The storm raged outside. Okinawan typhoon, Jelawat, raged furiously, equivalent to a category four hurricane. We felt safe and snug inside: warm, dry, blissful, behind sturdy, solid concrete walls. We’d spidey wrapped 100 pound test-cord and seven bungees all around the satellite dish, to stabilize the disc from moving against the mount, bolted to that hefty wall. Our labors paid off handsomely. In the past, storms half as fierce knocked out our signal. But not today. And, AFN showed a few great flicks for once. We watched movies and mindless sitcoms. We played backgammon like crazy. I was actually becoming quite good, for a beginner. I probably lost nine games out of ten; but, Nasser has been playing nearly fifty years. I was learning from the master. We worked on the computer, cooked, baked, played music. What a wonderful, uninterrupted, fabulous four days. We made seafood pasta to die for, loaded with fresh scallops, crab, shrimp, squid and octopus.
Tiny tentacles randomly pierced through the thick, creamy sauce and miniscule tangerine colored fish eggs brightly studded the delicious concoction. I’d added fresh cream, sweet garlic, tangy shaved parmesan and a little turmeric to the sauce. Absolutely divine. We created culinary masterpieces as we waited out the worst typhoon in ten years. Most pleasant case of cabin fever I’d ever contracted. We were finally able to venture out the third day. The morning was warm and fresh. Sun seekers were out in droves: dog walkers, entire families pushing strollers and coaxing along straggling children mounted on razors and little bikes. We sipped fresh coffee, basked in the delicious morning light, skyped our families, surfed the net. I spotted a spalted mango ukulele I wanted for Christmas. He was a bit shocked at my sudden inclination to the quirky musical instrument. I clucked, “Oh, no, it is quite a charming piece of musical gear.” I played him a delightful Hawaiian melody on YouTube. Then, in my internet ramblings, I ran across a Jack Johnson song; though it is an acoustical guitar piece, it was along that honey sweet style: “We’re Better Together”. We danced in the sweet morning sunlight on the Persian carpet, every few steps mindlessly catching a glimpse of waves behind the swaying palms; completely lost and enraptured in the moment. We finally set out, he to retrieve Hunter, and I to the store to pick up a few necessities, and to drop of the movies, which were hopelessly late because of the typhoon. The kind old Japanese store owner gave us a freebie on the late fees. We had a most pleasant afternoon.
We all set out for a walk at sunset, and then settled into our favorite local restaurant. I had veggie crepes, and some of Nasser’s festive platter full of raw delicacies from the sea: octopus, squid, and an extraordinary variety of fresh fish in vivid colors. Hunter had some sticky bean sushi thing. It was tasty as well, but for some reason, it always formed a tense, persistent string from the plate to your mouth (I discovered this particular dish is notorious for this). We returned home to watch a movie, something about a drug that allows you to utilize 100% of your brain capacity (yielding a “four digit IQ”), very interesting concept… attractive, seductive for intellectual types, but as with all drugs, came with tremendous consequences: untoward side effects and scary, life threatening withdrawals. Anyway, it may be sexy to some, but it did not entice me in the least. It was, however, very thought provoking. We retired to bed after the movie. The next day, Hunter parted ways, setting out to explore a remote Okinawan village with Yuan and her sister. Nasser and I worked on tiling a table, studied, went for a run (which was not easy after so many days off because of the storm). Along the way, we spied a huge fruit bat clinging to a tree as we jogged by. His fat head rotated smoothly, his enormous eyes locked on us, following us along the path…kind of creeped me out a little. They don’t bite, but, they do have claws and teeth, and he was merely feet away. I could have touched him as we brushed by. We don’t usually see them hanging upside down like that, adjacent to the path, but so many trees had been spoiled by the fierce storm, it must have affected their nesting places. We witnessed the destruction of a multitude of trees along our running path. But the China sea seemed nonplussed, unaffected, untouched, impervious to the effects of storm. The sea remains constant, a deep molten azure, pristine, full of life, undaunted by the recent fury. I love the sea. I love this life.
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