Sunday, November 02, 2008

Greetings From Matt (As Written by Matt)

I have had a couple weeks to get settled into Japan, so I thought I would send a note.

When I got to Japan I was able to move right into the house. The house is really nice. For Japan standards we are living in a very wealthy area. I see a lot of very expensive cars driving around. The rental furniture in the house takes some getting used to. I have slept more nights on the couch than in the bed.

The commute to work is about 1hr 20 min one way. This was a good reason to justify getting an i-phone. I typically leave the house about 6:00am to catch the 6:09am train. I have to switch trains one time and take a 15 min walk up hill to get to work. This will be a good way to lose a bit of weight. In the humid summer, I will be needing a shower by the time I make it to work. I have been leaving the office around 6:00 pm, which gets me home around 7:30pm. A couple days I stayed at the office until 7:00pm and many of the Japanese stay until 9:00pm.

The job is very involved, so I won’t bore anyone with the details. I am basically managing the development of the product we will sell starting 2012.

One of the biggest challenges I have faced is grocery shopping. I went to the store yesterday for nearly 2 hours to get what I wanted. I bought some lettuce to make a salad and wanted to get some Italian dressing. I found the dressings, but have no idea what was in the bottles.

I bought something that looks like it could be Italian, but have not yet tried it. I wanted to get some barbecue sauce but finally gave up after staring at the shelves for a while.

There is no problem finding rice of all sizes and colors

Or fish heads to make a good fish head soup.

Overall, I have found the groceries to be about 3 times more expensive. (Alexis will do MUCH better as she will find all the cheapest markets and stands to shop.) And so far nothing I have eaten could be called a colon cleanse product.

I went on a bike ride the other day. My plan was to go up the mountain to the other side. I realized the mountain looks a lot smaller from the bottom.

This is about the point when I stopped pedaling. Because, I thought they were going to have to take me away in an ambulance. Even my friend John would not make it up these hills.

I did walk up the rest of the way pushing my bike. I never did go to the other side. On the way down I had to stop to let my brakes cool off.

I need a new plan for biking. The next day I tried to go running instead. There is a beautiful river coming out of the mountain less than ½ mile from the house.

I followed this river clear down to the bay. The water looked clean enough to drink. You cannot find trash on the ground anywhere.

It was pretty easy running down hill. Next time I might take a taxi back up the hill to the house.

There is a pretty big night life in Kobe. Although many of the places will not let westerners enter.

The girls have a different way of dressing? Many wear high heal boots and very short shorts or skirts. If they were in the states, I would say they look like hookers.

Overall it has been a great adventure. I definitely miss the family and wish they were here already. But I can figure out some of the tricks before they arrive.


Jamie said...

Matt, I loved reading your entry. How exciting it must be to be living this life now but at the same time I know how much more fun it would be for you if you had your gal at your side : ( I am wondering if your going to try your hand at the fish head soup? lmfao you should have that down pat by the time the kids get there. Could you imagine Sam if her first dinner in her new home you take the lid off the pot and a fish head is staring up at her..... Oh to be a fly on the wall for that dinner. Now about the taking a taxi at the end of your run that defeats the purpose right?? Can't wait to check out your new digs and good luck on counting down the days to seeing the family.

Michelle said...

What an adventure! I am sure that the simplest things, such as grocery shopping, are a big deal! So very interesting! Can't wait to hear more!

Aimee said...

How fun that you were able to do this for us! :) Please do it again Matt!

Jennifer said...

Alexis you got to get there quick before he finds out how to cook those fish heads!!! Can you say GROSS!!

That grocery store look even a little confusing for a woman..however I know my friend had a grocery guide with a picture of the food in the Japan grocery store=like American. of course not just like it, but gives you an idea. Also what helped her was a Japan cooking book written in America English using Japan grocery's.

Can't wait to follow your story..very exciting:)

Louise said...

Wow that is SO neat!
It must be getting really 'real' to you at this point hey Alexis? wow that is a big huge move!!

Carey said...

The mountains and river look nice. The grocery shopping looks likes its going to be a challenge, and fish heads? yuck!

The Kasdan Family said...

Matt -

Welcome to Japan. If there is anything we can do to help, drop us a line...

Kasdan Family

Terri said...

fascinating post! I hope this doesn't offend your sensibilities but I had to laugh out loud when I read the line about the girls looking like hookers, followed soon after by Matt saying "But I can figure out some of the tricks before they arrive". I don't know, nasty mind I have, it just made me laugh.

Alexis Jacobs said...

Okay Terri I am now laughing. I didn't even catch that. LOL

Alexis Jacobs said...

Thanks Kasdan family! Only a few short months and I can finally meet you guys. :-)

it's me, Val said...

That was a fun post, Matt. Nice writing, sir :) Glad you're enjoying it so far (or are you? Sounds like work walking and running and going to grocery stores). Are you losing weight with all that walking, riding and eating rice? Hope I see you in December. I know Alexis can't wait to see you.