I can’t believe we’ve been in Japan for a quarter of a year! It feels like I just wrote our Month Two Log. Since then we’ve celebrated our first holiday, hosted our first guests and experienced our first Japanese ER. The month has really flown by! Here are the things that I’m currently loving, liking, and wanting to leave behind.
- House Guests. It was so nice to have friends from home at our place for a few days. It gave me some much needed girl time and I was able to take part in some seriously awesome tourist activities. Watch for a post in a few weeks on real life MariCar and the famous, Robot Restaurant.
Halloween. It was our first real holiday celebration in Tokyo and we had so much fun! I can’t believe we thought that Halloween might not be a “thing” here… it definitely is and the city went all out. Decorations and special promotions were all over town. We enjoyed a family friendly party at The Tokyo American Club where William was able to dress up, carve a pumpkin, and trick or treat.
- Dry Cleaning. It’s just done so well, and the cost is the same as back home. My sweaters came back neatly folded inside individual plastic bags, tied with a bow.
- Learning Japanese. Language coaching was included in our expat package so we are able to take an hour lesson, once a week. After roughly 10 lessons, I think we’ve learned quite a bit. If nothing else, we can understand much more and pick up on certain phrases. I’m really good with directions which has helped a great deal in cabs. William has even picked up a few words. Still, I feel as though no one can really understand me when I do speak my limited Japanese, so it’s a work in progress.
- Driving. OK, it’s back on the like list. I’ve ripped off the driving band aid and I’m actually getting pretty used to it. We’re getting better at interpreting the GPS and can even handle driving with music on now!
- Medical System. We had our first experience with a Japanese ER and I was pleasantly surprised. We were in and out in about an hour with William. I was asked to take his temperature in the waiting room and when we were called, we only met with the doctor. His prescriptions were filled on the spot at the same location and our itemized bill was handed to us upon leaving. Oh, the cost of the bill was extremely reasonable in comparison to an ER visit, or even urgent care visit, back home in the States.
- Starbucks. It just isn’t the same as back home and it’s not better either. I haven’t tried any of the seasonal drinks out of principal. Here, the Golden Maple Candy Walnut latte rolls out during PSL season. And now I’m seeing the Snow Pecan Nut Latte where my Peppermint Mocha should be. Also, there are no cake pops… NO cake pop, the closet thing is a to-go sized container of mini cinnamon roll bites… ugh.
- Cat Cafes. If it weren’t for playing tourist with our house guests this month, I don’t think I’d ever seek out one of these places. But, I’m a good host and went along for the ride. There was a hot-dog cat and a cat in a turtleneck, they all seemed pretty content and well taken care of. It actually seemed like a pretty good cat life so that wasn’t the issue. I just didn’t find it that cool, I mean hasn’t everyone pet a cat? Still, if you are a cat lover, it’s probably worth a visit.
After three full months here, life is finally starting to feel normal again. We’ve gotten comfortable with our area and getting around while our weekly routines are starting to sink in. Although we no longer feel like tourists, we must still be acting like them because the real locals rarely believe us when we tell them we live in Tokyo. We’ll be working on that in the coming month. As always, thanks for reading and following along on our adventure!