Monday, September 13, 2010

Thinking Back the Last Two Years

What I won't miss from Japan

  1. Driving. It's like driving in downtown traffic all the time.
  2. The kitchen. How can you cram a kitchen, three doorways, and a washer and dryer in a small hallway? Let's not get started on the no dishwasher.
  3. The language barrier, it's hard to have a deep or meaningful conversation when you are limited to fluffy conversation.
  4. Dependency on Eric to accomplish everything (kind of tied to the language barrier)
  5. Being a giant. I didn't buy any local clothes or shoes the last two years. I'm excited about trying on clothes again.
  6. Hanging clothes. We had a dryer, but it sucked since there was no exhaust. So, we only used it when we had to and that didn't always work.
  7. Insanely expensive fruits and vegetables. If you needed produce, you had to take out a second mortgage before going to the store down the street. The last week in Shizuoka Eric wanted some apples. Each one cost 179 yen, that's about $2.12 for one small sized apple. Needless to say, I didn't buy apples that day.
  8. Toll roads. It's expensive to go anywhere in Japan. I think that's one of the reason a lot of Japanese don't travel much within the country.
  9. The loud vehicles that drive through the neighborhood. There is the tofu truck and it's whistle (always at 1:30pm, during Chloe's nap), the recycle shop's loud speakers, and during election time the vans go around blasting information about the person running. It's strange and annoying during nap times.
  10. Humidity
  11. No central AC or heat, makes for a miserable summer and winter. But, glad we had individual ones for specific rooms. Don't go in the hallway, stairs, or bathroom because it's either hot and humid or freezing.
What I will miss from Japan
  1. Etta's preschool. The teachers have been awesome! They've gone far and beyond to make Etta comfortable in school and have bent over backwards on her leaving. Not to mention her classmates and their families. Etta always had playdates at our house or theirs and we even had several family dinners. Not too many American preschools are that involved.
  2. The local produce. We can pick up the in season veggies on the side of the road at umanned stands for a fraction of the grocery store cost and it's fresher. Strawberry season was the best! Since Etta's school is in the heart of strawberry farms, I was able to pick up a pack of strawberries every day for just over a dollar. Shizuoka strawberries are the best I've ever tasted.
  3. The friends I've made. Hopefully moving to Vegas will entice our Japanese friends to come visit.
  4. The amazingly cheap hair cut I can get. Several of the local Americans suggested I get my hair done by a specific guy that lived in the US years ago. I would get it washed, cut, permanently straightened, and styles for about $60. Can't beat that in the states.
  5. The shower/bath tub room, this entire room can get wet and the girls loved it.
  6. Trying out new foods. Either from the grocery store or the restaurants, it was always fun trying and unfamiliar local cuisine.
  7. Being able to bike for most places in Shizuoka.
  8. The ocean. How many people can ride their bikes every day to their kids' preschool alongside the ocean?
  9. Listening to Etta speak in Japanese. It's so darn cute.
  10. Paying bills is easy, just take them to 7/11 and pay at the register.
  11. Taking shoes off upon entering a house, schools, and some restaurants. It can get annoying but it sure does keep everything cleaner. Etta read a book recently and there was a picture of a daddy reading to his little girl, and he was wearing shoes. Etta freaked out. "He's wearing shoes inside!"
  12. Cheap videos and books at Book Off, a second hand book store.
  13. The 100 yen store. It's a bit more than a dollar but they have great stuff! That's where I get all my bento supplies and the kids love looking around too.
  14. Kid entertainment galore!

1 comment:

Vicki said...

I love the list. I can't believe that an apple costs so much, and that you have 7/11s in Japan. :)

When you get back, you should post about anything you think is different from when you left. It would be interesting to hear.