Saturday, January 17, 2009


Okay, we made it to Japan, and have been TERRIBLE at taking pictures so far. But, turns out we're going to be here for awhile, so we'll have plenty. We got in on Sunday the 11th, and after we picked up our bags and starting looking for our folks to pick us up - they found us. Half of the squadron guys and wives were ALL at the airport with a big sign with our names and the squadron patch on it waving like lunatics. It was great! The boss and his wife are from Greenville and Montgomery so she and Emily were squealing like school kids when they figured that out (in about 4.4 seconds.) Someone mentioned we should have brought mint juleps if we were going to reenact Steel Magnolias. We got a ride back to base from Naha, our sponsor and his wife had already checked us into our apartment and took our bags up. They had also stocked the kitchen with food and snacks and drinks, welcome packets with all sorts of info/phone numbers/etc, all of Ben's new uniform stuff and a key to the car one of the guys left for us while he and his wife are in Australia for the next three weeks. You might say we were well taken care of! The first week has been madness, we've gotten our Japanese driver license (scary, huh?) and sat through way too many pointless military briefings. Which is ridiculous, because none of them are brief. We've been driven around everywhere off base we wanted to go until a few days later when we ventured off base on our own. There really is no way to explain it, so to those who may come visit, you'll see when you get here. Sitting on the right side to drive - on the left side of the road isn't even the biggest surprise. We had dinner one night at our sponsor's house, walked around downtown one night with friends and just found a random Japanese restaurant to eat at, tried the Chili's on base, and then the flight treated us to a welcome dinner on Thursday night at Yoshi's Sushi - and it was amazing! Emily got her fried rice but tried the sushi too, and Ben had sushi and a bit of sashimi, everything there was great! We also found out though that there is apparently a place here that has fantastic ribs, greens, sweet tea and cornbread, so we're going to try that one too. Naturally. And then the house hunting started. We've been looking at and test driving cars like mad, so we figured we may as well add our name to the "looking for a house off base" list. Before we got home we had ten messages from realtors. These people do not mess around with *anything* they do. Some are quiet, all of them are incredibly nice and polite, and some use very good english and are hysterical! As in absolutely amazed on their first trip to the states recently by our gas stations. "It's like a supermarket in there!" She was very excited about six flags and buying gum at the gas station. Everyone has their thing, I guess. So we had four appointments with realtors on Saturday, another on Sunday, three on Monday, three on Tuesday and another on Wednesday, so far. Add the four page list of things Ben has to do to complete inprocessing before the flying starts. We're a tad busy.

All in all, its very interesting. We are having a blast, have seen some really, uh, "neat" cars and houses and road signs and....well, everything. There are completely random cartoons on everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Just driving around is hilarious and you can never leave home without the camera. We've just been so busy looking that we forget to take pictures, but we'll get better.

Yes, Ben is driving on the wrong side of the car.

Our first trip to a Japanese restaurant!

"American style" cheater seats. It's like sitting on the floor, but your feet fit down in a hole. Much more comfy.

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