It’s hard to believe we have hit the month mark!
Let me just say one more thing about my mani-pedi experience and then I will drop it: “NO $500 hand job is ever worth it.” There, I said it and now I am moving on.
First, let me get my POD out of the way. I have a new app on my phone called 360Panorama which enables me to take really terrific scenic pictures. So I’m giving it a shot. Sorry if it doesn’t work:
This is a panorama of a park very close to the apartment. It was one of those surreal moments of being in Tokyo. One of the things I most love about the city is it’s dichotomies. How within the world of tall skyscrapers, taxis, and huge videoscreens, you can find a perfectly preserved park where groups of people get together to sketch a gentle waterfall or old men can sit on a rock and fish using colored string and a stick. When you see the picture, just touch the mouse and left click anywhere on the image to see the panorama.
One month in. I have managed to:
- Travel to Karuizawa & Kyoto
- Moved into apartment
- Met & Established relationships with 4 other new expats
- Attained cell phone, alien card, and cash card
- Traveled by bullet train, train, subway, taxi
Since we have been here, I have noticed that Cliff’s conversations always seem to drift onto the topic of American movies and television. There seem to be a plethora of ways of fooling Netflix or “borrowing” ip addresses, but to be honest, we have set ourselves up with a Japanese cable company which provides us with a lot of Japanese channels but also a few English speaking ones. I do not feel the need to spend more money or time/energy trying to get bootleg television into the house when I feel like I barely watch it anyhow.
At this point, I would like to share a few thoughts about Cliff:
1) I have discovered that when I am not able to fix dinner, inevitably when I finally do make it home I’ll ask Cliff, “So what did you end up eating?” and he’ll say, “Oh, just some fruit and cheese…” and I’m thinking, “why the hell am I stressing out trying to get 4 courses on a plate for him when he is fixing crudite for himself and I know he really likes it?
2) The other day I found I had about an hour of chillin time before I needed to get ready for dinner out with Nghi & Michael. So I go over to the TV area where Cliff already is and sit on the couch. Then I notice that on the screen are 2 young women dancing naked with paint on their bodies in plexiglass cages in a nightclub. At this point, I turn and look at Cliff with my widest eyes communicating “what the hell are you watching and why are you watching this with our 9 year old just a few feet away?” So without trying to hide any of his frustration, Cliff hands the remote to me like “the remote did it” and I start channel surfing. Luckily I came across a movie on one of the movie channels. Remember “Witness” starring Harrison Ford as a cop going undercover in Amish country? Good movie. Amish Country. At this point I look over to Cliff with my eyes communicating: Amish 1, Debauchery ZERO.
I promised pictures of Chase’s City bag. I think I might have mentioned also that I have started toting my backpack in lieu of purse on busy days but you all know what a backpack looks like. This past weekend we also discovered the 100 YEN Store, or as you all might think of it as the $1.30 Store.
Daily Living and Useful Notes for New Expats:
- MAPS, yes, the one that comes with your phone. It is by far the best GPS for getting around by Taxi,Foot or Train. It takes a little getting used to, but trust me there isn’t any better and I have wasted some money thinking other apps would help and I always default to this one.
- CONVERTER There are other “currency” converters, temperature converters, etc. Just get the one by Globe Convert it does it all and works really simply.
- TEXT PLUS SILVER this is a cool app that one of my new expat buddies turned me on to. It enables you to text for free with anyone. I didn’t know how much use I would get with people who were sleeping when I was awake, but surprisingly I am getting a lot of use.
- TRANSLATOR need I say more? Get the one from iHandy Apps. I can’t tell you the number of times I have not known how to ask someone about something and used this app to say it for me. It’s awesome.
Well, Chase is telling me it’s time to go to bed.
Until next time…