29 April 2013

Interesting Signs and Products Found in Japan (February and March 2013)

You asked for it, so here it is.  A whole post of weird, funny, unique, and sometimes troublesome signs and products from Japan.  This won't be the end of it either, I plan on including these in my monthly recaps in the future.

Bathrooms deserve their own post, but I couldn't resist with sharing this now.  Below you will find something I found in a bathroom stall. Similar to a hand sanitizer dispenser, this is clearly a little more special.  According to instructions, a little cherub coming in, ripping off some toilet paper, spraying it with this Purelet dispenser and cleaning the toilet seat with it.  It's quite deceiving.  In real life, no little angel flew it to help me out.

One of the first silly signs I saw here.  At first glance, it just looks like a dog sad because it's not allowed to run on the track.  Not so, this poor little mutt is sad because it has a chicken wing as a leg, and CAN'T run.  Poor pup.

Vending machines.  Everywhere.  It's something I looked forward to when moving here.  We haven't found anything too 'out there' yet, mostly hot & cold beverages, cigarretts, phone cards, and ice cream.  But if you look closer, you will very often find a can of creamed corn along side the beverages.  It's served hot.  And no, we haven't tried it (yet).

Where can you find one of those creamed corns you ask?  Simply one of the many vending machines located at your nearest street.  Tommy Lee Jones will be there, on the front of the machine, posing like a BOSS.  There are lots of American celebrities on advertisements here...and they are always at least a little on the strange side.  You'll see.

Gargling fountain.  Weird at first, right?  But once you try it, GENIUS!!! Seriously.  We found this at the aquarium, and after eating lunch and spending a few hours walking around, we all had that dry stale mouth.  Until we used the gargle fountain.  Simply turn it on by placing pressure on the step, and something that sort of looks like water, but isn't shoots out like a water fountain.  I would describe it as mouthwash, but it tasted completely different than what we are use to.  Gargle for a few seconds and then spit it out.  It was AMAZING how it perked all of us up.  Why don't more places have this!?

I love the packaging here. I don't think I'll ever stop loving it.  It's not just the packaging, but the little cartoony characters on it.  For example, here's a cat, cleaning out it's own litter.  It's also the most unique cat litter I've ever seen, we'll have to give it a try one day and see what Sammy thinks.

I believe this was the first time I've been to a 'ticket' restaurant.  This one is a small chain on the island called Ramen Kagetsu Arashi, or more commonly known simply as Arashi.  When you walk in the door, you are greeted by a vending machine.  These are your choices to order.  No real detailed explanation on them, enough is in English to sort of figure out what you want.  The pictures help too.  I'll do a little review over at Kacey's Kitchen at some point, but thought it was interesting to share with you.  You insert your money, choose what you want, and a little ticket prints out.  You go find yourself a table and hand your ticket to the waiter.

At another Japanese fast food place, I enjoyed their descriptions of spicy levels.  BTW, Japanese sit down fast food is waaaay better than in the states.

Thanks to the commissary, we do get the food comforts of back home, but I was still surprised to see this hot sauce from my home state of New Jersey.  I've never seen it in a commissary back in the US, so I wonder why it's here.  

Here we go with the American celebrity advertising.  Leonardo DiCaprio holding a GIANT glass of Jim Beam filled to the brim.  I mean, there's so much booze in there the ice cubes won't even fit.  Stay classy Leo.

It's sunny here, so why wouldn't you buy a hat for your cat.  No joke.  These are cat sized hats made for cats.

Okay, I'm not sure about this one.  Obviously if you have hats for cats, you should have shirts for dogs.  Obviously.  But I'm curious, is this a fad everywhere that I've missed?  Do they sell/display dog shirts like this in other countries?

After your done shopping for Fido, make sure you don't leave in him the elevator.  Don't worry though, there are signs to remind you.  Watch out for your jump rope too!!!

Cats are loved here, except when they aren't.  Don't want a stray marking his territory all over your garden?  Simply line the area with this spikey plastic mat, aka cat repellent.  It'll make them cry.

And as a reminder, please leave the hermit crabs where they belong.

The real winner of this post is this.  A handful of friends have received these already as gifts from me, but we all still can't figure out what it really is or WHY.  WHY. WHY.  Wait, maybe we don't want to know.  No, it's not a condom.  It's a self inflating goose with adhesive to go over your cloths. The real question is why the fuck is there that creepy dude on the packaging.

