Monday, February 23, 2015

Fasten Your Seatbelts.

Look, we’re happy and doing well here in Nagoya.  But we’ve had a few bumps here, and I should probs acknowledge them in a post now because they’re going to affect things in the future.  

It would be good to have laid out some context.
So here’s where we’re at.

Click to embiggen - we're at the yellow star in the middle of the picture.
We’re settling into our apartment in Tsurumai, which is a 'borough' (for lack of better word).  There are many little inner communities like this which make up Nagoya at large, and we’ve found that generally speaking, whatever train/ subway station you’re nearest is the borough to which you belong.  

We started here with the few pieces of furniture that we picked out on our trip in December, a suitcase each of clothing, and of course, Mac and Bubba.  We’ve since stocked up a lot of little necessities at the local Daiso, which is a 100 yen shop.

I don’t really know how to do justice to explaining a Daiso, because that’s essentially a dollar store in the US, but the variety and QUALITY of the stuff at the Daiso blows dollar stores out of the water.  Like all these cooking utensils.  Or these beautiful porcelain soy sauce bowls and bunny chopstick rests.  Or our kitty coin bank.  I love Daiso.
when we put coins in there, we call it feeding the kitty.  I don't know why it makes me giggle so.
We’ve had to do so MUCH Daiso shopping (actually I’m writing this knowing full well I’m about to go to the Daiso yet again), because there was a labor strike at whatever California sea port that all of our stuff is supposed to ship through.  Our stuff should arrive in a few weeks, but we weren’t prepped for a long wait, and thus we didn’t pack stuff for such a long wait.  This is particularly tricky because while we can certainly get whatever we need from the shops around here, we don’t need two of everything once things do arrive, and we don’t have space to store those things.  So thank goodness for Daiso because I don’t feel too bad about throwing out dollar-worth items.

Meanwhile, we found a bit of an issue with our apartment.  Bit is maybe an understatement, but I’m downplaying because I don’t want my family to panic.  Don't panic family, we're fine.  Here’s the very condensed version:

There is mold growing on one of our pocket-style doors.  It is severe enough that they need to take the wall down to fix.  We are obviously not financially responsible for any of that, but we do need to relocate for the time that the construction is underway.  We picked our temporary housing for this last week, and will probably move over there this weekend.

If you’ve sent us mail, no worries!  It will likely make it to us in time, and even if it doesn’t, we will be able to collect our mail from the post office during this time.  But maybe hold onto it for a bit if you haven’t slapped a stamp on there just yet.
We got this on the 17th.  So, you know, pretty quick for international mail!
In any case, this is a fairly big blip in the plan - we were enjoying getting used to this area and how to navigate it, and it’s disappointing to get ripped away from that so early on in our experience.  We’re hoping that the work goes off without a hitch, but we’re a little nervous that it is a bigger construction project that’s been proposed, and no one knows what’s really behind that wall until they take it down.  Blargh.

The temp spot we picked out seems lovely; it’s a free-standing, traditional-style Japanese house in a nice neighborhood.  We’re a bit concerned that because it’s an older style home our internet connection (now that we just FINALLY got connected to the world again!) is not going to be great.  We’re also a little concerned that it’s in an area that’s less built up with stores and ease of transportation, with less foreigners, so we’ll be getting a little more of a “critter in a zoo” attention.*  But it’s certainly doable, and it’s closer to The Mister’s work than this home, so we’ll make it work.
Click to embiggen - we will be relocating to just past the yellow star at the bottom of the picture.
What do you do to keep your cool when you get a wrench in your plans?  
Tell me in the comments!

So that's what's up.  I'll check in next week from the other side of the train tracks (literally!)  In the meantime, you can keep up with our daily shenanigans through my almost abusive level of photo spamming on instagram (@KpQuePasa).  Feel free to check that out to see such greatness as our tour of the Nagoya Castle, some videos of real life SAMURAIs, and of course, the super old, important tree in a park which Mac recently pooped on.  In front of small children.  We're not going back to that park. 

probably pretty safe bet to say that I'm going to post lots of food pictures too.
Duck Soba!
today's little language lesson
Bokkusu-nai ni subete no anata no koto o irete kudasai.
Please put all your things in a box.

*I am struggling with a polite society that has a different definition of polite.  Namely, if I caught someone so openly staring at me because I’m different in the US or heck, even Mexico, I could have straight up been within my rights to say something to the effect of “what’s your problem?” and/or call them out on it.  That’s not really how it works here, particularly as a lady.  Though I do like that Mac sticks out because generally everyone in the neighborhood already knows his name, and the pet store people ADORE HIM.

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