Friday, July 13, 2012

the most important Coco(k)'s

For some reason, Coco’s is a very popular name for businesses in Okinawa. No joke – Yoni and I have documented three separate business chains that all use the name Coco’s (well, one is Cocok’s, but is pronounced without the “k”).

The first is a chain of curry restaurants. Yoni and I have never eaten there, as we feel quite sure trying to find something on the menu would be futile, but there are locations all over the island. The second Coco’s is a convenience store chain. Convenience stores are a BIG thing here in Okinawa, and Coco’s is not the most popular, but it does have the funniest signs. I guess there are two types of Coco’s convenience stores, because the signs for some of them read: Coco’s de Bake! Coco’s de Cook!

But the third and most important Coco(k)’s is the nail salon (I think the proper name is Cocok’s Ocean View Nail Café). I know it’s petty, but one of the things I wondered about before moving to Okinawa was where I would get pedicures. I thought to myself, who knows if women in Japan paint their nails at all? Well, goodness, I was wrong to worry about that.

While it is possible to get a plain old pedicure in Okinawa (and even on-base), most women on this island (Japanese and American alike) opt for the hugely more elaborate and uber-popular nail art option. Allow me to paint you a picture. (ha!) You walk into the nail salon for the pedicure appointment you made three weeks ago. Instead of being asked to pick a color, you are seated in an armchair and handed a 3-inch three-ring binder full of possible nail designs. The choice is seemingly impossible; how can one pick from so many options?! Let me tell you – it’s hard. Luckily, your glass of sweet, fruity tea will be refilled and your legs will be massaged until you have managed to make your decision. At that point, your nail artist (I have no idea if that’s what they’re actually called) will pull all of the colors in the store that could possibly be used in your design and ask you to pick from the various shades so that the combination is pleasing to you. And then the elaborate painting begins.

I always, always have a very difficult time making a decision about what to get. Luckily, I go with a friend once a month – so there are plenty of opportunities to make funny as well as serious choices! For your viewing pleasure, here are a few I’ve done in the past as well as a few I’m considering…let me know what you think!

this was my first one.

this is the current one.

sometime soon?

last month. i loved this.

i just think this is hysterical.


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