Tuesday, September 7, 2010

another update from Japan

Well we survived week 1 in Japan =)  1 week of no text messaging (this is like taking away oxygen for me!).  1 week of not speaking the native language.  1 week without a car.  1 week with no friends other than the husband (although there are at least 3 potential friendships in the making).  1 week of living in a hotel,  1 week of being away from Mr Puppers (the walk to see him is not one I'm willing to make everyday in this heat/humidity).  1 week without multiple daily phone calls to my mother.  1 week of people staring at me everywhere I go (for one of a million reasons).  1 week of AFN.  1 week of lots of mental math (meters to feet, Celsius to Fahrenheit, time zone chances, etc).  1 week of learning another culture/language/history. 1 week of our new life!

Sunday we went to church on post. 

It's going to be an adjustment, but I think it's a church we can learn to call home.  We arrived at a convenient time, as the new year of PWOC is about to start.  I'll have to miss week 1 due to head start (I'll talk about that in a minute) and week 2 due to an orientation (possibly, we're not sure if I have to attend this one or not) but for all intents and purposes, I'll be able to attend from the beginning.  We also made some potential friends while we were there which is always a plus.  The woman we met JUST volunteered for a similar position I was going to volunteer for in Okinawa when that is where we thought we were going.  I told her I'd be more than willing to help out as much as she wanted.  The spot is for a historian for the spouses association.  She basically is to attend every event and document it through photos, and some other ways I'm sure.  Tomorrow during lunch is the super sign up event so I plan on stopping by and finding out all the details.  The family we met took us to lunch at the golf course on post.  This post is apparently famous for their golf course.  EVERYONE talks about it around here!  Who knows, maybe I'll learn to golf while I'm here.  Random fact about eating out in Japan, you don't tip!  It's going to take me a while to get used to that one.  Oh, and tax is included, so if you buy something for 130 Yen, it's 130 Yen, which is nice, one less thing to have to calculate in my head!  Any who, after lunch, they were nice enough to drive us up to the kennel so we could see our dog.  He was super excited to see us, especially his daddy!

As we were getting out of the car, I thought it would be a good idea to shut my finger in the door!

So not cool and it makes a lot of things VERY difficult!  Like typing.  Try typing a sentence without using your right index finger...NOT EASY!  It's taking me entirely too long to type out this post!  And using chopsticks?!?!  Nearly impossible, but I managed! (ps. real Ramen is SOOOO good!!!!)
This was yesterday in Machida where we went in search of a 100 Yen store (Japan's version of a dollar store, but WAY larger and way better quality!) and the camera/electronics mega store (think 5 floors of Best Buy).  We went for cases for our new cell phones, but I was in camera lens heaven!  I managed to walk out empty handed, but my birthday is coming up...wink wink husband!

Today was the 1st day of our head start class.  Everyone who comes to this post must attend a 5 day course, to learn a little about the host country's history, language, customs, etc.  I guess this is unique to the Army and I'm not really sure why.  So far it's been a useful class.  We started learning the language today.  Once someone breaks it down for you, it's not nearly as complicated as it looks!
 (no that's not my BBF's cell number whited out, I wasn't texting her via email from my iphone during class! Not me!)

and later in the week we'll learn more of the language, how to use the train system (we're going on a day long field trip Friday), some history of the area, and some things to know about eating in Japan.  The teacher is Japanese and very easy to listen to/entertaining.  I've definitely sat through much more boring and less useful classes before!

Today I had to do some brain storming for dinner this week.  It's a big change going from a kitchen this size with almost every gadget known to man

to one this small with only one small pot, one pan, and no oven!
We're not people who can eat out 3 meals a day for weeks on end.  I also didn't want to have to buy lots of ingredients, so we'll be having tacos, keilbasa and saurkraut, and hamburger helper.  I can't wait to get into a house and be able to cook the way I like to!  I guess I should be grateful to have a kitchen at all huh?

Oh, on a completely random note (my husband couldn't believe I took photos of this...are you surprised?  I'm not!  Of course I took photos!), I had my 1st Japanese public bathroom experience yesterday!  I'd heard about the hole in the floor that you have to squat over and bring your own TP (thank God I've been getting my butt kicked at CrossFit the past months...those squats do have a purpose!), so I was somewhat prepared when I walked in and found this

however, I was completely surprised and relieved (pardon the pun) when I saw this in the next stall....I am SO glad I checked! Yay for an American toilet! (when in doubt, check near Mc Donalds!)


lola said...

YAY! :) Glad you've been enjoying yourself!

I cut my left index finger yesterday (ugh!) so I'm with you on the slow, painful typing thing!

Dave and Ashley said...

Sounds like my first week in Germany! Minus the bathroom - that would be nuts! Glad you are having fun! What an experience!

Heather said...

I try to avoid those squatty potties at all cost! lol Most large stores here will have both so always check all the stalls first ;-)

We did the head start class here but had to wait about 7 months before they would let us go. It was pretty fun and useful but I forgot most of the Japanese we learned!