Our first week here has been crazy busy. On Monday we went to the big “Welcome To Iwakuni” brief. We learned about the rules for the base. Jeremy has to have a liberty buddy when going off base and has to be back on base by 1am. We also heard about the local insects and animals. Jeremy doesn’t want to come across a white snake (they are only found here in Iwakuni) and I don’t want to run into a Huntsman spider (an evil looking spider that gets as big as your hand and can run 3 feet per second). We also took our SOFA driving test. We both passed. I can pick up my license anytime but Jeremy has to apply for a waiver to get his.
Tuesday was Jeremy’s first day of work but he spent it checking into IPAC. They were very crowded. I spent the day unpacking some of bags and making the hotel room more homier. On Wednesday we were able to pick out our apartment. I know I really wanted a row house but the location of our apartment more than makes up for it. Turns out all the row houses are far from everything but our apartment building is literally across the street from the commissary and the MCX, right around the corner from the front gate and 10 minutes walk to Club Iwakuni and Sakura Theater. I love our apartment. It’s has two bedrooms and one bathroom. I’m happy it has its own laundry room. It also has two balconies. One is large and off the living room. The second one is smaller and off the master bedroom. The view is amazing. It overlooks the Nishiki River.
Also on Wednesday we picked up our Japanese cellphones. I also picked up an iPad Air. Typing on the iPad is so much easier than my phone or Chromebook.
Thursday was my first day of the base. My new friend, Aristia, took me out to go shopping with her and her two adorable children. My first look of the city in the daylight was interesting. It was older looking and a little more rundown looking than I was expecting but still beautiful in an old town sort of way. Parts of Iwakuni remind me of how Los Angeles looks.
The first store we went to was a children’s clothing store. Aristia wanted to find a Mickey Mouse outfit for her son, Vincent, to wear for his first birthday. While we were there, we started looking at some of the children’s shirts. The sayings on the shirts were, well, let’s just say they were interesting. I will be doing a separate post on shirts later on. I’ll just leave this one here to give you an idea of what we were looking at.
After the clothing store, Aristia took me to Daiso. I am in love with Daiso. It’s a ¥100 yen store. Everything is ¥100 ($1=¥122). I found so many cool things. Once we move into our apartment I will be going back and stocking up. I bought some stuff to send home to my family. I also bought some stuff to use in the hotel room. I also bought Jeremy some treats. One was a lollipop and the other was curry kit for kids.
After we spent way too much at Daiso we went to McDonald’s. It is actually very different than the ones in America. I’m not entirely sure what I had. I thought it was a veggie burger but when I got it the wrapper said vegetable chicken burger. It was really good. Their fries are also not as greasy tasting as in America. I really enjoyed my meal. It was also really cheap. About $5 or so.
On Friday Jeremy, Aristia, her kids and I went out with her best friend, Chelsea, and Chelsea’s husband , David. We went to this restaurant called Cocos. It sells Japanese curry. Before Friday I had only ever had Indian curry. Japanese curry is amazing. I accidentally order mine too spicy but it was still really yummy.
After dinner we went shopping at a local mall. Basically we spent the evening laughing at more funny shirts, exploring a Japanese bookstore, and introducing Jeremy to the wonders of Daiso. He loved it. We stocked up on junk food to have a lazy day today.
Yesterday was the 4th of July. On base they had free bowling and free movies. So all of us went out. It was a blast. We went bowling first. After we played three games, we went to Sakura theater to watch ” Pitch Perfect 2″. It was funnier than the first movie.
So far I am really loving my new life in Japan. I have made some awesome friends that have helped making adjusting a breeze. Tomorrow Jeremy and I are going to explore some new places. Then on Tuesday I start my new job. I’ll tell you more about that on Tuesday. Hopefully end of next week or so we will move into our new apartment.
Now that we are in Japan, I will have more time to write. I’m so excited to share my adventures with you. Please check back often to see what all is new.