Monday, June 4, 2007

The Projects

Living on Okinawa is interesting, to say the least. We were fortunate enough to experience the local community by living "out in town" for a few months. That didn't work out very well, since our house was infested with termites, and our landlord had a bad habit of going through our home and belongings whenever we were away. We soon decided to move into on-base housing.

We were excited to be offered an apartment on the top floor of the "towers." The towers are high-rise apartment buildings, and the homes are actually the largest on-base quarters on the island. There's no yard to maintain, and the view of the ocean is great. Yes; bringing groceries and such up in an elevator is a bit of an inconvenience, but not extremely so. One thing that we didn't count on was the other people that live in our building.

The Marine Corps separates housing areas by rank. That serves two purposes: It cuts down on fraternization, and it tends to group like-aged children (and parents) in the same neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the housing here is run by the Air Force. They don't do things quite the same way. The only separations they make for housing are between officer and enlisted. In my building, we have persons ranked from Private (E-1) to Master Sergeant (E-8). In addition, we live in very close proximity to each other. Fortunately, we have rules. The rules for the "towers" are quite clear. Unfortunately, many of the occupants pay no attention to the rules.

Children are not allowed to play in the hallways and stairwells. For some reason, many parents allow their kids to do just that. I came home one night to find two boys on roller blades playing hockey in the hallway outside my home. I had a hard time getting the elevator to come down to the first floor so that I could come up. I found out that the boys had blocked the elevator doors open so that they could use the elevator as a "goal" for their hockey game. I had some stern words for the two boys, and my words were responded to with a flippant "You're not my dad. I don't have to listen to you." What kind of numbskull raises their kids this way?

Another lovely feature of our building is the "trash room." There is a room on the first floor with large trash bins for the depositing of our garbage. All we have to do is take our bags of garbage downstairs and deposit them in the bins. The same type of parents that seem to be raising know-it-all hockey players send their kids downstairs with their garbage, and it ends up being tossed through the door of the "trash room." Not placed in the bins, just tossed through the door. Those of us that choose to put our garbage in the bins have to wade through an obstacle course of junk and garbage to get to said bins. It's like a wet, stinky mine field.

Speaking of elevators, did I mention that a portion of the garbage ends up in them? I don't know if the kids (or parents) drag leaking bags of rotting garbage into the elevators, or if they really are slobbish enough to just dump random crap on the floor of the elevators. Either way, it's nasty, and I'd love to catch them in the act. Our elevators are also great sources of interesting reading. I can easily keep up with who's in love with who, who sucks, who's a "fag," and various other goings on, simply by reading the things that are written on, and carved into the walls of the elevators.

Don't get me wrong; most of my neighbors are good people, with well behaved kids. There are, however, enough idiots in this building to make it downright annoying for the rest of us. These people should not be allowed to breed. It's quite obvious that they let their kids do whatever they please, and don't really care what their children are up to. Pathetic.

I think I'd rather put up with the termites.

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