It has been quite a while since my last post so there might be a lot to write about. Maybe not. What have I been doing?
Dan is finally on a day schedule, hooray! I am definitely happier than I have been these past few months. Mostly because we are doing more during the day, and Spring has sprung! It is still a bit chilly for me, but at least the sun shines most days and the Sakura trees (cherry blossoms) have bloomed! There are cherry blossoms everywhere on base, so now there are a bunch of boring pale yellow buildings and flowery trees! Definitely makes it look less gloomy around here. The pictures in my previous posts are so dark and bland, much like how I was feeling. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing, people. For those of you who are just chipper all the damn time and don’t know what that means, SAD is a type of depression that is related to the changes in seasons. Like the acronym suggests, you become sad. It’s possible that it is “all in your head,” and if that is the case, my head strongly impacts my emotions.
On the first nice day I experienced here, I was skipping around outside. I am not exaggerating. I was literally skipping and smiling and hitting Dan’s arm every two minutes to tell him how nice it is outside, as though he was completely unaware. I was on some great kind of Vitamin D high. It actually snowed a lot a few days later and that immediately made me hate all things living, but I’m pretty sure there won’t be anymore snow for some time. On that day I spent the entire time thinking about how I would rather be back in NY. I was seriously convinced that I had made a big mistake moving to Japan, so I was trying to figure out how I could go back to the states during the winter, and then return to Japan for the rest of the year to be with Dan. That will not be happening though. Dan assured me that I am still adjusting (yes), I probably still feel like this is very temporary (yes), and I will eventually find a job in my field here (hopefully). The hiring freeze has been lifted, so I should be able to find work soon.
I often need to remind myself that the universe has a plan, and it is not mine.
Now that we are awake during the day, we finally went on the cultural tour that all of the newcomers on base go to. Dan has already been on it, but it happens every week and it is free. It was pretty cool. First we went to the cultural center off base where we learned about the country and learned some simple Japanese. Later we went to a shrine in Hachinohe and a big fish market. When you walk onto the grounds of the shrine, there is an area with flowing water and cups, where you do this whole hand washing ritual. You do not simply put water on your hands, you must do it the proper way. I cannot explain how it is done. There is also a ritual for praying. I did not learn that, but it looked interesting. And you ring a bell when you are finished. Everything there was built and made with so much detail on the roofs, walls, and pillars. It was beautiful.
That was a fun little trip.
Oh I joined a women’s softball team! It’s pretty cool… The team goes on tournaments to Korea, Okinawa, and Yokota. Hopefully I can go to all of them.
It turns out there is a whole lot to do on this base. There are things like “Mongolian Night” and “Build Your Own Pizza Night” which are cool. There is a big outdoor recreation center where you can rent tents, skis and snowboards, bicycles, canoes, etc. Also in that building is an indoor track, batting cages, and mini golf. There are also plenty of fields for softball/baseball, tennis, soccer, and football, turf, and a nice track. I think there is a golf course too. Dan keeps saying how much better this base is compared to Lakenheath because there was absolutely nothing there. And there was nothing close by off base to enjoy, unlike here, where there are so many restaurants and stuff.
The other day was full and a lot of fun. Dan, Jackson, and I did archery and skeet shooting! There is an entire part of base I had never been to. There are a bunch of abandoned buildings which is kind of weird and kind of cool, and there is a big area where you can do outdoorsy things like shoot guns, archery, and paintball. There’s actually a whole paintball field.
I had never done skeet shooting before and I was so sure I would be bad at it. The first 5 rounds I shot, I was in fact terrible. I had the gun on my left side though because that’s what Dan and Jackson were doing since they were left eye dominant, and so am I. I switched over to my right side because that felt more comfortable and I shot the clay pigeons! I missed a bunch of times but I hit them a bunch of times too! It was so much fun. Dan was a freaking pro at it, and he had never done it before either. We were all so hyped up afterward. Later that day Jackson and I went to play racquetball for a little, and then a bunch of us went to a hookah bar called Karma that we all frequent. I have been spending more time with friends here and it’s so nice. I’m getting to know everyone even better, and I really like all of them. They’re just fun to be around. And as I mentioned in previous posts, I have become good friends with one girl Demi, and it makes me really happy.
Other random news…
-On Wednesday, Dan and I plan to go to Hirosaki castle for a cherry blossom festival.
-We’re going back to the states in October for my sister’s wedding and depending on some circumstances, I am hoping to spend a month there. Dan won’t spend as much time there as me though.
-Kumo jumped up on my face and his nails need to be cut so now I have a big scratch on my face. Yesterday we got Sushi with Demi, Edd, and Ryan, and I waved to a little Japanese girl because she was looking my way, and she just stared at me. It was then that I realized that I probably look very scary to her….
-Vending machines here have potato chip necklaces.
That is all for now. I must try to write more often so that I am not only updating on what I’ve been up to. I’ll develop a good flow some day.