Well, hope you enjoyed this catch up of weird shit.  The month end is coming up, so I'll be doing another roundup, this time, of all things April soon.  Stay in touch!

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27 April 2013

Random Things We've Been Up To (February & March)

I have so many pictures of things we have done and seen that I would love to share, but I've been thinking of how to do that without doing a whole blog post on each individual thing.  Maybe like a monthly round up of our highlights and fun things?  That might work.  Seeing that we are closing in on the month of April, let me catch up now with some highlights of our life in Japan for February and March.

I'm going to do a separate post for snacks, signs, and other products I've found, so keep an eye out for that soon!  Of course, restaurants and food will be found over at Kacey's Kitchen

Here's our February and March Japanese happenings.

Our welcome sign we were greeted with when arriving to the terminal.  No pictures of our actual welcome group but I spoke a little about it here.  I didn't take pictures because I was too busy being frantic inside my head figuring out how to get straight to our hotel room instead of socializing after our 26ish hour flight.  That's right, we are social butterflies.

I was excited to find one of the nicer fish markets in the area.  This place gets deliveries every morning from all over the Pacific and brings them into the store fresh from the boat.  I plan to do a blog post on this, so for now, you get a picture of me catching a big one!  They have tons of these wood cut out picture opp things.  Are they actually called something?

Right across from a great produce market is often and out door plant sale. Anything from bonsai to herbs to trees you can find here!

I found my first geocache with a new friend here.  Her and her husband go all the time to find new places to explore on the island.  We weren't able to find our first one, but were successful on our second location.  You can see how tiny it is compared to my finger.  Tricky, Tricky!

I do a lot of general exploring, especially by myself.  Usually it starts out trying to find a new store or market and then wandering around the neighborhood aimlessly. It's the best way to explore in my opinion.

We supported our local roller derby team in March.  They play in various locations, but here they skated in a fighter jet hanger on base.  That's pretty awesome.  I miss my team back in Florida a ton, especially watching other people.  Still undecided though on joining up with their volunteers.

 The first weekend we were here, we went with friends to Pizza in the Sky, which deserves its own post.  But they had beautiful gardens and tons of Shisa (lion dogs).  These mythical creatures are believed to protect homes/businesses from evil spirts.  They are often found in pairs, one on either side of the doorway or roof.  One has a closed mouth (keeping good spirits in) and one has an open mouth (to keep bad spirits away).  They are really interesting, and there are so many variations of them.  I wouldn't mind getting some small ones at some point.

I can't even remember the last time I dyed easter eggs, but we had a nice dinner and dying party with friends a few weeks ago.  Lots of competition over the best egg.

Here's the couch I was talking about the other day.  Total big kid couch.  The pillows are all discombobulated because they literally just put it all together when I snapped this photo.  See, the tags are still on it.  Speaking of pillows, those are metallic silver pillows that came with it.  Amazing!!!!  And that ottoman, how dumb that it was a huge selling point to me, but I love it.  It's on wheels and opens up for storage.  Man, this couch is huge too, it's almost 10 feet long on both sides, which is awesome to lay on and watch movies.

More exploring. We took a trip down to Naha (the largest city here) and walked around the famous (touristy) Kokusai Street.  Here's a picture of Heiwa Dori (Peace Street) marketplace, just off of Kokusai.  The marketplace was definitely our favorite, with more variation of shops, and an amazing fish and meat market.  We plan on going back to the market. A very nice man working there asked if we spoke English (his English was excellent) and thanked us for being here.  He explained that we could buy any of the fish we saw and bring them upstairs to have one of the restaurants cook it for us.

I can still coupon here. At the commissary at least.  Of course, we don't get the newspaper or anything, so couponers here rely on people back home sending them to us.  The commissaries and exchanges overseas allow us to use coupons that are up to 6 months expired.  There are lots of programs and groups back home that mail bulk coupons to our family readiness center, and from there we are able to go and pick up envelopes or boxes of coupons.  Before we moved here, I would also send my expired coupons overseas.  Of course, you can also send your high value coupons directly to me *wink wink*.

