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.