Perceptual Changes

Filed under:☽2004,Culture — posted by JAWjaw on 10/14/2004 @ 9:23 pm

Last week I had an old friend visit the club. She had just become a grandmother of a very beautiful little girl. It is so hard to belief that it has been almost twenty-five years since we were hanging-out in Naha discos. She was merely in her late teens herself at the time and I was still in the Air Force. Since then, she has become a well-known local singer. She looked so happy and I am happy for her. When I reflect on those times I see how much difference time can make in the perceptions of a culture. Not that the culture itself changes much, just the perceptions and the outer surface of the location. Back then, all the resort hotels were just beginning to be built. The roads were much smaller. There were a limited number of cars, so driving was a pleasure not a chore. On-base, there were no high rises and civilian concessions were extremely limited. There were no “shopping malls” so to speak, except in Naha. I would spend all my free time at the beach, in izakayas, or at discos. Life was nothing more than one big on-going party, but having hang-overs every morning got pretty old after a little while. This culture tends to treat a person who isn’t interested in getting inebriated totally different than the person who goes out and spends all their money on partying. Oh well as the saying goes, it’s more fun when someone else is buying. Over here everyone’s a friend, as long as you’re the one doing all treating. I look at it this way; living over here taught me a long time ago the importance of true friendship. I was lucky, some people never learn.

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