Okinawa Sunrise

Monday, October 30, 2006

Around base and about town

So here for your enjoyment are 2 pics from a walk around Camp Foster, Okinawa. The high rises below are the style of building that we will be most likely to be offered should we decide to accept government housing and all the perks therein. To your right is the view from the Macaroni grill, one of the fine dining establishments near to our temporary lodging. Current adventures involve feeling out the off base housing situation in order to make an informed decision. Contacting housing agencies has presented the greatest language barrier challenge yet.
I have been running my well-practised phrase "Konichiwa, Ei-go-go wakarimaska?" (Excuse me, do you speak English) into the ground. Its usually met with being put on hold to some delightful musac playing anything from A Whole New World or Home, Home on the Range. We continue to visit apartments and will let you know as soon as we land on something!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Learning the ropes and the roads

So it is highly likely that in these first few days....before the finding of a job, buying of a car, meeting of friends, moving in to of posts will be plentiful. Currently I am somewhat marrooned at the Westpac lodge. Any of you who have spent any time on a US military base will be aware that it is not exactly walkable. Not that I am itching to wander to the Macaroni grill. Particularly not while my jet lag keeps walking me into a brick wall every day at 1pm.

However, the good news is that I am now licensed to drive on the several dozen miles of road on this fine island. Not that it was any small task mind you. My yesterday was taken up with 8, I say again 8 hours of instructional video on the fine art of driving. Can you tell me whether over or under inflation of tires leads to excessive wear?

I will keep you informed if any of the test turns out to matter as I grapple with the challenges of the Okinawa roads. Nothing more to report just yet!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jet lagged and all briefed out!

Ladies and Gents!

I extend salutations from the wonderful world of jet lag! Welcome to my first post from Camp Foster in Okinawa, Japan. It is 3:53 AM and I am full of beans, the joys of spring...whatever you want to call it I cannot sleep. But do not fear, I am confident that I will catch up this afternoon during my DAYLONG driver improvement course ( I swear I can handle the left side of the road thing, I'm British for the love of mike!!....can I leave after lunch???).

I have created this little blog at the urging of my best bud (you know who you are) in the hopes of keeping any interested friends and family stateside appraised of what we are up to over here. Pictures will follow I promise but right now I just have shots of two very sleepy little travellers on our 13 hr Chicago to Osaka crossing....not pretty!

We arrived late on Tuesday night (thats early Tuesday AM for my eastcoasters, mid morning for you Westies) after a sushi dinner at Osaka international and a injurious run in with my 70lb suitcase! Our sponser Brian picked us up and took the 4 enourmous pieces of luggage quite well. We loaded up and tore through Naha on our way to foster.

Naha city is a darn site bigger than you would imagine for a 60 some odd mile long spit of an island. Its what I imagined Tokyo looked like but I'll have to confirm or deny that later when we hopefully visit there. Among the first things we were told is that driving in Okinawa is a bit like a bumper car derby and if any bumps actually result...they are your fault, you pushy American you! After our road safety briefing today I am now inclined to steer clear of the wheel as much as possible!

My Lt and I are still resident in the temporary lodging suites. Not too shabby either! I can't help than feel a little guilty when I hear that single marines are moved into what is none too lovingly called the Q. Quite the roach motel I hear. But I am counting on them to move off base so that even if we end up here...we'll have people to visit! The housing brief is on Friday and we hope to get the offer of a place then...I keep you posted.

Other than that we have not ventured off base just yet...nor have we even really investigated the on base facilities. Its all newcomers briefs, driving tests and paperwork. But we will certainly have more interesting stories for you in the coming weeks so stay tuned!