Amazing Trip to Amami Island – I was invited to the BBQ by a stranger!


The woman and I got off the airplane and went to pick up our luggage. On the way, she told me that she came back to Amami Oshima, her hometown, to have a meeting with her cousin who was planning to build a small museum of a certain painter.

She explained to me about the painter who is from Amami and travelled through the continent from Asia to Europe, and ended up in the U.S.

I was very intrigued by his life because it sounded a bit like mine. A nomad.

Her cousin, Mr.W, was waiting for her at the gate so she introduced me to him. We simply greeted each other, and parted ways.

Then I went straight to pick up a rented car which I booked in advance. I expected the car was equipped with a navigation system, but it wasn’t.

rented car without a navigation system

It was the first time for me to visit this island, so I panicked for a minute, but soon after I remembered that I could use my iPhone to navigate. I set the address of the accommodation, then I started to drive.

That’s when I received a call from the woman I met in the airplane.

Let’s call her Ms.I.

Ms.I asked me if I had any plans for the night. Well, I was alone and had no plans, so I said I was free. Then she asked me to come over to join the BBQ held at her cousin’s house. Ms.I told me that she told her other cousin, Ms.Y, to pick me up and take me to the BBQ site.

Now what?
I must get to my accommodation very quickly and take a quick shower to meet Ms.Y. But I know nothing about the area. It was a big task for me to find out where I was and where I was going.

The owner of the accommodation kindly helped me out to show me the meeting point on a map and I jumped back on to my car. It was so hot and humid, so I blew off the car aircon to the maximum to cool it down as well as to dry my hair, as I didn’t even have time to dry it.

I must tell you that the iPhone navigation is quite useful. It’s much better than one of those outdated car navigations. It led me to the meeting point smoothly, or I should say there were not so many roads to get lost.

Since I’ve never met Ms.Y before, I assumed the car which was parked at the said location must be hers. A woman got off the car as I parked my car.

I said “Are you Ms.Y? My name is Alice. Nice to meet you.” She said “Nice to meet you, too. So, let’s go to Mr.W’s place. Can you follow me?”

I was a bit hesitant because not only it was the first time for me to be in Amami but also, I’m not used to driving because I don’t drive regularly. Furthermore, it was already 7:30pm and it was quite dark.

Ms.Y said, “It’s good that you have your own car. You can drive back to your accommodation on your own, or you could call a designated driver service if you’ll drink.” My mind was already made up to get a designated driver service because there was no way I could drive back in the unfamiliar area late at night.

To be continued….



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