Sunday, February 20, 2011

First Exploration!

We moved into the apartment on Friday night and by Saturday we had unpacked all of our 6 bags of clothes that we had brought with us. Things are pretty dang empty in here so far, and it definitely doesn't feel very "homey" yet. Correction: The walls are not concrete. This is good. But the place really does look like it was converted from a school. The floors look like the floors throughout my high school, and both bathrooms resemble locker rooms, meaning they have those tiny little tiles all over the floor and up the walls. The place is pretty large- 1200 sq ft. which is much needed with our crazy large dog. At least I don't have to worry about him damaging the floors ;)
On a happier note, there is a TON of freaking storeage in this place. I have more cabinets than I know what to do with, and same goes for closet space throughout the house. I'm sure once we get our shipments from the states we'll have more than we are remembering to fill it up with though! At the moment, we are using government furniture (I think the name describes the look) and some not-very-good pots and pans. I miss my kitchen stuff the most! I did buy my first wall art and area rug though, which I was pretty excited about!

Today we ventured off base for the first time (actually, it was the second. The first time was by accident when we drove waaay past the gate to another base and ended up too far North and very lost. Note to self: if ever lost, find the yankees and follow closely!). We headed over to American Village, which has some American-like shopping and dining. The first stop was at a Jusco which basically was like a Japanese Mall/Walmart/Grocery store all rolled in to one. I was happy to find some nice curtains (the base selection is terrible) and toooooons of places that I wanted to buy some clothes. We ordered some french fries and the McDonalds and were thrilled that they tasted just as they do in the states. Don't ask me why, but I expected a difference. Turf experienced his first encounter with a mini fish market and was completely grossed out at the fish bodies for sale in the same building that sold electronics.
I was actually on the hunt for this fabric store that I had heard about, but we never did find it. The whole place seemed very different from being on base (obviously) and out in town. We almost felt like we were in Disneyland, minus the abundance of rides. We found some of the alcohol we had heard about that has the Habu snake bodies inside, yes- inside!, the bottle. Turf hates snakes a threw a minor tantrum when I tried to buy it. We didn't hang out for too long, but we did walk around most of the village and plan to go back and stay longer in the next couple of weekends.
On our way home, we stopped at a "tropical beach", which was tropical but not the white sand tropical that we just experienced in Cancun. The sand was more coral and shells than actual sand, but the water was clear and blue and there were these tiny little bright blue fish swimming all around the reef that extended past the beach. Pretty cool place, but I'm hoping to see some more beach action in the future.
I had my first awkward run in with some Japanese girls leaving the beach. As we were sitting in our car getting ready to back out of our parking space, this Japanese girl started smiling and waving at me like crazy. I smiled back, turned around to make sure she wasn't waving to someone else, and then waved back. But she didn't stop waving. She stared at me and waved as we were reversing, and her friend came up and started smiling and waving too. I had no idea what was going on, until the second girl started pointing at her head. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I'm pretty sure this was about my hair. They continued to stare as we drove away, me with my nervous smile plastered on my face.
More to come next week!

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