First let me explain that though Italy was my first choice, Japan (especially the location of this particular base) comes in at a very exciting second. I am Italian by blood and I mean that my father and uncle are full-blooded Italian citizens so naturally my heart calls to Italy. But I love all things Japanese and I love the city. I love sushi and geisha's and bento boxes and kimonos and Sakura trees and chopsticks and saki and shopping. Even though Japan is made up of so much more than just those things, I am so very excited and lucky that Hayden will be able to remember Japan and enjoy the lifestyle for a little while. He will be 2 1/2 - 5 1/2 years old while we live in Japan.
So my agenda is as fallows in preparation for Japan:
- Learn Japanese! Seems simple enough, right? (haha)
- Get a copy of my birth certificate and get a passport. I have never lived anywhere but the U.S. so I've never owned a passport before. How cool will it be to put Japan as one of my first destinations on it?
- Do a lot of research on customs and whatnot so I don't perform any social faux pas. (I'll learn mostly from experience just living there and all, but it doesn't hurt to brush up beforehand.
I will continue this list when it becomes more apparent what needs to be done. Right now I'm trying to focus on packing up the remainder of my stuff and organizing it the best that I can so that when I cram all this junk into storage, I can pull out things as I need them while I'm living with my parents. Now that we know where we're going once Sam graduates from Korea, we can actually trim down the amount of items we have. Some kitchen stuff is staying, we might sell the washer and dryer since we probably won't need it (hopefully on base housing provides those) I'm tossing a bunch of old clothes that I have been saving as my "skinny" clothes but in all honesty I don't think I'll ever be a size 6 again and I don't think plaid mini-skirts are very mom-esq. I used to be a "freak" or whatever you called the kids who wore black clothes and black lipstick all the time. I liked to consider myself a "goth" but really, I just liked mini skirts and big boots. But ::shrug:: those days are somewhat behind me now. (I still wear below-the-knee skirts, every single day, and I love it). But American goth is nothing like the Harajuku Fashion in Tokyo.
I'm not very good at making friends off the bat. I've always acquired my friends through other people, namely my husband, because when we got together (back in the Devonian Age it seems like) his friends were more wholesome than mine. I had a tendency for attracting some unsavory characters in my life. My 3 besties, Christa, Liz, and Tanya, were introduced to me through other people. I managed to keep them close to me with my winning personality (naturally) but if you asked me 16 years ago to walk up and introduce myself all willy nilly out of the blue, I would have never made friends. The ones I did make that way... they turned out to be really awful and nasty people. So, in my defense, if we are friends, it's probably because you knew Sam first and Sam has a better judge of character than myself. Now to the point, the reason I started this ramble, is that since I will be in Japan all by lonesome, I will be forced to actually make friends myself, and it terrifies me. I was joking with Sam that maybe, before we go out at night, I'll take a shot or two of saki and just wander around Tokyo meeting people while I'm tipsy. I make friends easy when I'm drunk. Haha. This could work!
One thing I really need to gird my loins for is the very real possibility of Sam being deployed while we are stationed in Tokyo. And since he hasn't been deployed yet, the possibility is more a probability at this point. We could live there for a month and them be all like, "Hey, you. DESERT!" and then I will be where? Oh, 14 hours ahead of the U.S. and 7000ish miles (from Miami to Tokyo) away from everyone I know and love. All alone. Gunna need A LOT of Saki.
I have been doing tons of research since we found out. I tell Sam all the time about the things I've read about Japan and the culture and lifestyle. He always laughs. I guess to him, Korea is the first big adventure with Japan in second. One thing I learned about PCSing to Yokota AFB is the possibility of getting a larger place if we have a pet. I need to look into it, but I think a puppy is in our future! I'm just so excited that I could crawl out my skin and wear it like a mink shawl!
Please feel free to ask any questions or give us any moving advice (or even better, moving-out-of-the-country advice). We appreciate any life experiences that anyone will share with us!