Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day one of our lives in Japan...

Well, I was supposed to move to Japan in July but found out in late May that because one of my dogs is a Pug, we had to fly before June 1st. So, within two weeks, I had my ticket and was ready to fly to Japan. It killed me to pull my crying son from my crying parents' arms. I had to go through security at the airport sobbing and barely able to speak. Then I get on a plane and some jerk decides to inform me that there is nothing special about my husband being on the GW or the fact that I am moving to a foreign country with a toddler and two dogs. Needless to say, the idiot didn't know who he was picking a fight with and before we took off, I had told him to go to Hades and even drew him a map! Everyone else on the plane gave me the sympathy that I needed, but not this schmuck!!! :angry5: After I pulled my size 9 out of his butt, we took off and managed to arrive in DC with no problems.

Well, at least the plane had no problems. I was trying to be the overly efficient mother flying alone and decided that we didn't need a stroller. :tard: Fortunately, I found these straps that convert the airplane seat into a 5-point harness. So, I just had a carry-on with wheels and a sleeping child along with my backpack and his diaper bag. Would you believe not one person offered to help me once I was off the plane??? I guess that is the mentality of our wonderful capital city. Once we were ready to board the plane for Tokyo, I was worn out. Michael settled right in with his baby movie (portable DVD player) and soon fell asleep. Well, I thought I would be able to fall asleep but every time I would nod off, I had images of that movie with Jodie Foster where her child disappeared. (I never saw the movie so little did I know the truth.) My child is very vocal and would cry out if someone tried to grab him, but that didn't help my situation. Nor did having to pee in a small restroom with a sleeping child. Sometimes he would wake up and I would maneuver him so he could stand between my legs. This was especially fun because he was able to give a play by play of everything I did for those standing outside. :oops:

Once we landed in Tokyo, we easily made it down to the line for customs. Because we were military and moving to the country, we got in a much shorter line. I must say this was my first positive experience with an airport worker. They really do take customer service seriously. Then, we went downstairs to get our luggage and would you believe that there are porters at each carousel? They had the dogs on a luggage cart and my other four suitcases and car seat on another and were waiting for me. They helped me push the carts to the Pet Customs area and then my escort took me to his friends line and we just blew through and out into the lobby. I must say that I was feeling like a Queen at this moment. My sponsor was there and grabbed the cart from the man and we headed to the big van he rented for us. It began to rain, which is typical for Japan in the summer, and we quickly loaded up and began our journey to our new home. I arrived at the Navy Lodge and was greeted by two friends. They, along with my sponsor, helped me get everything up to the room. While I took a moment to use the restroom, the rest of the welcoming committee showed up. Apparently, word got around that the President of the FRG had arrived and everyone wanted a piece of me. (I guess I forgot to tell y'all that I was elected as the President of our FRG shortly before coming to Japan.) The next day, several of the other wives that were already here had a luncheon for me. There was a new Chili's restaurant next to the Lodge and that is where we met. It was thrilled with my reception. Everyone got together just to meet me! Michael quickly became aware that he was receiving a lot of attention from the staff, as they were all Japanese. After we had eaten our lunch, Michael decides to play with the wait staff. They took him around the restaurant and just entertained him. Well, one of the girls had to ring up her table's ticket and couldn't give Michael the attention he wanted. So, he smacked her in the butt! This made everyone laugh and so the other girls began letting him do the same to them. After my heart started working again, I jumped up from the table and swooped him up and ran to the restroom. Several of the waitresses ran after me and were apologizing for Michael's behavior. Being the smart child that he is, he began telling me "It's Ok Mommy, they let me do it." In that split second, I learned that my son now had the upper hand and just learned how to place the blame elsewhere. My son quickly became a hero with the men at our table and took a victory lap receiving high-fives from them. He was two days short of becoming three and just learned how to become a chauvinist pig! I have the waitress a $20 tip and quickly retreated back to the Lodge. Once back in our room, I called my parents to relay the story and though sobs, I could hear them laughing, especially my father. It was then that I learned that no matter what I do, my son is part of the male species. :cry:

Country Life

Read this slowly. You might even need to reread some parts several times. I've made the font size bigger to help as well. I had a hard time reading the preview.

Well, we had a pretty good weekend. It started with Mike letting me sleep in and then we went to a Fall Festival at a friend's church. We stopped and got some lunch and mailed off my camera to be fixed. I was so proud of myself because I only ate half of my sub. I'm trying to eat half portions at each meal and so far I have lost 8.4 pounds.

