Okinawan Sign Language

I usually find signs that I like when I travel to foreign places, especially if the populace has a less than perfect command of English. I’m sure that the locals were wondering why I was taking picures of the mundane icons that are filtered out of their focus. My choice of subjects to photograph most likely flagged me as a tourist, to the locals who were trying to get me to purchase their assorted omiyage. Okinawans are a true breed of hustlers, and it was painful watching my companions getting fleeced. But that’s the topic of a separtate post.
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This picture is of a dental clinic in Okinawa. A couple of thoughts popped into my mind when I first saw this, such as:
“No way!”, “Ouch!”, “Has to be two different sets of teeth!”, “I wonder if the same set of pictures accompanied by English appears in England?”, and “That dentist must be a friggin’ god/butcher!”.
I have seen some pretty bad teeth in Japan, but many people are now wearing braces and taking better care of their teeth than before. This picture makes me cringe when I think of the pain that the patient had to endure. How many cc’s of lidocaine was injected into that gaping maw?
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This next picture is the Japanese equivalent of the French Metro Bunny. On a side note, I feel responsible for contributing to the widescale spread of American tourists stealing those stickers. In 97, after returning home and showing a friend the mementos of my trip, he thought it was such a cool sticker that he did it, and everyone else who went to study abroad with Orange Coast College that year followed suit. It became a tradition, and soon there was a shortage of stickers on the metro (and a sharp increase of people getting their hands caught in the doors, I like to imagine). So this time, instead of stealing a physical copy, I captured one on my camera.
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If I had a problem with my ears, nose, or throat, this is the doctor I would want to go to. For some reason, these images evoke a feeling of trust for this doctor, even though I have never met him.
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This last sign was taken in the domestic terminal of the Okinawa Airport. I understand the need for explicit directions, but this goes a bit further than necessary. I mean, did someone try to argue “but officer, I didn’t know that it was wrong to stash my guns and drugs on top of my bag filled with decomposing decapitated heads that I was using to feed my pet weasels. Oh and don’t worry, the pipe bombs aren’t really dangerous because I didn’t insert the fuses yet. You know, someone should really put up a sign to make it clear just what exactly IS acceptable to keep in these lockers! They didn’t seem to mind up in Kansai.”?

2 thoughts on “Okinawan Sign Language”

  1. Hey boss, good to hear you had fun in Okinawa, We had a good time climbing kuju. My bro and I leave for China Sunday. Have a good golden week and fuckin nice hitchhiking. later

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