Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Everything's coming up roses for me and for you!

Yesterday, I went back to Kamakura for the first time since our first week in Japan. While I had a great time on that first trip, I was still overwhelmed by the newness of everything, jet lagged, and, consequently, tired. Blake probably felt the same way. Neither one of us felt very confident in our abilities to conduct transactions or understand things.

My experience in Kamakura yesterday was completely the opposite. After six weeks of living here, I returned to Kamakura and felt complete confidence in my abilities to handle bilingual conversations (where we both spoke at least a little of the other language), manage transactions, order food, bow and thank people properly, and find my way around all the shops. I didn't go there for that reason - to test how my abilities to really live in in Japan were coming along - but it was a nice side benefit.

I was actually there to do some Christmas shopping! We want to get things shipped off this week, so I headed to a place where I knew I could find some really fun things from Japan. Komachi-dori, the popular touristy street in Kamakura, has the usual wide range of souvenir shops and eateries like you would also find in the states - from kitschy and cheap to super nice and expensive. I did most of my shopping yesterday in the mid-range of all that. Of course, I won't be showing you photos of what I purchased, because certain blog readers are also gift recipients, but let's just say I'm really pleased with what I found. And kind of happy that one shop lady recognized me again today when I went back for someone I forgot, even after going three times to that shop yesterday, (sorry all three of our grandmothers!).

Side note: Because we are on a military base, shipping things to us and from us is just like shipping in the US with two major differences - time and packages need customs forms. It takes just a little longer (priority is more like 5-7 days instead of 3) and you need to fill out a form because things are still moving internationally. The cost, however, is the same, which is so helpful.
Turned out to be a box mostly of bathroom storage drawers, some of which contain hair things, so probably actual hair tumbleweeds did exist in this box.

Another awesome thing about this week is that our household goods shipment arrived today! This also is a nice topic to have for my NaBloPoMo wrap up when I spent the month discussing my move to Japan. In a little over three hours this morning, four guys got everything into our home and unpacked and, if necessary, reassembled. Everything is close to where it's going to end up for good, but I do have my work cut out for me for the next few days.
We left these packed - Christmas (which we have time to decorate for!) and general decor. Where I'm going to hang things is probably the biggest mystery right now.

Close enough for today

This box was labeled towels, which did make up a third of it.

We did get our bedroom set up as much as possible today, still waiting on our rug and dresser, and I'm really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight! We got a new mattress in August, and I've missed it. Also, putting the quilt on the bed that my mom gave us for our wedding kicked up the home feeling about a million notches.
Malcolm will still have to sleep on his own bed tonight.

Malcolm is also quite pleased that his favorite chair has returned. He was stuck outside on the patio all morning, and he much prefers being closer to his people.

When I moved to DC, I packed my Volkswagen Passat to the gills, had my mom mail me a few things, and stored a few more things in Utah. I've acquired a lot more stuff since then, not just counting things that are mostly Blake's. Not having all of it for six weeks has given me reason to ponder on what of it I really need, and the answer is not a lot. Blake and I joked that if the shipping container fell in the ocean on its journey (which happens!) that we'd be sad, but not devastated. We are not heartbroken over the loss of a couple of our bookcases that were not shipped well, but we'll submit a claim and get reimbursed soon enough. This will be helpful, as our 24 boxes of books and games need to go somewhere! I still may get rid of a few things as we get it all moved in - I've already tossed a pair of flip-flops. But having it all here is reminding us even more that we have moved here, this is our home, and we're sticking around awhile.
Sweet and tangy Japanese herb juice (that was the description on the sign). So pink! So tasty! Incidentally, we had a pink drink with dinner last night too.

It may be November, but it's not too cold for lemon ice pops!

Minced pork steamed bun. I tried a seafood one when I went back for the grandmas gifts today, and I definitely prefer the pork.

I can't wait!


Myrna said...

Pork steamed buns are the best!

Giggles said...

Wait. Things just fall off boats like that? Large things? How does that happen?

That's a neat feeling when you realize you're getting fluent in culture and language. Good job!

AmandaStretch said...

Giggles - Accidentally, yes. Things shift, accidents happen, etc. Not often, but it does!

And thank you!