... or hello in Japanese!
We've made it to Japan (okay, so we've actually been here for two weeks now). I have lots to catch you up on for the month of March, but I just wanted to pop in and say hello. We're here, we're getting settled into our new apartment and we are starting to make some travel plans! We've done some exploring around the base but haven't ventured out too much. We do have a car now which will make it easier to get out and about and to get to the train. There is a train within walking distance from the base, but it's about a 30 minute walk so I'd prefer to drive :)
We did not have the best arrival into Japan - Miss Lucy's quarantine paperwork was rejected. They still allowed her into the country, but her quarantine period had to start the day that we arrived. To put it in perspective, it should have started mid-October and she would be done with her quarantine period in mid-April, meaning that she would be allowed off the base and into town. Our plan was to have someone on the base watch her until her quarantine period was up and to get a house out in town. Now, her quarantine period is up in September so our options were to leave her in the base kennel for six months or to live on base. We decided to live on base, which was very upsetting to me at first. The only pet-friendly base housing available to people of J.'s rank are the "Garden Apartments." We don't have any children, so we are eligible for the 845 square foot, 2-bedroom mini apartment. The apartment is very beige, except for the lovely pink counter in the kitchen, and has no carpet (thank god we packed all of the rugs that we own)! Most everyone we know is living out in town, so it really was not a good first couple of days here. However, I have since changed my mind and think that living on base is actually the best place for us right now. We only have one car, so it's nice to be close to J.'s work - he can either take the car or I can drop him off. Once our household goods shipment comes in he will have his bike and can start riding his bike to work. The base is where the two free gyms are located, where all the fitness classes I am taking are located, where the Japanese classes I am going to take are located and where the American grocery store is located. We also ended up with great neighbors - one is a Purdue grad(!) and across the street is a couple from our squadron that we are friends with. I've even decided that the beige will be okay once we get the rest of our belongings.
We got our Japanese cell phones! We both got the new iPhone 4S - I was SO happy to finally trade in my 3GS for an updated version! I've also figured out that I can iMessage people at home with iPhones/iPads which is a great way to stay in touch! If you have an iPhone or an iPad let me know and we can start chatting!
Hopefully I will get into a better routine now that we are getting settled into our new house and will start blogging more regularly! I'll leave you with a picture of our new car: