Sometimes I feel very trapped here. Not necessarily in Japan, but to the house. I take the girls to a park in the morning, spend the afternoon at the house (Chloe's nap time), then the evening doing dinner and girls bedtime routine. I don't venture out with the kids because the kids get cranky in the car for very long (or throw up...another deterer for going out) and I don't know how to navigate Japan very well. It may not make sense, but there aren't addresses, street names, or street signs. I take that back, the large streets and tolls do have names but they are far and few between.
For example, I was taking the girls to my friends house 30 minutes away in a neighboring city. Directions go like this: down Ooyakaido until it ends, take a right, look for a blue sign that says museum then take two lights after that, cross railroad tracks, go under a road, pass route one, go under the toll road then take your immediate right, take a left at the toto sign and her place is on the left. That's the way to my friends house. This past week was the first time I did the drive by myself. We'd been once or twice before so I was really nervous. But, I found it and had to keep an eye on a lot of things to make sure I made the right turns getting back.
The other big to do this week was getting my hair done the first time in almost a year. I was hoping to get my hair done in Phoenix before moving, but it didn't happen. So, it's been a really long time. Since moving here my hair has almost always been in a pony tail. A salon had been recommended to me by several of the Americans because it's cheap, the guys speaks pretty good English, and used to own his own salon in LA many years ago. Unfortunately it's a pretty far drive and confusing to boot! I felt I could do it (5 months after moving here) so I made the call. I was so nervous because I can't speak that much Japanese and worried that the person who answered wouldn't be able to speak any English. Luckily, it was the owner and I asked him in Japanese if he spoke English. Yata, he does. So, I made the appointment for later that week. It took 45 minutes to get there (got off track for a few minutes) but I did find it! 5 hours later, I had a permanent straightener and a new hair cut. It felt so good. I feel liberated!
I'm still nervous about going out too far alone, it's so easy to get on the wrong road and then forget which road you were originally on. So, as usual I'll probably be confident just about the time for us to move again. As for pictures of the new hair do, check out my previous post with the most recent picture.