So much for a nice happy afternoon. Peanut fell asleep when we were on our way home so I suggested we go grab a few pumpkins and some hay since my parents decided to come visit next weekend. We picked out three pumpkins and then tried to find some hay. I asked the people at the pumpkin patch where they got theres and the "Pumpkin Guy" suggested his friend out in the country. It's $4 a bale. Not to bad I figure, then came the directions. "Pumpkin Guy" called his friend to see if he still had bails of hay and handed the phone to Mike. So "Hay Guy" gave Mike directions on the cell phone while Pumpkin Guy gave them to me. It started with, you know that road that runs down behind the park? It winds around and goes up and down a few hills. At the bottom of the second hill, take a right and follow that road until you see a church on the left and then take a right off the paved road. :shock: OFF THE PAVE ROAD??? This is where it got fun. I swear I heard dueling banjos. Hay Guy told Mike to follow the dirt road and it's really curvy, like a black water snake. :shock: AGAIN, HUH??? I'm a city girl, speak in plain english! Thank God I married a farm boy from Texas. He knew exactly what they were saying. I'm about to pull out my Japanese dictionary and look for a translation at this point. Back to the directions, when you come to the second trash can, take a right. What he meant by trashcan was a city dumpster. :shock: Apparently when you live off an unpaved road, you have dumpsters scattered around. There are no road names at this point, but there are clumps of mailboxes with numbers that apparently correspond to the many trailers left to rot on this huge open field. The only reason the roads are dirt is because of the tire tracks. I guess you pick a spot, take the wheels off your home and drive your pick-up truck up and down a path to make your road. :? Ok, back on the quest for hay for my front yard. Well, I saw several trashcans and clumps of mailboxes. Hay Guy told Mike that his mailbox had metal letters on the mailbox. So, we continue to drive down the dirt path looking for metal letters on a mailbox. Lo and behold, there are dogs laying in the dirt right in our path. They raise their heads up and look at Mike like, You want me to move??? The banjos continued to play only a bit louder. So, the dogs finally moved and the dog with three legs, I named him Lucky, started chasing us down the road. Mike is not alarmed by this but I am freaking out. I figured if we hit him, he will never walk again because he doesn't have a spare leg at this point, right? Lucky leaves us alone after a half mile and we pick up a new pack of dogs. These dogs have the road blocked and are barking at us and charging at the front of my truck. Did I mention they are pit bull dogs? Mike slowly eased the truck through them and I swear one of them bit the bumper. Well, we found the mailbox with the metal letters and turned down yet another dirt road even worse than the last and encountered little boys with plastic guns. I've read about these communes were the children are the sentries while the adults have the real weapons inside aimed at you. Well, we thought it was the right place but the little sentries kept aiming this plastic guns at us and I told Mike to get the hell out of Deliverance! I was half expecting to see a hillbilly clan come out and surround our truck. I grab my cell phone and we have no signal. Again, the banjos are getting louder! We circle around a tree and leave. We retrace our steps and finally decide that had to be the right spot. So we go back and the little sentries chase us down and tell Mike that their Pappy said to come get you. I look at Mike and tell him I love him and start eating the other half of my sub so I will have enough energy to fend off any inbred monster that tries to take over my truck or harm my sleeping child. Mike comes back smiling and said that this is the place and I see Grandpa Walton come out and direct us to his barn which is hidden behind his trailer. We load up five bales of hay and are about to leave when Peanut wakes up and says, Horse mommy. Ride the horse. As Mike is coming around, Grandpa Walton says to Mike, I bet I have made something on my farm that you have never had. At this point the banjos are so loud I have a splitting headache, still no signal on my phone (DAMN T-MOBILE) and forsee a drinking game involving homemade hooch. To my surprise he tells Mike he makes homemade syrup. Whew, I signed so loud I think the earth reversed its rotation. So, we buy a quart of homemade syrup and Mike takes Peanut to the fence to pet the horse. Grandpa Walton invited us to come back in a few weeks to watch him make the next batch of syrup and drink some sugar cane juice. He also told us to come back and visit when we return from Japan and he would have his friend, Peanut Hay Guy, get us some peanut hay which is the best for growing tomatoes. Needless to say, the dogs had accepted our presence and let us leave unscathed. I wonder how next weekends plans will top yesterday.

Hugs and best wishes to everyone.