While living practically my whole life in San Diego my body is most likely 95% if not 100% mexican food. I can not even begin to tell you the culture shock I went into with moving here. I mean yes okinawa, japanese I was mentally prepared because 1.) Because I was told the island is mainly made up of military bases. SO in my mind all i heard and thought was ENGLISH. I was convinced everyone spoke english and everything would be in english. Naive? YES VERY and as I type this you’re probably like duh Kourtney you’re moving to Japan of course people are going to speak Japanese and not english and of course not have ANY decent mexican food. But me being me and upbeat about it I had completely convinced myself otherwise.
With that being said. Its not that they don’t have mexican food here, to my surprise there is a taco shop every couple blocks and if you go to everyone you will not taste the same taco twice. I don’t know what they all use for their seasonings but each taco place has a unique taste. Some more tolerable than others. I like this place called the Tortilla Factory its like the Japanese version of Chipotle.
Another thing that is big here is curry! All sorts of curry. I was never really a fan of curry until I moved here. Now I make it almost once a week. A common dish they serve with curry here is fried chicken cutlets. I can not express to you how much the Japanese in Okinawa love fried chicken, you can find it already prepared in all the grocery stores, not to mention KFC IS EVERYWHERE! So where is the “it’s never chicken” factor in? Well when you are off base english is very rare so you become very accustom to “that looks like…” Well once night Will and I went out to get dinner and we bought, what we thought at the time was, fried chicken with curry, and of course me with my sweet tooth “chocolate mochi” BOY WERE WE WRONG. We ended up with fried fish guts and bean paste filled mochi… and that was not the last time we have made the mistake. I will probably never catch on that no matter how badly i want it to be fried chicken or chocolate stuffed anything it’s going to be some fish mix and this bean paste which is a HUGE delicacy here.
The food here is a lot to adjust too but once you learn your way around town or as for me learn to cook 🙂 it gets easier and most restaurants have english menus or menus with pictures you can point at.
One thing Okinawa has that I love other than their cool sushi go round places, is their variety of coffee and espressos that you can get almost anywhere out of a vending machine. Their candy choices are endless and last weekend i discovered “The Shack” which carries pint size shakes! I’m trying to make it a goal to go visit one new place a week if not more.