Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sweet Home Okinawa

Since the day we shipped our furniture over to Japan, 119 boxes have been packed, 73 days have passed, 7 airports have been visited, 13 nights have been spent in a hotel, and 119 boxes have been unpacked. We’d actually been living in Japan for almost 2 weeks by the time we were able to move into a place of our own. Of the two places we were offered, we accepted the apartment in one of the “Towers” on Camp Foster as our new home. Our move-in date was Thursday, September 24th, and it couldn’t have come quick enough! We woke up early to check out of the hotel and moved the rest of our bags that were with us over to the new apartment, which, coincidentally, was the “Tower” right next to the hotel we were staying at!

The Japanese movers arrived and began bringing in boxes around 11:30, and I don’t think they were completely finished until around 1:30 or so. We had 119 boxes, so Matt and I had a system going – he yelled out each number when they moved it in, while I checked it off of the inventory list. We began to freak out a little bit after we discovered some key things to be missing – and by “key”, I mean, without them the object was pretty much inoperable! Examples: the supporting legs to our bed frame, one of the wheels on our desk chair, the pedals of both our bicycles…just to name a few. To make things even more difficult, the movers spoke pretty much solely Japanese! Just as I was, admittedly, fed up thinking “how could they lose so many important little things??” we found a box marked “OPEN FIRST”. I bet you can guess what we found in there – yes, every single thing we were missing! So anyway, I had a TON of fun opening all of the boxes. Even though I knew it was all stuff we had already owned, it was like Christmas trying to guess what I was going to find next in each one! Every box was there, and although some of the boxes that went by ship were pretty mangled, we (luckily!) had only a few minor damages! Pretty surprising for boxes that have been in transit for 73 days, huh?!

So, more about our new place! It is obviously one level, since it’s an apartment, but it is more spacious that I had expected for Japan. Our place is located on the 5th floor, has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 2 balconies, a laundry room, and air conditioning units in every room (we need it here!). The cons to this place include: no carpeting, no yard, slightly less storage than our last place, no indoor garage, and Japanese bathrooms are a little weird! Also, we have concrete walls (typhoons, anyone?). Okay, so I know it sounds like I don’t like it here, but I really do. With the addition of all of our furniture and familiar d├ęcor, it’s really starting to warm up and feel like home for us. We definitely need to invest in some area rugs for sure (my feet are cold!) but other than that everything is great so far – I’ve even decided that we are going to do some painting here, something that we never did in our last place in California. I can’t wait to pick out colors!!
Here are some photos I took of the house right BEFORE the movers arrived with all of our stuff…
Right when you enter in the front door


View of the kitchen and entry hallway from Living/Dining Room

Living/Dining Room

Matt confused at this weird sign in our Living Room...still not sure why that's there...

Patio doors off the Living Room

View from our Living Room balcony


Laundry Room

…and here are some photos I took of the house right AFTER the movers arrived with all of our stuff:

Matt helping the movers with his TV

Me really happy to have my comfy bed back!

Our new sofa

Me unpacking some of our kitchen boxes

Check out this little video clip I took of our house at it's messiest: (and turn your speakers up if you like Kings of Leon:)

Fortunately, Matt and I have both been working hard at getting the place organized (well, okay, mostly me, but that’s just because I’m a little bit of an organizational freak…if you’ve worked with me, then you know!). I’m writing this 4.5 days after we’ve moved in, and the house is about 60% organized I would say…we still have a way to go! I’m sorry I’ve been slacking on posting what’s going on right away, but we just got our internet hooked up yesterday, and I’ve also been sick for the past few days – hopefully I will feel much better tomorrow!

Also, I need to mention that Matt and I became a first-time Aunt and Uncle a few days ago, and give a big CONGRATS!!! to Matt’s sister Andrea and her husband Steve on their new baby boy!! We love you guys! It’s sad that we weren’t able to be there, but the new parents were amazingly quick at posting photos on Facebook only hours after delivery!

Our new nephew Chase:
Thanks everyone for following!

1 comment:

  1. Darn...this is the second time writing this as the first "comment" wouldn't post and disappeared?
    Thanks for the great job in helping us visualize your place. You paint a great picture (even without the photos/video, but I love them, too!) And speaking of painting, you get to add color to the clean, white look? One great thing - you can tell them it was professionally decorated! And you've got to fill us in on that Japanese LR sign? Baffling? I did notice the handle to flush was on the opposite side (like the steering wheel). And congratulations are in order to the best uncle and aunt from afar! I do have to say he's the best grandson in the world. And you and Matt will have to join the "challenge" someday to prove us wrong! Every day your one day closer to moving back to the good old USA! Love to you both and consider yourselves hugged! You remain daily in my prayers! xo