I occasionally like to travel. Most of the time it’s just an excuse to get drunk in new places with new people. I like new people because new people are people that haven’t yet pissed me off and the great thing about being on vacation is that it’s temporary so the new people don’t usually have time to piss you off. But this isn’t about my dislike of the human race but of my decent into the land of Orion beer and this wonderful concoction only a lunatic that knows how to cook could think up called taco rice (I’ll even be nice and give you my recipe for this confusing pile of awesome at the end). This is about Okinawa, a tropical paradise of white sands, warm skies and fucking stray dogs on every other corner. I think it’s the law that there must be at least one stray dog for every 6 kilometers of highway. Anyway this isn’t a story about them it’s the story of one dog that wasn’t a stray but had strayed into the path of an oncoming car and a police station filled with wonder and probably a debate on whether or not I should be arrested. So I went to Okinawa and it’s a nice place. One of the funny things about Japan is that you can drink in the car as long as you aren’t the person driving (the DUI laws are so strict here 1 beer puts you over the limit) so my friend and I had taken turns on the driving day by day while the other dumped beer in a travel mug and took in the sights (we is classy). Well the one day she was driving (sober, one was always sober so they could drive) while I navigated and sucked down Orion in said travel mug and when rounding a corner we almost plowed into a dog. My friend being the kind and loving person towards dogs to the point where I was seriously going to stab her in the neck if she mentioned how much she missed her little pooch back home one more bloody time swerved and pulled over on the side of the road and yelled at me to grab the little mutt. I being in the state of mind of a person that not only does not have the urge to start a fight with nutcase when I’m too drunk to properly defend myself did what anyone would do and grabbed the mutt. The dog had a lease so we figured it just ran away and its owner was looking for it so I walked the dog to the nearest 7-11 while she parked the car. We tried to explain to the nice people at the 7-11 about the dog we found and if they could help but they just looked at us funny so we asked for the local police station and decided to head off there. We tried to walk around the block first just in case the owner was around but that didn’t work so it was off to the police station. The dog was a tweaker and after getting it into the car and trying to convince it not to jump out of the window or lick me one more time we finally made it to the local police station. Now mind you I had been drinking all day and it was night by this point so I was feeling good if not looking a bit silly trying to drink a beer while holding the tweaker dog I named Wilson. Well we get to the police and me being at least a little smart left the booze in the car but brought the dog and we went into the station. Now neither one of us speaks Japanese well – hers being much better than mine – so I mostly smiled and played with the dog while she tried to explain to the cops what was going on. The cops were not amused. They were annoyed, maybe even angry with us. Well after quite a few rounds of trying to explain ourselves they finally called another station and had someone that spoke English talk to us. We explained the situation to them. We found a dog, this is where we found said dog, dog has a lease but not tags please help find dog’s owner. Mind you all pets in Japan (the ones not kept in a tank other than snakes) are supposed to have a tracking chip implanted in them incase this shit happens so we figured this was all good. We were wrong. We were oh so wrong. At this point we had been at the station for a half hour Wilson was getting even more tweaker than he already was and the cops were even more pissed. This is the point I think the wanted to arrest us. I don’t know on what charge but I’m sure they could have thought of something. The police in Japan are usually cool. I walked into a police station one time with a beer in my hand to ask for directions to a concert hall and one of the officers actually walked my friend and I the couple blocks down to the place. This time things weren’t going so well. Well to say the least they decided they needed our ID’s and I was getting concerned being drunk and all but lucky for us they asked for my friends first since she was doing all the talking and lucky for us she had a diplomatic passport. At this point they sort of gave up and didn’t bother to check me (I don’t have one of those get out of jail free cards) and just told us to leave the dog and to get the fuck out. They did give us a warning that the next time we see a dog just to fucking leave it where it was. I would have liked to say something witty like “What under the tires of our rental?” but knew better since I was drunk not suicidal. We left, I dumped another beer in my travel mug and spent the hour it took us to get home to our hotel making jokes about the cops driving the dog back to the 7-11 we found him at and dumping him off there while my friend yelled about the cops and her dog at home.
Now earlier I had made a joke about stray dogs all over the place. Well the strays aren’t in the most populated parts they’re out away from them and we hadn’t done a decent Island tour yet at that point. Well the next day we did. This time it was my turn to drive while she dumped Orion into a travel mug and it was off to see the Island. Well rounding a bend at one point I almost hit a dog, this one didn’t have collar and there were the joke about don’t stop to help it or we will get arrested and then there was another and another then two, and then one. Seriously once we were outside the most populated parts of the island there were stray dogs everywhere. I saw a couple stealing a truck while one little puppy outside a gas station tried to sell me weed. The only thing Okinawa has more of is U.S. military bases. I never really understood why they were that pissed until I went there. I don’t have a problem with the U.S. having bases in Okinawa but fucking hell the island isn’t that big how fucking many do you need? They’re not even small. They could dump all the shit on two of those bases and leave the rest of the island to the Okinawans and it wouldn’t cramp the military up for shit. No wonder they are pissed, they are all surrounded by wild dogs and military bases. Okinawa is a nice place though and lord was it fun but just remember leave the dogs alone.
I promised I would give you a recipe for taco rice so here is mine.
1 lb. ground beef (or stray dog*)
1 onion – chopped
½ – 1 clove of garlic – chopped
Cheese – I use the bags of mixed cheese for tacos you get at the store
8 once can of black olives
Short grain rice
1 packet of taco seasoning (since I’m lazy and it helps)
1 jar of salsa
1 jar of taco sauce
Rice wine vinegar
Now cook the ground beef using the directions on the tacos seasoning package adding in the onion and garlic along with some pepper, chili powder, paprika, oregano, basil, cilantro, beer, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco (or whatever hot sauce you like) and teriyaki sauce to taste. I have no real measurements for the seasonings since I just always chuck them in till I think it’s good. Cook until cooked.
For the rice get out you rice cooker (If you don’t have one shame on you you’re missing out) and cook the rice but add some chili powder and a little rice wine vinegar to the mix.
Once the meat and rice are done it’s time for the awesome.
Put some rice in a large bowl. Hopefully you have a large soup bowl or ramen bowl but if you don’t go buy some.
On top of the rice add some taco sauce, salsa cheese, olives and lettuce. On top of that add the meat and on top of the meat add some more cheese and taco sauce.
Eat. Some people like to stir it up a bit before they eat and some don’t. I like mine with a lot of sauce and stirred the shit up.
I use more sauce, salsa and lettuce on mine than you find in most places if you eat it in a restaurant and most restaurants don’t use taco sauce just the salsa and you don’t get olives either. Some places cook the rice with some tomato sauce and chili powder and some cook the rice traditionally. Do what you want it’s good either way I just like how I make it.
Another tip for people making this the first time remember while it was created in Okinawa and very popular there just because it can be considered a Japanese dish you eat it with a spoon so don’t use chip sticks or you will look silly. Yes japan has spoons you fucking racist!
Next week I’ll teach you how to make a lasagna sandwich! I’m joking I’ll do it now. Take two pieces of bread and make garlic bread shove a slice of lasagna in between and eat it. It’s like an upgrade from the spaghetti sandwich (shove spaghetti in a sausage meat sauce in between two slices of garlic bread). Trust me that while it will never sound less crazy it will always be good.
*Not recommended or as far as I know ever used in the dish.