Summer in Okinawa 2021.05.13
The effect of the coronavirus has been significant. Lives have changed dramatically. From the sudden crippling loss of a loved one at the hands of this never before seen germ to the constant wearing of masks even in the height of summer to the new work lifestyle of remote operations from home. The latter has been happily embraced by most people as it provides one with ridiculous amounts of free time - no commute on the train, no need to shower, get dressed, eat a quick breakfast or rush to the station. Even lunch breaks can be enjoyed at home and a nap slipped in for a recharge at a cost to no one. There are disadvantages of course. Reduced communication and socialisation, the monotony of being in the same environment constantly can make one mentally distressed. As this virus was labeled as an epidemic a while ago, one precaution has been to close borders so that the spread of the virus from country to country could be limited. Globally, countries that depend on tourism as their main form of income have been taking a serious economic hit. Japan is one such country. It has tried to take precautions but travel within Japan is ongoing. My first trip to Okinawa was not the best. It was cold and although the seas was green and beautiful and beckoned like an oasis in a desert, it was too cold to go swimming. The weather also was not conducive to frolicking about in a merry way. We had chosen to go in May, which I later found out was the Japanese ‘tsuyu’ or rainy season. To top it all off, a few days in, I caught a fever and did not have the strength or motivation to go exploring. All I could do was take medication and sleep and hope to be better by the time I got back to the main island. This year, 2020, the summer came hot and sunny and my housemates were anxious for an adventure. A couple was scheduled to return to their home country before the end of the year and they wanted to visit Okinawa before they headed out of Japan. They were eager to try scubadiving as one of my housemates has her licence. For a month prior, the plan was discussed and slowly started to come together. I was a bit hesitant because there seemed to be a lot of negative reactions from the local Okinawan people to tourists, especially from Tokyo, and the last thing I wanted was to have another mediocre experience. After much deliberation, I found a cheap ticket and mentally prepared myself to enjoy the trip to the fullest come what may.
I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.