Just thought I'd give everyone a little update from Okinawa. I have had some questions regarding the radiation, Okinawa is still safe! :)
Since we arrived we've been hearing so much about the McDonald's here. Everyone we talk to says it is much better than the McDonald's in the states, something about the meat tasting different. Turf and I don't eat much fast food in the states, I actually don't think I've had McDonald's for 2 years (aside from shakes or a snack wrap), so we thought we'd give it a try and we both ordered a quarter pounder with cheese. The meat did taste a little better, sort of like a Wendy's burger, but all in all, we didn't notice a huge difference. But, we did get started on a conversation about the differences in cleanliness in Japan and American restaurants, particularly fast food!
Looking in the window at the drive-through's in the states, you often see french fries on the floor, employees with loose hair, stained uniforms, etc. Looking in the windows here, we saw a spotless floor, employees hair pulled tightly back or wearing hair nets, and the uniforms were very clean and nice (not just black slacks and a polo t-shirt, but actual uniforms). It made us feel a lot better about eating the food, because we knew it was clean.
We have also been very impressed with the way people at restaurants behave here. They are so welcoming and hospitable. As we are leaving, every single person we can see turns around to say "ARIGATO!!!" If we have finished our food and are just sitting and chatting, they bring out little mini desserts at no charge. AND, they find it offensive to tip! Its amazing.
After eating in one of these friendly restaurants, I decided I'd like to try to make some sushi at home, just for the thrill. It ended badly. Maybe I used too much rice, and I think I bought the wrong type of nori (as I was looking closer I realized the sheet broke into strips!), but I could not create a roll. This has now become a goal of mine before I leave: to be able to make some rockin' sushi!