Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Easing Back In

I'm not going to lie, but leaving Japan and the people we love there was difficult.  Between all five of us, we had over a dozen going-away lunches, dinners, coffees, outings, etc. There were a lot of lifelong friendships made in the host country that became our home for three years...so needless to say, Japan will always have a large piece of my/our heart.  Although it was not always easy, our family will always be able to reflect back on all of the experiences we had.  I'm most grateful for my husband whose job allowed us to complete this one, huge goal of living overseas.

A little shaky, but we flew over 4,700 miles home.

Aside from a lot of turbulence on the plane from Japan to Seattle, and going on week 3 of hotel living, here are some situations and observations I've had since returning stateside:
  • We have been met with some great customer service in the U.S.  I was worried about it after being in Japan for so long.  I'm happy to be pleasantly surprised.
  • My first impression of taxi drivers in the U.S. was not good (funky teeth, mullet, scabs on arms, attitude, couldn't figure out how to get our luggage into the van, etc).
  • I've been overwhelmed (in a good way) by the food and drink choices in the grocery stores.  I am unimpressed by the food in the Asian aisle though.
  • I realize how big the portions are here.  Wow!!  From a person who loves to eat, even I haven't been able to finish what's on my plate!
  • Gas prices are comparable here (Washington State) to the prices on base in Japan.
  • It has been reasonably easy to get back to driving on the "right" side of the road.  
  • There are seat covers in most public restrooms.
  • Everyone stares here!  I even do it!  
  • Americans are SO loud.  I factor myself into this equation because I am not quiet. 
  • I cannot find a decent car here for under $3,000.
  • Its been wonderful to reconnect with friends here.  I haven't gotten to seeing everybody, but plan to do so when we get back into our house.
  • I have enjoyed being able to read the street signs and menus.  This is not meant to be a slam on Japan, but this was always tricky when eating out, and trying to get around.
  • I love taking the ferry and monorail, but really miss the trains in Japan.  They were efficient and awesome!!
  • Cell phones (especially Smart phones) here are not cheap.  We still haven't decided on a plan, but did set up Magic Jack.  
  • Jet lag sucked.  I'm happy we're all pretty much adjusted to our current time zone after a couple weeks.  Hallelujah!! It was rough! 
Happy 2014 to everyone whose been there to support our journey both abroad, and back to the U.S.  We've had a huge amount of supporters and interest in our adventures.  I plan on still blogging about our life as we deal with "reverse culture shock".  I feel like we're all doing as well as expected.   My motto for the past couple of months is to just take things day-by-day.

No comments:

Post a Comment