Time and Energy

I have a fantastic vacation to report about but there’s so much going on right now I’m just not focused in enough to do the trip justice.

With work and trying to squeeze in life stuff, the next couple of weeks is going to be crazy busy.

Ozzfest concert series this weekend!

I feel bad not reading blogs I follow too, I’ll catch up at some point.

Hope your November is fabulous!

Be back for a big Thailand/Malaysia post soon!

Thanks to all who continue to follow and read my blog, it really is kind of a diary for me but it’s much more fulfilling to know that others find it interesting enough to want to know what’s coming next.

Relief is in Sight and Other Thoughts

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Yokosuka, Japan was cold and windy when we arrived in late February, windy and rainy in April and May, windy rainy and getting hot in June, miserably nasty hot in July, August and the first week of September.  The last week or so has been completely bearable … in fact I would go so far as to say it’s been downright nice.  Still a bit warm for my taste but not intolerable.  80’s or so in the shade and with a breeze is totally doable.  I’m hoping this is the beginning of the end of Summer though some locals have said Summer would stick around till the end of September.

A_windy_day_by_eigo_otaku

This depiction is very close to the truth on a windy day here.

Please, to all the Gods and anyone else who has any pull with Mother Nature, let this be the beginning of Autumn and the end of the misery that has been gripping this area for two months now.

I feel like a complete wuss you know.  Growing up in Tucson, Arizona where 105 was the norm during the Summer and spending many years in Florida, Georgia and Virginia where it gets stinking hot and humid has not prepared me for the stifling heat that hovers over this area.

On a slightly different note but still to do with Japan and relief, did you know that the guards at the back gate of the Yokosuka Naval Base often have incense burning?  It’s such a pleasant way to head into the City.  Rather like passing through a portal of a sort, well for those of us with a sci fi type imagination that is.  Actually, now that I think about it I wonder why they do that?  Is there some odor they are trying to ensure is not detected?  Is it some ritual they are following?  Why do some use it and others don’t?  These are all questions I intend to research and find answers to.

incense

Interesting (to me) side note to that:  the blogger I borrowed the photo from has an interesting blog, I’ll have to check it out more in a few minutes.  The link is attached to the photo.

 

 

 

A completely separate observation and probably stereotyping here but from what I have seen and the limited knowledge I have of the body types and fine hair of the Japanese people it completely threw me for a loop to see one of the fighters at a cage match in Yokohama had a hairy back.  I pointed it out to my husband and he said naw, that’s just shadow from the lighting…we both focused harder…nope that’s a hairy back on a Japanese man.  Just found it unusual is all.  Out of the kindness of my heart and love for my followers I will abstain from posting a photo or graphic depicting a hairy back.

The photos/graphics borrowed here are linked to the web page where they were found.

Getting Out in Japan

First off, my feet are tired and sore.  I truly love that so much of Japan is so very accessible, however my feet are not used to this much activity.  I am hoping they catch up and get in the game soon or the next 3 years will be painful – I’m not giving up seeing everything just because of pain.

We had a nice weekend!  Started Friday with meeting a new friend, Abby, for coffee while our husbands were doing a work thing.  Found out we have a lot in common, specially with regard to our marriages and some moves.  Then the four of us walked into town and they showed us where one of the 100 Yen sushi places was.  This is a convenient way to try different kinds of sushi.

IMG_0464 Sushi Conveyor IMG_0463

Saturday:

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We decided to go into town and try a different 100 Yen sushi place, one that was recommended to us.  This one was much better – the sushi was cut quite large and just seemed fresher.  Also, there were more choices coming around, we didn’t have to order anything special.  

We also ate at a restaurant in the big mall in town, which was interesting.  I really need to search out some good soba/udon noodle places.  I’m eating too much rice and ramen noodles.  Time to kick back into the diabetes friendly eating habits.  Soba is buckwheat noodles and Udon is wheat so both should be ok for me, they are however, not as easy to find here as I thought they would be.  Ramen is the norm.

We also found out that with our sliding doors open, sound carries easily to our neighbors here.  I won’t go into detail but I’m sure you can figure out what it seems they heard.  =D  We will have to be more discreet I think. lol

Sunday:

I was excited!  Going on our first train excursion alone and we forgot our little English cheat map and “I’m lost” cards lol.  Time to put up or shut up.  We got to the train station and picked up our passmo cards.  This is a transportation card you put yen on instead of buying tickets every time you want to ride the train.  Nice. 🙂

Ok now, figure out where Yokohama is on the map and how many stops, then figure out the limited express train.  They have different trains you see.  One hits all of the stops, one hits some of the stops and one hits only the major towns.  <–that’s the one we want.  My husband has it figured out (I think!) so we head to the platform.  I see the train just pulled up and it says limited express…hey that’s the one.  Yep, he concurs and compliments my catch.  We jump on with a bunch of other people.  Here we go, hopefully in the right direction. lol

Next station shows up, yep we are on the right train, YES!  Success!  Ok…Sit back for Yokohama.  About 10 minutes later I’m guessing, we pull up and head into the crowded station.  Wow, there’s a huge underground shopping district right at the train station.  And I mean HUGE.  Restaurants, clothing stores, purses, jewelry, souvenirs, more clothes, shoes, OMG the shoes!

