…“Welcome to Japan!”
No one has actually said these words to me, but that’s how you say it, according to my trusty Babel Fish translator app. In fact, “welcome” is actually “kengai”, which makes no sense in light of the previous phrase and also indicates that Japanese may be a trickier language to learn than I thought. However, one of the first things I was told upon arriving here is that some of the bases offer free language classes, so I am determined to attend and learn what I can in order to make the most of my time here and befriend the locals. I would at least like to be able to order my food in Japanese! We shall see how it goes.
These first few days in Okinawa have been a whirlwind of discovery, rice, emotion, and noodles. I don’t even want to talk about the 40-hour journey to get here, or the fact that my cat probably hates me for life after putting her through it, but I do want to say that the island itself is beyond beautiful. The architecture, however, is a sharp contrast to the lush and colorful surroundings. It is stark… utilitarian … plain… ugly. But when you are reminded that this is a country regularly battered by typhoons and earthquakes, you start to understand the need for cold, hard concrete. I have no doubt I will appreciate this reality even more once I experience my first typhoon.
For now, we are attempting to get the logistical business out of the way so we can get the real adventure started. Housing, in-processing, vet appointments, and new vehicles are still pending, and it’s all very “hurry up and wait.” But since when has that NOT been the military’s style? 🙂 We are just going with the flow over here, as always… And still waiting to visit what looks like a series of drop-dead gorgeous beaches!
According to the vet clinic in Okinawa, it will cost us about $17 per day to keep Annie in quarantine. The required time is 180 days. That means it’s going to cost us over $3,000 to get my baby into our new home! Fingers crossed I can avoid the official quarantine and get it done in-home…
Just crossed the SC border…
… So long, Georgia! So long.
All sorts of happenings (and mishappenings) over here! This is our last weekend down on the Chattahoochee. The “storage” movers come on Monday, Chuck graduates on Tuesday, and the final round of movers come on Wednesday. The cleaning lady comes on Thursday morning, inspection is Thursday afternoon, and then we are out of here Friday morning!
Currently, I’m most annoyed at Craigslist and the vet clinic. I’ve “sold” our washer and dryer about 3 times this week, but the buyer always backs out before even seeing the damn things. It has to be gone by Sunday, so I dropped the price and am carefully waiting to see which of my two pending offers comes through at this point. I’m tired of being stood up!
As for Annie – I heard from the Japanese quarantine services, and apparently she needed to be vaccinated for rabies TWICE after the insertion of her microchip (she’s was vaccinated once after they put it in.) The poor thing is practically glowing with antibodies already (and I have the blood test results to prove it), but I got an emergency appointment for Monday afternoon. I can only hope it still counts! It’s too bad I can’t trust the vet to know what they’re doing and I’m having to scramble before we leave the state… oh well. So long as I get her into the country, and she doesn’t have to stay locked up for 6 months after all this effort, it’ll be good…
BUT! I am excited to be moving on. There’s a lot that needs to happen, but I am ready. Plus – Chuck and I head to Europe in 10 days!! Woohoo!!
… And it’s the most long-winded, annoying trip ever! Seriously, who plans these things..?
April 9th, we fly DC —> Atlanta —> Seattle.
April 10th, we fly Seattle —> Yokota Air Force Base —> Iwakuni Marine Base —> Kadena Air Force Base, ultimately arriving in Okinawa on April 11th.
I’m so worried about Annie. That is a longggg journey with a lot of transfers! I’m worried she is going to get lost, or sick. In my experience, cats won’t pee on stressful trips. Crazy cat lady Mama is going to be out in full force, that’s for sure.
But, it is moving right along, regardless. Our first round of movers come TOMORROW. We are sending over an air mattress, sheets, towels, toilet paper, lamps, and the microwave in this early shipment. Should be good things to hold us over before the rest of our stuff arrives at the new house. It will be funny getting through the next 3 weeks without a microwave here though…! I don’t think either of us appreciates how much we actually use it. We will soon! Ha 🙂