Monday, October 25, 2010

Japanese weather.

About 3 weeks ago, I was complaining because I was literally sweating through the little amount of thin clothing that I had on. Now, I'm whining because it's freezing and I've already had to bust out the winter coat for at night, when 3 weeks ago it was still a balmy 80 degrees after the sun went down.

So, I've encountered that Japan does not have fall. They call it fall, but it literally goes from sweaty, sticky summer to hoodies, fleece jammie pants, always wearing socks and/or slippers in the house (wooden floors get ice cold really fast!) and wool peacoats at nighttime. During the day it's not so bad when the sun is shining, but it's been raining the past few days and it's just cold and dreary and miserable.

I wore my peacoat all day today and didn't sweat. Ayyyeeeee. I have to turn the heaters on in the house. 3 weeks ago, it was air conditioning. I didn't even get that fun "I get to save money because the weather is nice enough without the a/c or the heat" period of weather.

To add the icing on the cake, I'm sick as all get out right now. Drastic weather changes will do that to you! Guhhhh. I want fall.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How different things are...

I'm not talking about the difference between Japan and America, but believe me there are a lot. I actually was just thinking about how I envisioned my future when I was younger and how it is completely different from what I even imagined it would be at various stages of my life.

When I was in middle school, I thought I would be married and have kids by the time I was 22(close to home, I may add). I thought that sounded like a good age because it seemed so far off to a 12 year old kid. 10 years....that's like forever in a kid's timeline. I also thought I would have been done with college and had a career and a house. It all seemed so easily attainable. 

Then when I was in high school, I thought maybe I'd wait to have kids until I was 24. I didn't want to have kids right away at 22, especially since that would only leave me one year of drinking legally. Hey, when you're in high school that seems to be the thing a lot of kids look forward to. Not getting in trouble for drinking. Being able to buy the alcohol. I also thought I'd still go off to college and probably have my own place by the time I was 22. I was still living under my mommy's roof, so it seemed like it was so easy. 

When I graduated high school and moved out of my mom's house for the first time, reality came up and slapped me in the face. Bills were a part of life now. Also paying to feed myself...I never even thought that I'd have to do that! Trying to juggle school and work at the same time, while still having time to be with your friends. Not so easy.

Now that I actually am 24, I look back at the young me and what I thought would happen. I'm 24. I am married and actually have been since I was 22. So I got that part right at least. I'm not planning on kids anytime soon. Maybe when I'm 29-30ish. I don't have a college degree....yet. I'm working on it. I rent a house with my husband. And before renting this house, we rented an apartment. And before that we rented a house. 3 homes in 2 years. We probably won't be buying anytime soon either. We tend to move every 2-3 years. I'm a military wife. Something I vowed I never would be. I always selfishly said I would never wait around for someone all the time. Things definitely change when you fall in love. I'm currently living in Japan, in this 3rd house that we're renting. If you asked me even last year if I would think I would be here, I would have said no. I'm an English teacher. If you asked me 6 months ago if I would be doing that, I would've said no. I'm living alone for the next 10 months while my husband is deployed. If you would have asked me if I would be living alone 3 months ago, I would have said no. 

Things change so quickly. Plans for the future either never happen or get reassembled so that they may fall into place someday. 

So to recap. I'm 24. I'm married, but am living alone for the most part of a year. I move a lot. It's pretty hard to plan a future in the lifestyle we're living. I don't own my own house, not even close actually. I don't have a college degree, but I do hope to have one by the time I return to the US. I don't want kids anytime soon. I'm an English teacher, and I love my job. I'm living in Japan and I love it here too. 

My life is completely different from anything I ever could have imagined it would be. And I have to say, I kind of like it that way. :]

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trying new things....bravely.

I'm going to say it and I don't care who gets upset about it. I hate going on base when I don't have to. What's the point of needing an "American" oasis to feel more "at home" when you're living in JAPAN. C'mon! Put your big people panties/boxers on and deal with it already. Try new things. Have new experiences that you're not going to ever have when you move back to the US. Put on your brave face and just have fun with it! I understand going to base for work. I even understand the people that have children that are school aged wanting to live on base because the schools are right there. But for the rest of my opinion, no excuse. You're wasting your time in Japan by living like an American. I know that you're an American. I am too. But I'm having a heck of a lot of fun learning how to live like the Japanese people do. I learn something new everyday.

Okay, little rant over.

I'm trying something new tonight. I'm coloring my hair. No, that is not new. However, I'm coloring it with Japanese hair dye and all of the instructions are in some form of Hiragana/Katakana/Kanji. I have no clue whatsoever what the instructions say. They are nice enough to include a few little pictures, and I could read that you're supposed to leave it on for 20-30 minutes. So, I'm winging the rest, with the aid of the pictures. It's hair. It's not the end of the world. And I'm really getting tired of having to make a trip to base every time I feel the need to recolor my hair when there are stores that sell hair dye, in the colors that I like, a few blocks from my house out in town. I'm not letting a foreign language stop me! Hahaha. I'll post a picture up when it's all done. :)

Oh, yeah. I can tell I'm becoming more girly as well. In this culture, girls are extremely feminine. I'm not even close to the extreme rating, but I have been buying clothes that are a little more frilly. Shoes that are not just chucks. And paying attention/caring more about the way I look when I leave the house. Eh, I guess it won't kill me to be a girl when I am one.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Inheriting new toys?!