We decided to have lunch in the restaurant section there then walk more in town.  We chose a place that had a lot of different kinds of meat on a stick in their window.  So, we got in line (yes there was a line just about everywhere, seating is somewhat limited in these places.) and waited.  Then two very cute older women got in line after us and walked up to sign in, oops we didn’t do that.  They notice we didn’t so one shows my husband up to the stand and helps him.  She was very nice.  The hostess spoke basically no English so we had to gesture our way through the conversation.  She sat us next to the two ladies who helped us. 🙂

To our dismay none of the meat on a stick was on the menu, must be only for dinner. 😦  Well, we choose a couple of bowls and decide to try the gyoza (potstickers in U.S.).  I ordered what turned out to be grilled eggplant over rice with a very raw egg in the center.  Seriously, poached egg is good but this was just barely white!  My husband ordered a dish that looked like scrambled egg over rice.  Turned out to have some kind of seafood in it and his egg was barely cooked as well.  We are quickly learning the raw egg dishes are not our favorite.  But the meal was enjoyable and the gyoza was lovely.  Ah, the hot tea was very nice as well.  I truly love that my husband is adventurous in this way.  Many would shy away from the unknown when it comes to food.

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Time to walk.  We head to the Sky building and go up to the 29th floor which has a great view of Yokohama.  The building has a lot of shopping and food.  Lots to look at.  One floor is dedicated only to women’s shoes, it’s huge.  My husband sat down on a chair to wait for me to look around.  I actually lost him for a while!  Took a few minutes to find him.

I got lost in a shoe store. >.<

We walked further towards another shopping area and more food.  Really this is amazing, so many choices!  I notice also there are a few Italian restaurants and looking at the menu outside, it looks pretty close to the real thing!  More so then the previous spots which was basically tomato and garlic for sauce.  Oh and I saw one place had the Napolitan spaghetti advertised.  It has become quite popular in Japan but I can’t imagine it being good on this Sicilian’s tongue.  I’ll try it one day.  It’s sauce base is ketchup!

Lots of walking and we decide since we don’t know really where else to go and my feet are getting tired, to return to Yokosuka for now.  At least we got a sense of Yokohama and fully intend to come back to explore more.

This week:  

Today: I’m sitting in the apartment waiting for the maintenance men to show up (just did but said waiting for another guy who is late so will be at 1:00 instead) so they can create an access panel in our kitchen ceiling.  Finish up some paperwork.

Tuesday: Lunch with one of the husband’s coworkers who has been in Japan for many years.  Then possibly head into town with new friend Abby.  Check into the free Japanese course here on base.

Wed/Thurs:  Possibly run into Tokyo to check out some art expeditions with a couple of ladies.

Friday:  Happy Anniversary to us!  lol  If the husband can get time off we may run to Kamakura and spend the day there exploring.

Saturday/Sunday:  We are planning to spend all weekend in Tokyo for the husband’s birthday and doing a pub crawl for St. Patrick’s Day.

Week 2 in Japan

This week did not turn out the way we planned but I’m not complaining.  The plan was:

  • Friday: we pass the written portion of the driving test, go into town and have sushi!
  • Saturday/Sunday: explore a LOT, get train swipey thingies and go visit the husband’s co-workers for a bbq or whatever.
  • Monday/Tues: move in to apartment days and set up utilities, get everything sorted out for living here.  Visit the gym and get on a workout routine.
  • Wednesday: doctor appointment to get me in their system and start looking for a job
  • Thursday: wives meetup coffee/tea thingy and/or head into town to play with new friends made.
  • Friday: we take our road driving test and go celebrate being settled.

What it has ended up being:

