Well in case you were worried, I managed to survive my trip to Hell ( AKA the cell phone store). I did receive 4,000 yen in Visa Gift Cards (which I promptly spent on myself for some kitchen items) and I **think** the shopping certificate is being mailed. It is hard to say considering I had no clue what they told me. But the kids have their phones and that brings much relief in helping my comfort level.
My neighbor offered to help me get Emily's monthly train pass today and then show me some of the cool shopping spots. After we got the train pass she took me to the CHIC office to sign up for my membership and RSVP to some Cocktail and Carpet evening on Valentines Day. I have also decided to take a photography class there. The first one is next Friday and if I like that one there are 3 others I can choose from. I also put my name on the special events committee list. Beth (my neighbor) said it will be fun and a good way to meet other people.
After we did all that we went down to Sannomiya to get a feel for the area and have some lunch. While I have been there a few times already, Beth really showed me everything from "Designer Row" (Prada, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana etc) to some cool department stores to bakeries to 100 Yen stores. We went to lunch at this really yummy place called Mother Moon Cafe. We also scoped out some other places as potential lunch prospects. It was very nice just getting to know Beth and seeing the area.
Next week we may be connecting with another wife who just arrived this week, and I am having coffee (tea for me) with Ilena, a hilarious woman who I only know through blogland. Plus our sea shipment is scheduled to be delivered at 2 pm on Monday (whoo hooo!). So already next week is shaping up to be busy.
I finally feel like an end to all the "paperwork" may soon be in sight. We have started the process for looking at cars (although driving scares the crap out of me here) and I have a stack of expense reports to do. I finally feel like I can start getting connected here, establish a routine and make some friends. Even though its only been 10 days, and I have been busy with all the red tape, I was starting to feel lonely. It is hard when everyone you know is 14 - 15 hours behind you and on the total opposite time schedule. (However I do have to say it has been much easier than I thought to stay in contact).
Tomorrow Matt is off work and the kids will be in school. I am hoping we do something fun, however the forecast is showing 90 percent chance of rain so I won't hold my breath. Rain and walking is not a good combo.
Kiotsukete (Take care!)