/21/2007 - - -

Naha Tug of War

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:09 am

Every year the main event of the Naha Festival is a giant tug-of-war competition (This year was 10/14). This is not a normal tug-of-war, but one where everyone joins in and pulls on the biggest rope in the world. Officially recognized by Guinness World Records, the rope supposedly gets bigger every year.

The rope goes from where you see it to the traffic light… and that is only one half of the rope.
The other half, also meaning the other team, is equally as long.

The leaders for our team discussing strategy before the competition.

As the time draws near the road is cleared and the leaders mount and prepare the rope.

Then the processions start. Many teams carrying giant flags make their way to the center of the intersection. Usually, the entire heavy flag is left to one man to carry at a time with others only there to prevent it from falling.

Once all the teams and flags are in the center, designated by a giant gold ball, the ceremony starts. First with some speeches and then the flag teams compete with each other.

Once the official ceremonies are over, absolutely everyone and anyone rushes in and grabs the rope. Then, at the leaders’ whistle, everyone pulls and the two parts of the rope are dragged together.

One the two halves meet, the leaders, with lots of helpers pushing with pointy sticks, join the rope together.

This was taken afterwards, but to show you how the ropes were joined…


- - - 10/15/2007 - - -

Why no posts?

Filed under: — Andy @ 5:38 am

So why haven’t I been posting for the last month and a half?

Short answer: I can’t read the text on the screen without getting a headache.

Long answer:
Starting about a month and a half ago I started getting headaches at work. After a couple days of headaches my left eye went blurry. I could not focus well on text or see anything in the distance well with my left eye. I went to the optometrist. He told me that I don’t have any eye diseases and gave me some eye drops for tired eyes. After a week with my eye not getting any better and the headaches turning into excruciating face pain as well, I went to the hospital to get it checked out. The doctor could not find anything wrong with me and based on my symptoms suggested that I have sinusitis. The doctor gave me antibiotics. After a week on the antibiotics and no improvement I went to the EarNoseThroat specialist to get my sinuses looked at. They took a CT scan of my face just to tell me that my sinuses are probably not the cause of my pain and eye blurriness. Later in the week I then went to optometrist in the hospital to get my eye checked again. I can deal with face pain, but not being able to see clearly is really frustrating. This time the doctor suggested that allergies might be the problem of the eye blurriness as, again, no major problems with my eye could be found. I then used the eye drops for allergies as well as took some allergy medicines for a few weeks. Again, no improvement. My friend mentioned that since all the nerves in the face are somewhat connected, a tooth problem might also cause the pain. I do feel some sharp pain in my teeth sometimes when I get the headaches so I went to the dentist. The doctor looked at my teeth and took an x-ray. Once again, no problems were found. On Saturday, I decided to try acupuncture. I was hoping that getting stuck with needles would provide immediate improvement, but no such luck. Besides acupuncture I have also been trying other alternative medicines. I have been drinking various herb teas, eating healthy, staying away from sweets (which is really hard for me), exercising, and even going macrobiotic for a while. So why, after a month and a half, do I still get headaches and a blurry left eye everyday? If anybody has any other suggestions at this point, I am completely open.
On a good note, I am recently starting to see some, albeit small, improvement. I am hoping that my body has found and is starting to kill whatever it is that is bothering me. Hopefully soon, I will be able to post my adventures as usual.
End Long answer;

- - - 10/11/2007 - - -

Okinawa Weather

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:09 am

<-- Hey look, after 8 months I finally changed the weather from Tokyo weather to Okinawa weather. Next time a typhoon comes you can see how fast the wind is blowing and how much rain we are getting.

... This is what I do when I am bored at work.