Man, they love their arcades here. Arcades EVERYWHERE. And they aren't your typical arcades.  Maybe I should do a whole post on them as well.  Asides from games, they have these really fun photo booths.  After it takes your picture, it enhances your features and colors, making the photos really pop.  It widens your eyes and makes your lips and eye color really bold while lightening your skin.  Then you can go and edit the photos with words, borders or embellishments.  We may or may not have taken photos in this booth, and Aaron may or may not look prettier than me in the photos.

Found a number of fabric shops in the area.  There are some pretty good ones.  The prices are reasonable.  Think JoAnns or Hancock but without the sales.  I've been having a hard time deciding what to buy.  These were all so fun, but I didn't buy any of these. Ha!

When I first got here, I joined our squadron spouses crud team. Crud is a game made up by drunk fighter pilots played on a pool or snooker table.  It's a competitive, confusing, and frantic game played with teams.  Go google and you tube it.  It doesn't make any sense, and depending on who you play with, the rules are different.  Every year a tournament is held.  We were all newbies this year, and we thought we were more prepared then it showed.  We were the first team out, and I was the first person to 'die' on my team.  That was almost 2 months ago now and it's still driving me nuts.  Seriously. My name was 'ACE'.  I could have done better than that.  But it was an awesome way to meet people, and super fun to play.

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18 April 2013

Home Sweet Home - Moving in, Again

Well, it's been 2 months since we have arrived in Japan, and it has flown by in record time.  Since we've been here for so long, I thought it was about time to share with you our house hunting experience.
The following pictures are a mixture of photos taken during our initial walk through before we accepted the house and the day we moved into the house and got our HHG shipment.

The Tuesday after we arrived (We arrived Friday) we stood in line at the housing office to get into their first meeting.  What we weren't told is that it's a group meeting held at 8:30am, so really, no need to rush.  At this meeting we were given a copy of our application (we had applied for housing before we arrived even though it didn't go into effect until the day we LEFT our last duty station - this is good to know since housing is on a first come first serve basis).  We also found out during this meeting that we were NOT authorized to live on base.  Major bummer here folks.  We were trying not to get our hopes up even though we had been hearing for months that the base housing is full and everyone who has wanted to has been able to live off base.  Housing is provided based on rank, dependent status, and when you filled out your application.  Single military members are required to live off base here - basically why have one person utilize and ENTIRE house.  According to a procedure they put in place the prior week, if our base OR a base next to us is under 95% capacity, we are required to live on base.  At the time of our meeting, our base was 99% full and our neighboring base was 93% full, requiring us to live on base.


People who arrived the week prior and the week after us were able to live off base.  

We asked the people at housing a couple of times to explain it to us, and we realized there was no use in arguing, it's just the way it worked out.
We really, REALLY can't complain though. We have a really large house (which is actually my biggest complaint, and yes, I know how strange that sounds), it's in a nice neighborhood, convenient for work, and it's new and modern and clean.

After our Tuesday meeting we were told they would review our application and give us a call in a few days.  We were called that afternoon and given 2 houses to look at as soon as possible.  We hassled some folks for rides again (still didn't/couldn't have a car at this point) and took a look at both locations. The first one was actually neighboring our friends house, was really nice, big, and close by everything (the commissary, work, the exchange, etc..).  We checked it our and headed over to our other option.
The second house was almost the same exact house as the first one, but every room was about 2 feet smaller.  It was still huge compared to what we are use to.  The major selling points to this house was how out of the way it was.  The only cars that drive through this neighborhood are those people who live here.  It's up on a hill, so we have a little view of the town off base and some view from our bedroom of mountains and such.  There aren't many playgrounds around, and just some elementary schools off in the distance.  Our backyard in this house is actually elevated from the neighboring buildings, so pesky little bastards children won't trespass wander into our property.  The first neighborhood was really busy, with lots of school zones, and high school and middle school kids wandering about, and you could see the house from the main road.  We really liked the privacy of the second location - for being off base, it's sort of off the beaten path, which we really enjoy.  It's also pretty quiet, bonus!
So we called in the morning to accept the 2nd house.  It was either that day or the next that we were able to meet with our housing counselor and sign everything that needed to be signed.  We picked up our keys are were allowed to move in Friday morning.  Since our HHG (Household Goods) arrived about a month before we did, all we had to do was schedule a delivery date.  Our counselor was kind enough to do that for us, which was awesome cause she got on the phone, spoke a ton of Japanese, and scheduled delivery for the morning we moved in. AWESOME!  Asides from having all our stuff, it meant that we didn't have to deal with government furniture, which is furniture the government loans and delivers you until your stuff arrives.  It's a great free service they offer, and would have been glad to take it if needed, but it was nice not to have to bother with extra deliveries and pickups.  It also meant that after 7 months, we were able to sleep in our own bed.....holy shit....that thing felt like a fucking cloud that day....
The movers were awesome. They showed up during their scheduled arrival 'window', and were in and out of there in an hour, and asked me numerous times if I wanted them to unpack everything for us.  
The moving company was a local one, and I got my first experience of how polite the locals are when they enter your home.  We had 3,774 lbs of stuff shipped over (total of HHG and UB), which sounds like a lot of weight, but really isn't, we were authorized over 12,000 lbs.  I can't even imagine owning that much stuff!!!!  Anyway, 3 guys carried my 3,774 lbs of boxes out of our 4 crates, to our door, unwrapped anything that was wrapped, carried it all inside to the room I directed them.  As they did this, I had my handy dandy copy of inventory, and checked off each and every box number that came in. Even though everything was in crates, I did this.  One of our crates had been opened and inspected (I know this because the seal was broken).  It was also easier to tell what was in the boxes by looking at the inventory.
Each and every time one of the workers came into my home, they removed their shoes.  I actually didn't even notice it at first, because they were so quick about it, never missing a step.  They literally got to the door, and stepped right out of them.  On their way back out, stepped right back in.  Communicating with them wasn't difficult at all.  The guy in charge spoke English pretty well, and the other 2 guys seemed to understand me most times.  If they didn't, they just went to work unloading the truck until they could verify with their boss what it was I wanted.  Never once did they stop to chat, rest, or take a break.  I was pretty impressed by how strong these guys were, for being smaller then me....they were carrying stacks of boxes in and up the stairs, dressers over their shoulders, mattresses like they were pillows.
We even thought we were missing a box at the end labeled 'parts'.  It was on the inventory, but I didn't recall having a parts box.  The guys went through the entire house twice, looking at each and every box to make sure we didn't miss it.  We filed some paperwork to say it was missing, but I came to realize that it never existed.  Most people probably have one, our initial packers probably just wrote it first on the inventory sheet, and I just overlooked it, since it was waaaay at the top of the page.
I gave the guys some Coke, which they seemed to really appreciate, signed a bunch of stuff, and they were gone.  *POOF* Not one scrap of paper or garbage remaining.  Like I said, they seemed to really want to unpack me, but I've never had movers do that, and I don't think I will, even though it is part of their job.  Yes, it would be really nice to be rid of all the boxes and packing paper, but I couldn't live with piles of shit just laying all over the house.  I need to put stuff away (even if temporarily) while I unpack.

As you can see, we have tons of storage space in this house.  Including that giant ass closet right in the middle of our living room.  Also, we have a little "Harry Potter" room/closet under our stairs, directly in front of the bathroom.
My favorite part is how clean it is, and how many windows there are.  In our living room, we have an absurdly large sliding glass door to the back yard. Yay!

Is it even right of me to complain about too much space and too much storage?  I know, first world problems for sure.  It just seemed so empty, and neither one of us really wants to own more stuff...so the challenge is to make it cozy without filling it up with crap.
These houses were really built with families with kids in mind, which then, the size would make sense.  The 8 closets plus 2 outside storage rooms would make sense. 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms would make sense.  It just happens this is what we were authorized also, and it was available.  It's really nice, and for having to live on base, I'm so glad we were able to secure a home on our base, our neighborhood, and how clean it is.  It almost seems like we are the only people who have lived here, I can't even imagine how hard the cleaning crews work.
Since taking these pictures, we have acquired some more furniture.  A king size bed for one, which is awesome.  We have been talking about getting one for a while, but with moving around and hoping on getting off base, we weren't sure if we could fit one anywhere.  We put our queen in the spare room, which will be awesome now for guests...no more air mattresses or couch sleeping.  Damn...we are like real live grownups now!
We also ended up....oh shit....here's another grown up thing we got.......we bought a sectional.  For real.  I actually have always hated sectionals, but saw this one at the Foster (a Marine base nearby) furniture store and fell in love.  I'll show you some pictures another time.  It's a monster, but it comes all apart, and has one of those giant ottomans (with storage inside) that everyone can put their feet on.  It's big and gray and has metallic pillows(!!!) and we love it.  I really like how big it is, that you can fit a whole bunch of adults on it and no one feels cramped or right up next to each other.
We were temporarily missing 2 things when we got our stuff.  We couldn't for the life of us find our bed frame screws.  I know I put them somewhere safe that I wouldn't forget.  We picked up 2 screws for free at Eagle Hardware (a free self-help store on base that supplies you with things like screws, air filters, light bulbs  etc. Things needed for base housing that residents can do themselves instead of calling maintenance).  The next day, I found the screws.  They were with our tools.  The same tools we'd need to use to tighten the screws.  Derp-Derp.  The other thing that we didn't find for almost 2 months was our darts.

