Monday, August 22, 2011

Fear Factor

We have a freebie newspaper here that caters to the Americans called the “Japan Update”. It’s published every Thursday and available all over the bases. Usually, if I remember to pick one up, I’ll find something of interest in the paper – which is pretty good because the whole thing is only 15 pages long and only 4 of those pages have any stories on them. The rest of the pages are ads and classifieds.

Anyways… I picked one up this week and found a tiny article about an event happening that might be of interest to the kids. The title of the article was “Kids Original Haunted House is scary but cool”. Being that I was a single parent today since Stevie is on call, I thought this might be a fun and easy outing with the munchkins. Really what intrigued me were the details in the article that the Okinawans believe that the chills provided by scary stories and sights help cool down the body. Consequently, it’s a tradition to tell spooky stories in the heat of the summer to try to combat the heat. Personally, I think air conditioning would do a better job, but maybe that’s the Westerner in me coming out?

So after letting the kids get their “play out” at home, I loaded them in the Golden Nugget and set out to find this thing. One other thing about the Japan Update that I’ve noted in the past (and confirmed today) is that they are lousy with directions. I mean, it’s sometimes fun to get lost here, and today we did have a great stop at the Awase Fish Market while we were lost, but I do wish that sometimes they would give clear directions.

The fish market, by the way, is a VERY Japanese-y place that we first visited shortly after moving to the island. It’s not our favorite market since you have to choose your fish from a barrel and then guess at how much that fish is going to cost you, but it is interesting for the kids who could spend endless hours watching the guys scale, gut, de-bone and carve up the various fish…

Choose your fish...

Watching the massacre.

Back to the quest for the haunted house, the long and short is that after trying many roads and turns we stumbled upon the park where the small festival was taking place and spied the “haunted house”. I use this term in quotes because really what it consisted of was multiple cardboard boxes that had “spooky” faces carved into them and then constructed into a cardboard maze. It was really all very cheesy, but funny so maybe my coolness came from the endorphins released from laughing rather than the chill bumps from being scared!

The "scary" faces carved into boxes.

Gotta love that you have to take your shoes off and then they line them up at the exit for you!

In the maze, kids stuck their “blood stained” heads and arms out the carved holes!

OK, this girl was a bit creepy.  Her stoic face was kind of eerie. (The Japanese kid I mean, not Emmy!)

The article promised that the event would “definitely capture your every fear and be fun” – I’ll agree with the fun part, but might ask for my money back on the fear factor!

Enjoying the extra fast concrete slide after the haunted house.

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