First Impressions on Japanese Life
First of all, thank you to all who have been thinking about us and praying for our transition — our first week in Japan was a success. We were able to furnish our house, register as foreigners here in Japan (which comes with a decent health care plan), get bank accounts, cell phones, go to church, go visit our first cell group, do leadership training and lose weight while doing so! All while dealing with major jet-lag!
The Japanese way of life is economical and practical. (Like my wonderful wife, Ruth) They walk, ride bikes and use trains to get around. They use minimum amount of lights and power at home to save money. When they do drive, they turn off their cars at stop lights — even the buses do this. When at home, we do not even hear our neighbors, but I’m sure they hear us! However, they will sacrifice efficiency for options. Options and functions and paperwork. Oh, how they love them! They pick up 4 different types of trash (bottles, plastic, paper, trash). Each remote has two layers of panels of buttons to push and options to choose. The remote for our air conditioner was so complicated that I was afraid I might launch a nuclear missile by pushing the wrong button. If you play by the rules, all is good and smooth, but color outside of the lines, and things will get complicated fast!
This Wednesday, we begin language school — yes, this Wednesday! They added a May session as there were so many people desiring classes, so instead of starting on July 1, we can start already. Praise God! There are some short-term missionaries here that will be a HUGE blessing to us as they will help watch Sarah so Ruth and I can go to school together. The girls just started an English-speaking preschool at the church and are loving it. We will be looking for a good Japanese-speaking preschool for them as soon as we can.
So, now we will be diving into everyday-foreigner-in-Japan life! The language is certainly a challenge and we look forward to making some sense of it. Just turning on a TV or trying to get your microwave to work can end in lots of guessing and exasperated failure. But the Japanese as a whole are very helpful and considerate, and with enough loud English, hand motions and pointing, you can usually communicate what it is you want.
Now, without further ado, check out our first video blog. The plan is to make several of these for you to accompany our missionary move to Japan. Enjoy!