Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stationed in Japan

YOU MIGHT Be stationed in Japan IF...

I stole this from Kara because it was too good not to share (I had to change/add/delete a few because life in Okinawa is slightly different than life on the main land)! For the most part, all of them apply to me & my friends!
  1. Your 3 year old is throwing a tantrum screaming "but I want yakiiiii-sobaaaaa!"
  2. You graciously accept a little candy from a sweet local and actually give it to your child.
  3. You think nothing of the same sweet lady holding or touching your baby.
  4. If you travel by plane for less than 12 hours and make only 1's a quick trip.
  5. Consider spending $4000 for a car to be a lot.
  6. Find it perfectly normal to not always know exactly what you ordered to eat at a restaurant.
  7. When you visit friends and family in the States and they suggest stopping for a quick bite at Chili's you yell "NO" instead of politely declining.
  8. You think nothing of sending your kids up the street to get you something out of a vending machine.
  9. Think nothing of your kids mentioning the mamasans at school.
  10. Exclaim "where's the corn?" when you order a local pizza, taco, pasta, anything.
  11. You start buying turkeys and pumpkins {and Christmas trees} WEEKS before you know you will actually need them (in case the good ones are gone later).
  12. You stop mulling over purchases and start buying things you MIGHT need later (eg. space heaters, turkey roasting pans etc) as soon as you see them, thinking it is better to return something you don't need than to need something that is no longer available to purchase.
  13. If the PX has something you don't expect them to have, you buy 5 of them {I might have become a parchment paper hoarder} !!!
  14. You no longer look at the price of gas; you just pull up to the pump and fill-er-up {and you only do so once every 2 or 3 weeks}.
  15. You realize that you are more likely to go through a yellow light than to stop...unlike you used to do!
  16. Going 80 kph on the expressway actually feels like you're going really fast!
  17. Seeing motorcycles and scooters using the roads and sidewalks interchangeably doesn't even phase you and they no longer startle you when out of nowhere they suddenly appear right next to your car.
  18. You think nothing of parking on the sidewalk or on the side of the road (taking up half the lane).
  19. You frequently have conversations with family members trying to convince them that yes, they can call you just like anyone else in the US. Dial the number just like any other number. Yes, it really is a normal phone number. We promise.
  20. You sit down at a restaurant and don't mind when the other person starts eating his/her meal because it came out 5 or 10+ minutes before yours.
  21. You have patiently explained to those back home more than once "You can use a regular stamp"
  22. You find yourself bowing unconsciously instead of saying the ever trite HI!
  23. You have bought a dual-time zone clock for your folks back home, set to Okinawa time, yet they still call and say, "Oh...I don't know what time it is over there in China".
  24. You get a letter from a pal with eight stamps on it, and JAPAN in large letters across the bottom.
  25. You find yourself sitting through all of the credits at the end of a movie.
  26. You watch American TV shows and think it is weird that they are driving on the right side of the road.
  27. You thought you would never choose decor in an "asian theme" and now your living room resembles a Shanghai Hotel Lobby.
  28. Misplacing your ID card gives you a worse feeling in your stomach than losing a credit card.
  29. You wish that the military could insert a barcode under your skin instead of having an ID card and orders.
  30. There's an earthquake somewhere in Asia and everyone thinks you must have felt something.
  31. You find yourself lazily writing "textiles" on ALL your customs forms at the post office, while scratching out some random date and signature. Textiles does cover pretty much everything though, right? {I'm definitely doing this next time!}
  32. You have no problem dropping 5,000 Yen at dinner. It still doesn't really seem like sixty bucks to me.
  33. You don't lock your car off base. You do lock your car on base.
  34. You can meet all your shopping needs, at 11 PM , at Family Mart.
  35. You have junked at least one vehicle or purchased one with a Power of Attorney.
  36. Even your stomach sweats in the summer.
  37. Your 2-year old likes to play that he is a gate guard.
  38. You drive onto your street and your 3 year old asks, "Who's packing out?"
  39. Your 6 year old prefers rice balls to french fries.
  40. Land of the vending machines- Even on the top of Mt Fuji.
  41. You don't leave home without TP or tissue.
  42. You have 2 wallets in your purse at all times- one for yen and one for dollars.
  43. To your children all grocery stores are commissary's and PX's- even when you are in the states visiting.
  44. You still walk to the wrong side of the car to drive.
  45. Instead of saying "yeah, yeah, yeah" you now say "hai, hai, hai."
  46. You aren't surprised to hear directions like "turn at the rice field and the red vending machine" and "at the pink two story house with the white box car, take a right" or when you get directions with pictures!
  47. Your 12-14 year old car with chipped paint, stained interior and a dent in the door is a sweet ride.
  48. You no longer worry about a house fire since you live in a concrete box, yet you are uneasy as your husband zips down the expressway at almost 60 mph.
  49. Nobody cares what YOUR social security number is.
  50. You watch the Super Bowl in the morning and the Morning Show at night.
  51. Your kids cross the street with their hands held high in the air.
  52. At 8 months old, your blond headed baby thinks his name is "Kawaii" and when you take your red headed toddler to the zoo, more people are taking pictures of your family than the zoo animals.
  53. No U.S. pennies for change......Yeah! Who else gives change to the nearest 5 cent?
  54. The bugs outside are louder then your kids in the next room.
  55. It's Nov. 5th and the BX has already sold out of their Christmas decorations!
  56. It's the week after Thanksgiving and the commissary finally got in some fresh cranberries--- and it does not bother you because you know you can throw them in the freezer and save them for next year.
  57. You know there is a new driver on the road when they're sitting in a turn lane and their windshield wipers go off on a sunny day.
  58. Pictures for everything, who needs to learn Japanese or to read kanji?
  59. Vending machines with pictures to order food- brilliant!
  60. When you come back from vacation in the states people comment on all your clothes and accessories.
  61. You think that paying over $5 to see a movie at the theater is ridiculous.
  62. In the local shops you wear a size XL even though you really wear a medium.
  63. A single Starbucks opening is a major change in your lifestyle.
  64. You start worrying about all of your friends PCS moves at least six months out, and start hitting the gift shops and local resturants like they were leaving next week.
  65. You call the Dollar Store the Hundred Yen Store or Daiso.
  66. Your toddler says Arigato or Konichiwa without prompting.
  67. You pass at least 20 vending machines on a 5 minute walk.
Once you're back in the States:
  1. You visit people for the first time and their jaws just drop when your whole family walks in their house and automatically lines up their shoes by the front door.
  2. Show your ID card to the greeter at Wal-Mart.
  3. Everytime you walk into a 1$-Store you wish you had a 100Y-Shop nearby!
  4. You turn on your windshield wipers on a sunny day.
  5. Your friends invite you to sushi for dinner and you turn your nose up knowing it just won't be the same.
  6. You bow to complete strangers.


Kara said...

In the states, if you let someone cut in front of you when driving, they will wave or smile or whatever. Here, the kind of just hold their hand up and do a head bow. I do that all the time and I'm pretty sure it won't stop when we get back to the states. Do you guys have a Chili's there? I know they have them at some bases in Germany too.

joy said...

My daughter-in-law is Japanese, and my 2-year old granddaughter will grow up bi-lingual. When anyone stays for a while and then leaves, she thinks they've gone on an aeroplane back to Japan, no matter who it is. Her nickname is Kokopan and her Japanese Grannie is called Panda Chan.

Heather said...

I miss Japan!! I don't know when the last time I used a vending machine was. When was the last time I even SAW a vending machine? And to think I used to tell people we lived right past the blue vending machine :)