Saturday, April 25, 2015

Anchors Away

The Mister is in the Navy Reserves.  You may know this already.  If not, you’re likely asking your computer screen a question we have heard about 525,600 times since we announced we were moving to Japan:

Wait, how does he report to his “one weekend a month, two weeks a year” commitment from Japan?

The US has naval bases world-wide, and in fact, we (yes, I am using the royal 'we' to imply the US of A) have served as Japan’s naval forces since WWII.  I'll let you guess why.  
When The Mister accepted his assignment with his company to send us here, the navy was awesomely easy-going to say he could just complete his weekends at the nearest base in Japan -Yokosuka- which is just a short bullet-train ride away.  So all is well.

The Mister has already completed one of these trips, and was successful, not just in getting to and from the Yokosuka base, but also in bringing me back American Cereal.  Random tangent: Japan doesn’t really do breakfast-specific foods.  They certainly don’t do frosted, flavored, marshmallow infused breakfast in a way that the Kellogg’s corporation would recommend.  What I’m saying is after The Mister’s return I spent a week in a sugar-high courtesy of Froot Loops.  Additional random tangent:  every morning I have finished my bowl of what is essentially soggy skittles in milk and immediately regretted eating them.  Apparently in the few months we’ve been here I managed to *sort of* wean myself off of crappy cereal now?  Only sort of, because every morning I look at what’s left in the box of cereal and pour myself a bowl even though I know it’ll make me feel crappy in about an hour.  That’s probably something I should see someone about.

But back to that “how does an expat assignment work with Reservist commitments” question.  A longer answer comes with the "two weeks" portion (once a year  Reservists go to a base for full two weeks to receive training).  The base here doesn’t usually work with reservists, so there is no training available in Japan.  Thus, The Mister must go to the states for that time.  A time which is… now.

Yes folks.  I am currently hanging out in Japan all by my lonesome.
Which is a really silly sentence to type while I sit in a city of millions.  

Had a bit to calm down.  No worries, I'm okay now.
Partly, it’s disconcerting to not have my daily-dose of an English speaking-partner at the end of every day.  But it’s temporary, and I’m glad we finally got him out the door on this journey.  He had some hiccups with a Japanese zip code having more numbers than an American zip code - the automated system that generates travel orders was not having it.  So it took a few tries to actually get what the Mister needed to be able to shove off on his journey.  He’s excited, and I’m excited for him.  

What will I get up to while he’s away?  That’s a great question.  I don’t have actual plans.  I’ve been trying to make some friends of other expats around here, but unfortunately The Mister’s training schedule is over what the Japanese refer to as “Golden Week.”  Golden week is a national holiday, and almost everyone goes on a vacation.  Everyone, it turns out, includes all of my current acquaintances.  

I’M not going anywhere because since Golden Week is a BFD (big flipping deal), plans would have needed to be made literally months ago.  But that’s okay because I also would have had to find something to do with Mac and Bub months ago, and I am honestly sort of looking forward to wandering around this city while it’s a little bit emptier.  Subway rides where my face is not smashed into someone else’s armpit is -honestly, no sarcasm- a fabulously sufficient celebration of Golden Week for this gal.

Also mangoes.  Mangoes are a GREAT way to celebrate everything.  But maybe in moderation.
yay poop joke!
What would you do on your own, in a foreign country, for 2 whole weeks?

today's little language lesson

Watashi no otto wa watashi nashi budō ha o tabeta
my husband ate grape leaves without me.
And then he sent a picture of them from the states to taunt me.


Jen Anderson said...

2 whole weeks alone? Wow. Definitely museums - so much nicer without having to keep track of someone else. I would actually enjoy my husband wandering off in museums if I didn't immediately start stressing out about having to find him later, so of course I have to find him now.

I'd also eat out alone at the same place a few times. I've found that the staff really notices solo diners and are extra friendly even when you come back with someone else. Great way to beat the loneliness and score a free dessert.

Kathleen F said...

I'd do all the things my (still nonexistent) husband wouldn't want to do with me. Sit at cute Asian cafes (not sure if there is coffeehouse culture in Japan? yes?), sip tiny coffees... I'd make up scavenger hunts for myself and probably spend lots of hours at Daiso (though you probably don't have a problem doing that last one). Would figure out one thing each day to get me just outside of my comfort zone I could give myself a pat on the back before bedtime.