I've been asked several times lately how I am adjusting to life in Japan. My answer is generally I am doing just fine. Kurt has actually been shocked about how easily I've adjusted. That being said, Kurt has been and still is AMAZING.
If he had a regular job at a Japanese company, there is no way that I would be as happy as I am. Kurt's company has an office here in Tokyo, but Kurt's office is out of our home. He occasionally goes into the office for meetings and travels some to visit clients, but he's home a lot. When he's home he generally is the one who takes and picks up the kids from school. This has been a huge help as we've been adjusting to life with a newborn (and during the last month of pregnancy). A lot of times he'll work his schedule around the kids schedule so he can spend time with them. He'll finish replying to all of his emails after the kids' bedtime.
He also does a lot of the shopping, although as Avri's nursing sessions aren't quite as frequent, I'm sure I'll take over more of that responsibility. He helps cook. He cleans the shower. Pretty much he's amazing like I said. I got a good one!
I also strongly believe that our 4-5 years we spent in Union City prepared us for Japan. Most of our neighbors didn't speak English and we were surrounded by so many different cultures, especially Asian. I've said multiple times that it doesn't feel that much different other than now I'm the one that can't read or speak the language.
Things we LOVE about Japan:
- Great friends. We have made some great friends who are in similar situations and can relate to what we're going through.
- Safety. You'd think that living in one of the biggest cities in the world would be scary and have a lot of crime. Strangely, Tokyo or Japan in general, is super safe. I'd feel totally comfortable riding any of the train lines late at nice and walking home by myself.
- Yochien. At first I felt guilty about sending Kelsie to school everyday from 9am-2pm, Monday through Friday, but she LOVES it...and she's picking up Japanese. If we were back in the US, would she have the same schedule? Definitely not, but we couldn't pass up this opportunity. Plus the kid's yochien is amazing.
- Train System. You can get anywhere by train. Sometimes we take taxis because we're lazy, but most of the time they are totally unnecessary. We also are only a two-minute walk from the station which is super nice.
- Food. Yum. Also according to Kurt you can get good cheap sushi. I also love that there are just enough American chain restaurants and international stores to keep me sane.
- Fashion. Now if only I was skinny enough to buy their clothes. (Personal goal before I leave!). Also you can't forget about the "Engrish" clothing. I swear most people don't even know what their clothing says.
- Cute little old Japanese ladies.
And while I'm loving our time here and would miss the great friends we've made so far, if given the opportunity I'd definitely return to California in a heart beat. I think Kurt would like to stay another year or so, but he definitely doesn't want to make Japan our long-term home. It's been hard being far away from family - we've already missed some really big events in Kurt's side of the family in the short time we've been here (Grandpa's funeral, Ryan's wedding, Nick's sealing, etc.). We're looking forward for a 3 week visit in October!
Things we miss about home:
- Driving/Cars. If we wanted to get a car it would cost $500/month just to pay for a parking spot.
- Mountains/Ocean. We can go by train, but who wants to haul all their beach gear on a train?
- Weather. I'm already dying with the humidity.
- Brownie & Cake mixes. I can get them here for $10/box.
- Clothes Dryer.
- Cheap hotels. Hotels here DEFINITELY don't cater to families.
I'm starting to fall asleep now...so it's time to stop blogging. Here's to another 2 1/2 years!