Dave Khoram at the Mariana Eye tagged me to write about 20 things I remember about Saipan, whether recently or long ago. I've only been here for about 10 years so my memory doesn't go back as far as some, but here's what I've got:
1. I remember Rudolphos. I remember the Barking Gecko. I remember Wendys (and Taco Maker) on Beach Road. And I remember when Taste of India was over near Winchells in Susupe and then on the Paseo in Garapan.
2. I remember when the movie theater was the one screen in that building by the post office. I never went there. Not even once. Until the multiplex opened, I just didn't go to movies on Saipan. (I also remember when Blockbuster came and what a big deal that was and how you could find movies there that you couldn't find anywhere else. Unfortunately, that is no longer true).
3. I remember the first time I heard about Saipan, from a girl with long blonde hair who was going to teach here for a year, at the same time that I was heading off to teach for a year in Chuuk.
4. I remember house sitting in a gorgeous home on Mt. Tapochau for a month, our first summer in Saipan.
5. I remember pitching my tent on Managaha at a site that is now underwater.
6. I remember that TV show they used to shoot at the Lens Bar and they had a guy on there once who sang a song called "I Remember Saipan."
7. I remember "Better Times" in Saipan. They were never good since I've been here, but they were better than they are now. Unfortunately for our current administration, it appears that all the Better Times have been in the past, not in the future.
8. I remember when my 8th grade students were in kindergarten and I remember two of them--twinss--jumping off the stage, doing karate kicks during the ceremony. I think they'd still do that even now. Graduation should be interesting this year.
9. I remember Steve and Mike, the homeless American guys who used to hang out in front of Payless. Rest in peace, fellas.
10. I remember meeting David Khoram and listening to him talk and thinking, "man this guy reminds me a lot of myself! Smart, thoughtful, articulate. . . "lol!
11. I remember our first apartment on Saipan and how it had brand new hot pink carpet in it. Some other teachers at the SDA school live there now and the carpet's no longer brand new nor quite so hot pink, but it's still there.
12. I remember the moment Sept. 11 happened for me here in Saipan. Just after 7 A.M. on September 12, when one of our parents called to inform us that "America was being attacked." Even now those words still sound so crazy and impossible.
13. I remember when they started having the Street Market.
14. I remember when the classroom I teach in was two rooms--one half of the room was the kindergarten classroom, the other half was the library.
15. I remember when there was no Taco Bell on Saipan. That was about a month ago. . .
16. I remember when I realized that is possible to get scary lost in the boonies on an island this small. That would be when Grant and I realized we were scary lost in the boonies on the day after Thanksgiving 2006.
17. I remember when I could budget $50 bucks for gas for the month and have it last. Now I spend more than $50 to fill up the tank.
18. I remember when Tyce Mister was known to me only as one of "those California boys" on the hash run they played over and over and over on the Vistors Channel.
19. I remember when the channels came from San Francisco. We were very much in tune with what was going on in the Bay Area back in those days.
20. I remember Alana from Alaska, the Hartshorns, Lisa and Cherie, Melissa Sell, Steve, Susanne, and Katie Namkung, Sheri Rodman, the Taitigues, Aaron & Joyce Knowlton, Denise Hewitt and her kids, John & Susan Schwarz and their kids, Tin Tin Win, Kathy Stair, Yeneer Merino, Jill Sharpe, the guys from Talk Story Studios--Butch, Les, Greg, Mike, Dan Shor and his sweet wife Jie Hua, Jonathan & Ami, Pastor Gallen, Steve the way cool youth pastor at GCA, Rob & Joy Carouth, Monica Cardenas, Tammy Morris, Sweet, Dori, Eugene and Nora Sulit, Zerlyn and Geoffery, Amber Sell, Aya Sato, Rachel & Irwin, my student Myoung Hun that now goes by Mike and sells cars Joeten Motors, Jessica Jordan, Tony & Susan Satur, Britni Gleason, Grant Graves, Layla Cole, Heather & Jari, all the students I ever taught at SDA--all people who have come and gone from this little rock in the Pacific and left their imprint on this island and in my heart.
I tag Grant, Mai, and Britni.