Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mike's Ryukyu Gallery: A Day in Naha with Shisa and the Sweetest Gal in the City

Uehara-san is the sweetest gal in the whole city and I can't go there without visiting her. She is one incredible woman.  She breaks out in smiles every time we meet. Years ago, the first time we met, she told me to sit down on a concrete stool, in the shade. In the local dialect, I said, "I can't, my ass hurts from hemmorhoids." And, she laughed hers-off ! We have been good friends, ever since.
Her photo is in an article I did for Matador Network Jul 15, 2009. The Traveler's Guide to Okinawan Dialect


They don't Make People Like This Anymore 

It's been months since Doc and I have seen Uehara-san. The last time I was with her, I bought her some green tea.  She didn't forget. Today, she dug through her purse and pulled out a thousand yen note, to buy me coffee. Trying to be polite, I showed her a handful of change and told her I was good to go. She has a hard time standing-up, without walking to the coffee machine. She wouldn't let me refuse her gift. She insisted.

Doc, told me, "You have to let her buy you the drink. She won't take no for an answer." The damn stubbornest woman I ever met, walked painfully over to the machine. All I could do, was hold her arm and escort her both ways to get the coffee. Men, shouldn't have tear ducts.  That's what I say.

Once Uehara-san was back in her seat at the shop we all did a "Kampai." We chatted for awhile.  When it started to rain we excused ourselves. We explained, we had a long drive ahead of us and had better get going. We left the sweetest gal in Naha at her store. And she sat there smiling. Men really shouldn't have tear ducts.

(Click on the post title above for more photos)

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