Since the bulk of our items are on the slow boat to China, er, Japan, rather, it could be a few more months before we get it. This is standard for service members who move internationally. So, to give families a helping hand, the base offers a Lending Locker, where we can borrow furniture for free. They even deliver it and put it in the rooms for us. We got a living room set, bunk beds, a dining room table, and a queen bedroom set complete with nightstands and chests of drawers. So, here is the progression as our 3-bedroom apartment started to become a home today:
|Four Japanese movers had all of our our borrowed and advanced shipment stuff in the apartment and unpacked in less than an hour. They even put the kids' bikes back together.|
|Master bedroom furniture|
|More master bedroom furniture|
|The boys' room starts to take shape.|
|Our borrowed dining room table. I don't know if you can see it, but there is a 4-inch scratch in the center of the table.|
|The scratch up close.|
Xan pipes in: "Hey, Mom, do you have a candle?"
Me: "No, I'm sorry, I don't. (Candles aren't something we are allowed to have packed and shipped.) Why?"
Xan: "Well, I think you need a candle here." (Gestures at the center of the dining room table.)
Will: "Yeah, a candle or something would be nice."
Me: "Did you want to cover that scratch up?"
Xan: "Yeah. We need a candle."
So, we got a candle. You'll see it a few pictures down. Who knew my boys were such decorators?
|The bunk bed construction.|
|Before they brought in the six boxes that comprised our advanced shipment, they first laid moving blankets on the floor to reduce the amount of dirt and debris left behind.|
|Breaking down the boxes to take them out. Look how beat up this box was.Nothing was broken beyond repair, but boy was the stuff jumbled up!|
|The boys' bathroom with a new shower curtain.|
|Our four trash cans|
|The living room is pretty spartan, but functional.|
|My oven hood is in Japanese. I asked our housing caseworker, who is Japanese, to please translate. So, from left to right: Light off, light on, fan off, fan low, fan high.|
|Finally relaxing in the living room, watching the Olympics.|
While most of this adventure of moving to Japan has been fun and interesting, there have been a few annoying things. Here are a few:
1) Not only is our apartment's view of the warehouse unattractive, but it turns out it's pretty noisy, too.
|The view out our balcony. Please not the new candle centerpiece on the table. Xan was very pleased.|
3) The furniture part of the Exchange (the department store) is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. I assume this is also to save money, but it is still incredibly inconvenient, especially since a lot of people are moving in to new homes on these days during this time of year. For example, our living room does not have a light, so we needed a lamp. We found a lamp, but no lamp shade. These are at the furniture annex. Oddly, the Exchange itself is open seven days a week. I can't buy fresh vegetables, but I can buy perfume and a baseball mitt.
4) There are no appointments available at the salon on base to get my hair or nails done for a month. I have to try and call when the salon opens at 10 a.m. to try to get an appointment A MONTH from that day, because they do not take appointments any further than 30 days out. It's like playing "beat the clock" with all the other women on base. Obviously, the salon needs more techs or something. I think I will need to try and find a salon off base.
5) My Netflix account is unavailable to me. I get a message that says: "Sorry, Netflix hasn't come to this part of the world yet." What?! Guess you lost yet another customer, Netflix. Sucks to be you. Way to support you military installations.
6) I cannot find a bottle of Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita anywhere. Malt beverage margaritas just are no where near the same. And I could really use a good margarita. Stat.