Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We Made It!

We’re here! John is at his second day of work right now, and housekeeping is cleaning our apartment right now (fancy right?), so I thought now would be a good time to sit in our little common room and finally write something.

Our adventure started Thursday morning when we woke up at 4:00 AM to go to the airport. I thought it was John’s alarm that woke us up, but actually it was United Airlines calling to tell us that our flight from Asheville to Chicago had been canceled, and there was absolutely no way we could leave before Friday morning. So, we had an extra day in Brevard to relax, and as a bonus our flight left later on Friday, so we didn’t have to get up quite so early. On Friday we took the shortest flight ever, Asheville to Charlotte, and when we landed we learned that our next flight had been canceled. Again, they told us there were no flights until the next day, but we pleaded our cases, and the amazing woman at the ticket counter worked some magic, and suddenly we were on an Air Canada flight connecting through Toronto that only landed 20 minutes later than the flight we should have been on. So we landed the next afternoon in Narita, wrestled our bags through multiple subway connections, and then walked what felt like forever (probably only 6 blocks) in the pouring rain. But we found our apartment building with no problem. It’s slightly bigger than last year, and it’s definitely fancier than last year, although it has a little bit of a hotel feel.

This is the entrance to our apartment. On the left the first doors are the shoe closet. That's right, we have a closet specifically for shoes. The next door is for the toilet half of the bathroom. On the right the door you see is to the shower/bath room. Then we have a tiny kitchen.

Seriously tiny. It's basically a sink and one heating unit. We've also got a rice cooker, a microwave, and a large dorm sized fridge.

Then there is a door we can close to separate the hall/kitchen/bath area from the bed/living room. So here you can see the bed (a double this time!) and our little couch and coffee table

Standing where the bed is, you can see the rest of the room. We've got a little table, and dressers that hold the TV, and also serve as a desk. All in all, pretty fancy.

We’re living very close to where we did last summer, but the neighborhoods are very different. This summer we are in the heart of everything Roppongi, which is basically the foreigner/nightclub district. Within a block or two of our apartment are a McDonalds, a Starbucks, a TGI Friday's, an Outback Steakhouse, and a million clubs. Last summer, we were in an area with more residences, and the closest things were a tiny grocery store, some Japanese fast food places, and the AM/PM convenience store (my favorite!) which has sadly turned into a FamilyMart, we discovered.

John started work yesterday, but it was only orientation, so there’s not much to report there. He’s got an office this year, and a secretary, which is fun. There is one other intern, but he started last week so he’s already been through orientation, so John didn’t have much of a chance to meet him. It turns out that it’s just as fast to walk to work as it is to take the subway, so John walked this morning, and I went with him to see where he works. The building is not as impressive as Mori Tower, where he worked last summer. But apparently that building is supposed to be cursed, so it’s probably better that he’s not there anyways. Maybe John can write more about work at the end of the week.

Last night we met up with Grant and Tim, another Duke student, for dinner. We ended up going to a Korean place that was really good. And it was nice to get out do something fun after two days of setting up the apartment. So now I just have to figure out where I’m taking Japanese lessons, and plan lots of fun things to do while Christian is here, because he arrives in just a week and 2 days!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Japanese Sumer 2.0

Welcome back to the blog! John and I are off to Japan again this Thursday, so I thought it was time to bring back the blog. (And we all know how much John enjoys posting).

So this summer, look forward to John's real job, hopefully involving real work. A visit from Christian! And, other entertaining exploits (we hope).