We had them in Altus, and packed them last...so that narrowed down where they were significantly, but we still couldn't find them.  It was driving me INSANE that I couldn't remember there these were. I bought some more at the Exchange just to hold us over, and then one day not too long ago I was sitting on the couch and it dawned on me.  I blurted out "THEY'RE IN THE GUITAR CASES!!!"  Sure enough, in the pocket of the guitar case were both sets of darts.  Phew!  Crises solved.
We moved our love seat up into the office, and still have our red couch in the living room.  I'd love to show you, but asides from being completely unpacked in 2 days and buying a bed and couch...our home hasn't gotten much better looking.  I shop either on base, in town, or online nearly everyday but still can't even agree with myself what kind of curtains to buy for the office, never mind decorate anything else.  We haven't hung pictures on the wall yet because at first we thought we'd paint a wall or two, then nixed that idea, then brought it back and nixed it again, and we don't know if we are going to do shelves over the couch or just hang the frames.  Should I re-order photos larger. I don't know.  Do you think John & Sherry from Young House Love will made a trip to Okinawa to help me out?  After all, I did support them on their book tour by purchasing their $15 book.  It's only fair, right?  Maybe I should at least present them with the invitation here.

As you can see, Sammy enjoyed exploring all our stuff.  She was all 'mind blown' when we put here in the spare room while the movers were here, and when she comes out it's like Cat-Disneyworld with all the boxes.  I enjoyed unpacking, and putting stuff away (most of it is staying where it was first put which is always awesome).  It's funny when you live without your stuff for half a year and finally see it, you don't even want half of it.  We did without all this fine...so now what should we do with it all?  Yikes!  I wanted to start downgrading after the first box was opened!

Anywho...I've been thinking a lot about this blog, and how frequently/infrequently I have been posting lately. I have lots of photos of things we've been doing here, and things I think you'll find interesting, I've just been busy going out and exploring and taking those photos, that I haven't spent much time blogging about it.  I am though, going to put in a little more effort to blog on a more regular basis...hopefully enough to keep you all here and entertained.

One thing I'd like to ask from you is....what are you interested to know about our life in Japan???  Are you curious about food? The 'military life'? Do you want photos of poorly translated signs and menus?  Explorations and activities? Really....I would love to know what you want to know!  Leave me a comment below.

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01 April 2013

Cars and Driving in Japan

Driving in Japan. Is. Interesting.
I was actually shocked it only took me a couple times driving off base to feel comfortable.  Now, driving on the other side of the road like a lunatic seems completely normal.  Maybe I'm good at crazy driving, who knows.  The drivers don't seem so crazy anymore.  Deep down, I know they still are though.

Having a car here is pretty important.  There's really no way to get around it, even if you plan on staying on base forever (Ew).  Unlike our last few bases, this one is so large that there's no way you'd be able to walk every place you need to go.  Some people might be able to get around with a bike...but it rains and rains HARD here, so you at least need a car for back up.

We sold our cars back home before we left, and once arriving in Japan, we had to bum rides EVERYWHERE for almost a week.  It's something everyone has to do here, and lots of people offer you rides, but it was seriously taking a toll on me.  I hadn't needed to ask for a ride since before I had my license, and I hated having to rely on other people to bring us to required in processing appointments.  It all worked out, and many many "thank yous" were said (and meant) over and over again.

Coming in as a military member and dependent, we had a little process of acquiring our own wheels.  First, we had to take a drivers license test at the newcomers orientation the Wednesday after we arrived (Day 6 of no car).  The test was easy peasy...they showed us some videos to scare us into driving conservatively and went over Japanese rules and laws, and taught us what the signs meant (remember - no English on the road signs!).  Everything on the test was something they went over.