Well, not really. My cell phone is a piece of crap and I'm toning down what I really want to say about it by a mile by calling it a $200 POS.

#1. It shuts off randomly by itself when it's fully charged. Not the biggest deal in the world, but half the time I don't notice that its shut itself off, so I miss calls or texts. Which I'm not the biggest texter or phone conversationalist in the world (kind of pride myself on that), BUT I do need my phone to be on during the week in case someone from work needs to get ahold of me...know what I'm saying? And it's always amusing when I'm having a conversation with someone and it completely shuts off, mid conversation. So not cool. Then I have to wait the 2 stinking minutes it takes for my phone to reboot and hope to god that the person on the other end doesn't think I just hung up on them. Which I have, technically, but not intentionally!

#2. The screen freezes. All. The. Time. It seriously takes at least 2 minutes for my phone to load up new text messages because the screen freezes when I click on the new message alert thing. Again, not a huge deal, but flipping annoying because I paid $200 for this phone 7 months ago and it doesn't work properly!

#3. I have the unlimited internet package on my phone that I pay $60/month for. Since it's a smart phone (pfffft, whoever decided it fit under that category was seriously mistaken), it's the wisest thing to do, instead of letting your phone rack up astronomical amounts per usage. BUT half the time, my phone gives me an error saying it can't connect. Which I could blame on the internet itself, if my husband wasn't right next to me on his We have a family plan, we're under the same service provider. Gah!

So, I wanted the new droid. It's gotten stellar reviews, even better than the *magical* iPhone 4 (which I've heard from the masses that have it....isn't so phenomenal). We went to Akihabara in Tokyo to find it because they don't carry it down here in Yokosuka. We found it. I loved it. Asked the price....$700!! WHATTT?! And that's just for the flippin' phone, none of the service charges. So obviously, I hung my head in shame and walked away. There's no way I'm paying that much for a phone.

But, as luck would have it....a solution to all my troubles (and we save money!!) My husband has an iPhone. He got it when he first got over here in March, for FREE. The catch was that he had to sign a two year contract, with unlimited internet service (duh!). He can't break the contract or he has to pay for the phone. Well, he's leaving in 3 days. His Japanese iPhone technically can work anywhere in the world for large, large sums of money. But we're not going that route, it's not like he's going to be able to call anyone from it anyways when he's deployed. So, we're going to cancel my phone tomorrow. They said I had to have it for 6 months before upgrading/canceling service. I've had it for 7. I'm inheriting DH's iPhone when he's away. Well, it's more like a trade off. I take his iPhone that he completely wipes and he takes my iPod Touch that I completely wipe. Then we start fresh with our new-ish toys. Not new, but new to us, respectively. Then when he gets back in 10 months, he reclaims his phone or gets a new one. I'm kind of hoping the droid will have lost popularity by then and that I can own it for less than half of what it's going for in Tokyo right now. Because I don't even want to spend $350 on a phone.

Everything has a way of working itself to do with the old phone. Run it over? Smash it with a baseball bat? Play kickball with it?.....hmmmm...decisions.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm a slacker.....

I haven't posted in awhile. And I couldn't commit to the Meme, so it's vanished! I'm going to write about things I want to write about, not things I have to sit there and think of answers for. If you know me....slacking is nothing new! I'm a procrastinator in the finest.

My husband is leaving in 4 days for 10 months. It's definitely a bummer. But thankfully I have a job that I enjoy that will keep me busy while he's gone. And hopefully I will be going to see him in California in 3 months before he deploys to the big sandbox. AND I'm going to the modeling fair on base this weekend. It would be pretty cool if I got signed with an agency over here, no? Not saying that it's going to happen. But it would be fun. I'm also trying to find projects/things that will eat up my time while he's gone. I'm going to be sprucing up the house a bit. Completely redoing the master bedroom so it looks like we're adults of some sort. And organizing! If you just guffawed at me, well I can't blame you. But I can say, whenever I have lived alone, I have a spotless house. No lie. Because I get so damned bored that I wind up cleaning. It might prove a little difficult since half of the stuff are things that aren't mine. But I'm going to try my best to get everything all neat and orderly.

I should also probably work on my Japanese. I know enough to get by (i.e. survival Japanese), but I haven't really pushed any farther, and that is my solely my fault. They're just so accommodating here, with having English menus at restaurants, having English at the train seems like it's everywhere. So I've been lazy and haven't really even tried to learn. And I want to learn! So I should probably take that up as one of my things to occupy my time.

I have some goodies from America coming soon. Things that you can't find over here. Or, if you did, the prices would be astronomical, because of them being imported and all. I love when I get goodies in the mail. It's like Christmas in summer! My mom is the best for sending me packages of the things I buy online and have sent to her house, since most places won't ship to FPO. Which really grinds my gears, because it costs the same if they were shipping it to California. We have a California zipcode, for crying out loud. But nope. Arrrghhh. That's the one downside to being over here. Besides missing my family and friends, of course.