Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 3 Sat 28th

We woke up early again and decided to take a walk and find the chapel in preparation for Sunday. The walk to the chapel is straight downhill and the walk back is straight up. We needed to be back to the apartment by 9am in order to meet the mailman with our packages. We wanted to time ourselves so I wore my watch. It took us about 20minutes to find it. We passed a bunch of kids in uniforms presumably going to school on Saturday morning – I guess they don't do Saturday morning cartoons here. We figured it would take longer to climb back home and realized it was already 8:35am and really didn't want to miss the mailman so we booked it up the hill. We get home and Craig looks at his cell phone and we discover it is 8am, not 9am. I screwed up the time when I changed my watch – oops.

When a Japanese apartment is unfurnished it is unfurnished. There is no refrigerator, stove top, heater, or light fixtures. Since its pretty warm out we don't need a heater but Naoko gave us one to use that another foreign post-doc had left behind and a light fixture so we aren't in the dark when the sun goes down. However, we don't have anything to store perishable food in or a way to cook anything. So Saturday, after all of our packages arrived – yay!!! thank you Wendy! - we headed out to Nitori and Midori, a furniture and appliance store Naoko recommended and gave us directions to. We asked her about second hand stores but that doesn't seem to be a thing here, neither are internet cafes from what we've seen/understood so we haven't had internet since the first night at the hotel. They were actually rather unoffensive stores except Midori was pretty warm. Delivery is pretty common since so many people use buses and Naoko was smart enough to tell us to bring a typed copy of our address in Japanese characters so we just said please “kudasi” while holding the pen out to the sales people so they could fill out the appropriate information. We got a refrigerator, low table and cushions, and closet organizers because we have a bunch of space but it doesn't have a rod to hang clothes from and the shelves are so far apart it doesn't make since to just pile clothes. One thing that didn't go too well when communicating with hand gestures was setting up delivery for the refrigerator. The sales man kept gesturing towards us and then to himself and we thought he was asking if someone would be there to accept the delivery. We kept saying yes “hai” and pointing to me. He'd laugh and say no “Iie.” Eventually Craig heard the word for old and figured out he was asking if we had an old refrigerator that had to be taken away. No wonder he was laughing since I am not an old refrigerator that we want removed.

We didn't realize how much we'd have to pay for right away and don't want to use up all our yen before we've got more in the Japanese bank account. We can use our US credit card but there are apparently big processing fees and we'd like to avoid those. Naoko lent us a futon so we aren't sleeping on the floor so that wasn't urgent, so we didn't get too much stuff and we'll be sitting on the floor for some time to come. We also bought some food but, since we don't have the refrigerator or gas stove top yet and aren't exactly sure what things are, we've been limited to fruit, crackers, and baked goods. We got a green tea and black soy bean roll for tomorrow's breakfast hoping it isn't a super sweet dessert pastry but who knows. We've also been buying juice that has little drawings of all the fruits and veggies in it so we do know what we're drinking. After getting home with the groceries we decided to walk down to the nearest train station to see what restaurants were around. We found a noodle bar with pictures, bought some more organizer thingies at the 100 yen (dollar) store and headed back home to bed.

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