Some interesting highlights include:
  • There is an unofficial "3 car rule" that locals partake in.  Once a light turns red, it's very common for 3 or so cars to continue driving through the intersection.  If you have the green light, and drive through the intersection, and someone hits you because THEY ran the red light...you are still partially at fault because you should have made sure the intersection was clear.
  • SOFAstatus members are considered professional drivers by Japan.  That means you have more responsibility on the road (i.e. steeper fines, and more severe penalties).
  • No left turns on red.
  • The roads are made of corral and are very slippery.  It is common to slide/skid even when the roads are not wet.
After we obtain our drivers license (immediately after you take the test), you are legally allowed to purchase a car.  Most people here buy used cars off of someone who is leaving the island. You just need something that is going to get you around the island, pass inspection, and last 3 years or however long you are stationed here until you sell it to someone moving in.  

There are a few places to find cars.  Online (Okinawa Yard Sales), at a dealership, and 'lemon lots' on base where cars are left with contact information for the owner.  We checked out a bunch at the lot, and ended up finding the silver 2004 Mazda Verisa (pictured above) on there for $4,200.  It was in really great shape and reliable, and the owner took great care of it. It's sort of funny because it's very similar looking to the Mazda we just sold in the states.  We were able to buy it within a week of us getting here, and it was a huge stress relief to finally have our own car.

A few weeks later a friend gave us the heads up on a car for sale advertised on Facebook.  A pink Toyota Vitz asking $500 obo (not a typo).  We called about it, met the girl right away and decided it was the steal of the year.  She was leaving the island just a few days later, so we made arrangements to buy it for $450, let her drive it the rest of the week, and then met for the paperwork/insurance/registration exchange.  The old owner and new owner have to be together to complete the transfer paperwork.  

We've gotten Pinky checked out with no major issues, and I really couldn' t be happier with my little car.  I say mine because I've been driving it more than Aaron has lately, but he has no problem driving it being pink and all.  I bring that up because I think it's funny how many people here are surprised to find out Aaron doesn't mind driving a pink car.  Dude. It was a $450 car. I don't car if it had pink unicorns painted all over it.  It drives great and was cheaper than my cell phone.

Both are 4 door hatchbacks with lots of room and working air conditioning, and it still surprises me every day that I don't have to get out and crank start it or something.  They don't have a lot of power, but not many cars here do.  You really just need enough power to jet in and our of traffic, which ours do fine with...and for 2 cars under $5,000...you really can't complain.  There are a couple of souped-up cars here, and it really just makes you wonder....Why?!?  After all, most roads are only 50kph (31mph) and only the expressway is 80kpm (50mph).

Asides from a fancy car being completely unnecessary here, there are a few reasons why you might NOT want to get something you care deeply about...
  1. The roads here are really narrow and tight.  People park IN the slow lane.  There is a reason the cars here have buttons to fold in your mirrors.  Lots of cars get too close. Smash.
  2. People drive crazy.  When we arrived, people told us, it's not a matter of if you get into an accident, but when.
  3. The salt will eat away at your car.  If you don't wash & wax it on a regular basis, people have had layers of paint strip off within a year.
  4. If the roads are tight, parking is tighter.
  5. Did I mention that the roads were tight?  Those were the main roads I was talking about. Side roads, HA! A steep as hell windy road that barely fits your car is really 2 way road.  It's interesting when a truck comes barreling down.  Standoffs happen.  Backing down roads happens.  It's where a tiny car like Pinky comes in handy.
I was a little nervous driving off base the first time by myself.  It's not so much the driving that is complicated (it's not), but if you don't know where you're going, it can get interesting, especially when crazy drivers are around and motorcyclists are driving in between cars to get ahead.  They don't have street signs here (unless it's a major road).  Not in English, not in Japanese.  So directions are landmarks, which makes it hard to focus on driving and keeping track of where you are going when nothing looks familiar.

Like I said, over the past few weeks, driving off base hasn't been weird or scary.  It's actually become normal.  And just when I think that...I come across a crazy ass intersection and just bust through it hoping I come out on the other end. (Just kidding mom!  Well...kinda...)

1SOFA  (Status of Forces Agreement
An agreement between a host country and a foreign nation stationing military forces in that country that clarify the terms under which the military is allowed to operate.

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