  • Friday: I pass the written portion, husband does not so he has to take it again, the not feeling fabulous on Thursday turns into Full on COLD symptoms that knock us both out.
  • Saturday/Sunday:  Pretty much bedridden, both of us.  We did manage to move our baggage into the apartment at least ( we picked up the key Friday)
  • Monday: Move few more things to apartment and do some shopping for first groceries, etc.  Husband manages to get phone line going.   We are still dying sick but seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  I had to sit and wait for the manager to do the walk thru and for our borrowed furniture delivery.
  • Tuesday: Move ourselves to the apartment officially.  Wait for delivery of expedited property.  (keep this part on the down low) –>I did have an interview for a position that my husband’s co-worker’s wife oversees and am hopeful to get it.  It’s perfect for me, close by, part time, front desk so I will be interacting with people and sounds like very little stress.  Nice pay too.  I just hope they don’t pass me up because I’m an old spinster over qualified.  I don’t want a challenging corporate job let alone a full time one, my health still needs to be first until I have the diabetes reversed – then I can consider full time employment again.  Cold is almost gone.
  • Today:  Doctor appt at 2:00.  I was going to run to the post office to see about getting us on the waiting list for a box and check out the gym finally but yesterday we had a puddle of water on the kitchen counter that had engineers out to look at and they are supposed to return but we don’t know when so I’m sitting here waiting for a call that may not come till tomorrow or Friday for all I know.  Oh, the phone service here doesn’t offer voice mail so we have to go buy an answering machine which they don’t carry at the Navy Exchange so we’ll have to go try to find one in town and the T.V. we expedited didn’t have the power cord with it so we are trying to find one here.  Feeling ok, a little cough and gunk in the nose but not bad.
  • Thursday:  coffee/tea still on schedule, we’ll see what else comes up –  maybe go do the gym/post office thing if not done yet. lol  I fully intend to feel great this day!
  • Friday:  I take the road driving portion of the test and hopefully get my license here but honestly I’m freaking scared as hell to drive here, the rules are many and the punishment harsh.  The basic idea is if you are driving and in an accident you are to blame.  If another car hits you but they have more damage you are to blame.  If a pedestrian walks in front of your car and you hit them, you are to blame….and so on.  Hoping to go into town for sushi with the husband today since he can’t eat meat on Fridays till Easter.

All in all the troubles have been minor and the apartment we got so quickly is really lovely. I can’t complain at all.  We have at least 3 years to explore Japan so if we don’t get out much the first couple of weeks I’m ok with that.  I’d rather get ourselves sorted out then go have fun. 🙂

On a personal note, my fingernails need help and my hair will need another dose of black soon, the part I used to have fun colors on is turning a dark green. lol  After I get the job mentioned above I’ll ask if they mind fun hair, if ok I’ll look into more fun colors.  =P

Week 1 in Japan

Field Trip - Week 1 012

Kamakura

First Day Out in Yokosuka, Japan

First Day Out in Yokosuka, Japan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be honest, it isn’t your typical first week living in a new place.  Since we are Navy we have had to go through a week of orientation which has taken up most of our days.  Also, for probably the first time in my life I have been turning in super early to bed.  Still acclimating I suppose.

One of the many sidewalks we traversed.

One of the many sidewalks we traversed.

We have been walking A LOT!  Many things on base are within a mile so we are tending to opt for walking when we can.  Also, the couple of times off base was a lot of walking.  So much so that I have a lovely blister on my toe to show for it (I’ll spare you that photo).

Except for yesterday the weather has been clear, cold but clear.  Today on the other hand was exceptionally warm, high 50’s and just so happened to be our field trip day for the orientation.

 

 

 

The entire group of us took buses down to the train station and were shown how to buy tickets, where to go in, etc.   Here is my wonderful husband waiting for the train:

Field Trip - Week 1 008

We took the train to Kamakura which is a very historic town with regard to the Samurai and Shogun.

The train not during rush hour.

The train not during rush hour.

Once off the train we split up into groups of who wanted what for lunch.  We chose to go for Korean BBQ and are so happy we did!  It was wonderful.  Rather like a Fondue but better because you are grilling the meat, not boiling it.

Some are cold and they have hot coffee and teas.

Some are cold and they have hot coffee and teas.

By the way, I didn’t mention one of my favorite things so far, the amazing vending machines in this country!  They have hot drinks in cans.   It’ s lovely.

So far my favorite is the hot green tea at the very right bottom corner. 🙂

 

 

Back to the day…After lunch we walked to the Shinto Shrine and all of the amazing little shops on the way.  We are definitely going back when we have more time to dally.

This is the walkway to the Shrine, you can see it in the back behind the bridge.

This is the walkway to the Shrine, you can see it in the back behind the bridge.

This was a building on the way to the Shrine that I just thought was nice. :)

This was a building on the way to the Shrine that I just thought was nice. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Shrine we took the train back to Yokosuka and went to take care of more enrollment stuff.

Some weird allergy??

Some weird allergy??

Completely off topic, a few days ago I had an allergic reaction to something.  It’s happened once before when we were in San Diego so it isn’t anything here that’s causing it.  For some reason I wake up in the middle of the night burning up, skin is very red and limbs start to swell, this goes on for about 15 minutes  then I go puke profusely and my body starts to return to normal.

This is my leg/knee and wrist/hand while swollen:

 

Field Trip - Week 1 006I’ll bring this up on my first doctor visit, it’s only happened twice so I’m not overly concerned but it is very strange.

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow:  We are going for our driving test so we can get licenses here.  Scary thought!  We also have to set up our home phone, internet/cable installation for our new place, we move in Monday!  Nice 3 bedroom apartment.  I’ll introduce y’all to it next week!

There are some interesting do’s and don’ts here, I’ll put it all down soon.