Monday, January 19, 2009

Our Japanese House and a trip to Grandberry Mall

I promised you pictures of the house! It is a lot like a western style townhouse you would find in the states with hardwood floors. There are only a few "Eastern Influences". The kitchen is definitly Japanese. The entrance and shoe cabinet is also very Japanese. The light fixtures and downstairs bathroom and the wallpaper, All Japanese. Also, you may have trouble using my washer and dryer, the microwave, and the thermostat. These are all in Japanese.
It took me awhile to figure out the washer and dryer. But after some trial and error and a few "Ah-HA" moments, I figured it out. I am lucky. Others I have talked to have a hose from their washer. They have to put it in the sink or tub full of hot water to wash with hot water. Not me. I have a hot and cold spigot going to my washer. However, if I want the hot, I have to turn off the cold and turn on the hot. I'll take that any day over the HOSE. Now, in order to use hot water, you have to turn the thermostat on. It Flash-heat's the water, there is no hot water heater. Believe it or not, it works really well. We all take long showers with no problem. I also turn it on for washing dishes and anything else I need Hot water for.
It is getting cold here. The kerosene heaters are on all the time now except if we are gone or sleeping. We received our first electric bill and it was only $120. We feel comfortable using the wall heater downstairs when we have to get the place warmed up quick. Say, at 8:00 at night and the house is frozen because we've been gone all day. It works quick, within 15 mins the livingroom is nice and toasty and we turn it off.
We have gotten very used to our little house and enjoy it very much. We will be sad to move onto base in a few months (not sure when). I prefer to stay in our house. The boys want to be on base to be closer to all the base has to offer and little Bryan will be near his friends and the teen center there.
Brian, Bryan and I decided to go to Grandberry Mall this past weekend. We spent about 3 hours there. You have to take the train about 4 stops. There is one transfer in between and on the way back we got on the wrong train! That was funny, but we realized it right away and only went 1 stop out of the way.
Grandberry Mall is a funny name for a Japanese mall. It is very much like an American Open Air Outlet Mall. They have Gap, Quicksilver Outlet, Outback Steakhouse, OshKosh Outlet, ColdStone Creamery, and many other American stores. There were lots of ladies clothing stores and lots of shoe and accessory stores. They had a upscale dog grooming/pet store called Joker. If I haven't told you before, Japanese LOVE THEIR PETS! This mall was dog friendly and we saw lots of people walking their spoiled pets. They are all dressed and bowed and adorable. Did I tell you about the doggie strollers?? They are all the rage here! They are EXPENSIVE. I want one for Dolly because she is such a wimp and doesn't like to walk very far. That way I can take her with me when I go exploring. My husband WILL KILL ME IF I PAY $130 FOR A DOG STROLLER. i'll wait until he goes out to sea. shhhh.
I had to have Outback YUM, again good English speakers there AND Bryan had to have Cold Stone Creamery. Just like in America, the girls that work there are young. For some reason, Bryan got about double the amount of ice cream as I did. HMmmm. I told him he should have given the cute one his email address. He said, "Mom! Shut up!". Oh well, one of these days he'll get over being shy and I'll wish he hadn't.

No comments: