Hello everyone! I'm in Japan now, and have been for the past week. It has been quite an adventure so far, and let me count to you the the reasons why this trip has been a big adventure.
First of all, when my plane landed in Chicago, I had no idea that my connecting flight to Tokyo would be overbooked by 20 people. I was bumped off of the passenger list, plus a few other really pissed off people. I wasn't completely bummed, since I've got a sister in the Chicago area. I called her and we hung out for a day at her place. It was nice and we ate well.
The flight there was uneventful. Most of the passengers slept, but I for some reasons, couldn't sleep for more than 20 or so minutes at a time.
Finally arrived at the airport, did not see my sponsor. For those of you who don't know what a sponsor is. A sponsor is someone who is assigned to you when you first arrive for assignment on a military post, it doesn't have to be a foreign post. I knew that my original sponsor was supposed to be on leave, he told me that his boss will instead be there to greet me. That did not happen. I just followed some other service members and took the shuttle bus to this post. It was a long ride, and by then, my jetlag was catching up with me.
After being dropped off at the barracks, I was sort of shocked at how shitty it is. The room is bare, there is no linens on the bed, no shower curtains, and a non-functioning fridge. I'm sure that it could have gotten a lot worse, at least that was what I was told anyways. Later on, I was told that my barracks has been referred to as the "ghetto barracks". Such is my luck, but I'll get used to it.
The food in the chow hall? Only the breakfast is edible.
I don't have any mode of transportation here. So I have to walk everywhere. My supervisor is an okay guy, another one of those retired military folks who made the transition to (I don't know if you call that much of a transition) government service life. He'll tell you where to go, but will never give you a lift. So far, the nicest people that I've met are people that I don't work with. Mostly, the people here tend to stay to themselves. There is also some age difference. Most of the single soldiers are in their 20's, while most of the soldiers around my age are married, or have a whole other life while they're off of work. (Kind of like myself)
Japan is an expensive place to live in. It's also a small place to live in. I think since it is fairly Westernized in terms of technology and customs, more Westerners live here than other countries in the Pacific, correct me if I am wrong.
I miss the GF, the kids, and everyone from the Stateside immensely. I am glad that I've only signed up for 100 days and no more!
I will write more as event warrants!