Friday, January 10, 2014

Ready For The Next Phase

Over a month ago, I said how happy I was to be moving to the Lodge.  It was going to be a mini-vacation from cooking and cleaning.  While that part has been pretty nice, we're getting tired of living in temporary quarters and looking forward to being back into our house.  Our move in date is coming soon and some of the rooms have fresh paint and new carpet!  I love all of the updates, and it will be an interesting task to see how our belongings from Japan and temporary storage are going to fit into our little house.  I foresee a lot of things being donated in the near future to St.Vinny's and The Goodwill!

Shipment 1 out of 2 from Japan!

Here's a rundown of things that I continue to witness and experience as I re-enter my own culture:
  1. Community College tuition has greatly increased since my $75/semester in California in the late 1980's.  Its over $1,0000 for two classes in the state of Washington.
  2. People wear pajama pants not only to the grocery store, but to pay for their college tuition and to get their drivers license.
  3. Food portions still continue to amaze me.  I keep thinking about how much the owners of businesses would save if they just cut back their portions even by 1/4.  My kids are going to go hungry once I start cooking again.
  4. Driving schools (I think) are making a ton of money.  You go to them for drivers tests now (written and driving).  The Dept of Licensing no longer does testing at their sites.
  5. Cutter bought his first car this week.  We paid half.  He was happy to haggle with the owner about the price.
  6. 1 of 2 of our shipments from Japan arrived this week.  Its so nice to see some of my clothes and shoes again!  Our other belongings arrive next week.
  7. I started at a CrossFit box last week.  While I feel like a newbie, and like I've never worked out before, I'm hoping once I get a regular routine the soreness won't be so bad.  I need about 3 days to recover after one workout.  Ugh! 
  8. The touch-screen Coca Cola machine is pretty cool.  We are wondering how they offer so many choices in one machine.
  9. There have been so many changes in the roads in my city since we left.  I can't keep up with the new roundabouts, one way streets, traffic lights, etc. I need to be grateful that I haven't once driving on the other side of the road.
  10. We were able to find Bulldog sauce for Katsu at a local supermarket for a whopping $5+.  I'm hoping to find some over in Seattle for cheaper.  I should have stocked up on some at the dollar store before leaving Japan.
  11. Reconnecting with friends when you aren't an adult isn't always easy.  I'm sure the kids will continue to make friends, and have some of their old friends over when we get into our house.  Its a beautiful thing being able to have conversations with friends as if you never left.
  12. I am still not used to paying sales tax.  It throws me off every time I go to buy something!

Coca Cola soda machine.  You can mix your own drink.

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