21 May 2008

Driving in Japan

Well, I've driven in Japan. And frankly, its no big deal. Yeah, its on the left side of the road, the wheel's on the right side of the car, and the lanes are very narrow (I constantly feared I would scrape against the other cars).

Well, I'll start at the beginning.

The day started with me trying to get the money out I needed to sign the lease on my Cho (apartment). My advice, if you ever open a Bank of America account, open a worldwide account, because the Washington St. accounts have no capability to do external transfers, among other limitations that irk me to no end. But, I was able to get the money due to the diligence of the ladies at Navy Federal Credit Union. I had to make a lovely international call to BOA to up my debit card withdrawal limit. I then went to NFCU and got the 3000.00 out and converted it to 3,000,000 yen, which was cool, cause I was a millionaire, hehe.

Then, I went to the Navy Exchange and rented a vehicle so we could pick up some necessities and move our stuff to the cho once we got the keys. I then went and picked up my lovely bride and we went back to the NEX to get cleaning stuff and go to our lease appointment.

We met our landlord, who speaks no English, but its ok because our facilitator translated and there is a system in place for any future issues we may have. We signed and were on the way to our house. This would be the first time we drove off-base, and it was fun. The traffic wasnt bad at all, and we managed to find it just fine, having only been there once before, but its not too diffucult, its right off the main road. Also, there is a train station not 200 feet from our front door that drops you 10 minutes walking distance from the base, so that will be my commuter for a while till we save up car money.

We got to our house, which is on the 2nd level, and the apartment has great security. There is a locked automatic door that we just turn our key in and it slides open. We then ride up our cool elevator and our house is almost right in front of us. We purchased a lovely kitchen caddy, which I proceeded to fight up the stairs and half-assemble before we headed out for dinner.

We once again ate at Mike's (Japanese) which was once again awesome. I kind of feel like eating at a Mexican place in Japan is a bit like cheating. But, we'll hit up a yakiniku place again soon I'm sure. I'm going to get Emily to try takoyaki. It is really good, kinda strange, but good.

We then returned home and got a welcome basket (much like the one that greeted us when we arrived at midnight) ready for a buddy who is flying in tonight and will also be checking in to the Essex.

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