We picked up our car last night from the used car lot just outside one of the gates. Around here, space is very valuable and it is hardly ever wasted. These lots pack the cars in like sardines. Literally. You can't drive the care before you buy it. Because you can't get it out of the lot.
If you pick one that's in the middle, they have to move them all. One by one. Crime on the island is pretty much non-existent. Almost all of these cars have the keys in them.
It is recommended that you practice driving ON base before you drive OFF base. Well, Tom decided that we would head straight from the car lot to the cell phone place. Off base. Everything is opposite here. The steering wheel is on the right. And your turn signals? They're on the right, too. That means the windshield wipers are where we expect to find the turn signal. Our car has the cleanest windshield on this island. Once we got our cell phones, we tried to get back on base. That didn't go so well. We ended up on the island's only expressway. Tom kept a cool head, and we eventually made it back to base. Thank goodness.
As promised, we hit the town today. Our first stop was Chatan, the town where our new house is. We have signed the papers, gotten the money, and we pick up the key Monday.
Someone is currently using our driveway. But not for long.
And this is a view of our street.
Just on the other side of that several story high building is the sea wall. The East China Sea is a stone's throw away from our front door. Unbelievable.
Where was Brendan while Tom and I were checking out the sea wall?
Asleep. In our new car. With one shoe on and one shoe off. He hates his new shoes.
And this, by the way, is our new car.
Ain't she a beaut?
Also within walking distance is Baba Park. Brendan was still asleep so we didn't get out to play. But right across the street there was a baseball game going on.
From our new neighborhood we headed a short way down the road to the American Village, which is basically a huge shopping complex, complete with a bowling alley and a theater. How's this for backwards - the movie theater shows movies in English with Japanese subtitles. Oh, and you can drink beer in there. But you better have a DD because the limit here is .03. No kidding.
You can't find these back in the States.
The blue label means you are purchasing a cold drink, and the red label means it's a hot drink. How cool is that? You can buy food out of vending machines, too. Real food. The bowling alley had a machine that sold French fries, and the BX has a hot dog vending machine. I will be trying that one out before long.
We found the biggest arcade we'd ever seen.
And guess what game they had.
And did I mention that we now live on an island? That means there was more water to check out.
Brendan has his feet in the East China Sea. I wonder how many of his school friends will be able to say that.
It would be nice if the water were a little bluer.
And maybe just a wee bit clearer.
I still can't believe that we live here. We. LIVE. Here.
Sorry if this post is a bit waterlogged (pun intended), but we are enthralled with it.
American Village is huge. There are tons of shops and restaurants. We had lunch there. At an Indian restaurant. It was my first experience with Indian food. I was pleasantly surprised. But I kept thinking about Dad telling me that Adam took him and Mom to eat Indian food and the best thing he had was the water.
After lunch we walked around some more and stopped for some frozen yogurt.
And just in case one day we need some American food, we can come right back down here.
Tom found everybody's souvenir in one of the shops.
I hope you'll all be looking forward to receiving it.
After showing his rear end while we tried to eat, Brendan passed out.
We headed back to the car lot this afternoon so Tom could drop off the money for our second car. Brendan was not happy about it. He and I waited in the car, pretending to drive.
I took the wheel on the way back from the car lot. I drove all around town to practice. With the baby screaming in the backseat. The. Entire. Time. I am now comfortable driving on the wrong side of the road. If I can drive with that going on, I should be good to go.
And because he was such a good boy (not), he got a new toy today.
Actually, we bought this to try and entertain him while we're still stuck in this room. It was mostly purchased to try and save our sanity.
It was a big day, and fun for the most part. I hope Brendan wakes up in a good mood tomorrow. The last few days have been rough.
I have no idea what we'll get into tomorrow. But for now, sayonara!