Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Today WAS a good day

Rain. Non-stop. All day.

I rented a car today so that I could get out of Naha and see more of the sights of Okinawa. I was a little apprehensive about driving on the wrong side of the road and thinking about having to drive in the rain as well was making me regret renting a car.

But, the rain seemed to keep most people off the roads. That or it was the time of day, late morning, when I set out. Either way, it turns out that driving on the left isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I got used to it fairly quickly, though there were a few times when instead of signaling a turn I turned my wipers on or off. Everyone on the roads in Okinawa is a polite and courteous driver or at least seemed to be around me. The speed limit on the roads here though is a little ridiculous. I was driving the equivalent of highway 7 back home at the blazing speed of 40 km/h. That's right. The speed limit is 40 km/h. Wooooo weeeeee. The scenery just shuffled on by.

My car. A Honda Fit.

English GPS.

After stopping at a park area outside of Naha to take these pictures and congratulate myself for not driving on the other side of the road even once, I decided to head over to Okinawa World Cave Park. Since it was still raining, I decided that an underground cave was preferential to walking around outside.

The cave was about 2 km long. After exiting the cave into an even heavier rain storm, I came upon a glass blowing workshop.

Everything they make in the workshop is sold in the store on site.

And then it was no longer a good day.

You might have noticed my hints about the rain.

I got back to the parking lot to find that apparently I parked in Bangkok.

My car was parked out in the middle of that. I took those pictures after wading through the water to get to the car and get it out of there. I'll just say that the terror of sitting inside a rented car with water covering your legs up to your thighs is not something I'm interested in ever experiencing again.

All I could think of was how screwed I was. That I was basically going to have to pay for all the damage despite it not being my fault. It was Okinawa World's parking lot that flooded. It is not like I parked the car in the ocean or something.

They're trying to unclog the drain.

It turns out that I did the correct thing earlier that day. Whatever supplemental insurance the girl at the car rental counter pointed to, I said yes to. Whew. Though I am out the money for the 3 day rental. In their words, "Car is a broke. You want new car. You pay." But its not as bad as it could have been.

I went back and rented a second car. Its safely parked somewhere in the bowels of the hotel's underground parking garage.

So that's earthquake and flood out of the way. I'll take swarm of locusts as a sign I should probably just head home.

Yes mom I'm fine. Really.

More photos can be viewed in my Flickr photo album.