Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Ok if you don't know what the title of this blog is rent the movie Spaceballs to find out. Anyways everything in Japan has a beep. If you leave the refrigerator open to long and it beeps until you close it. Once the washing machine is done it beeps until you turn it off (and the water faucet to conserve resources). Once the dryer is done it also beeps until you turn it off. If you leave the water heater on to long it beeps. You would think the beeps are different but noooooo they are all the same!!!!! So you spend half an hour trying to figure out what's beeping so that it won't drive you crazy!!!!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
This weekend we where out and about in our new environment. On Friday we went to a company dinner to welcome new people to the section (Orlando included) and to say good bye to a few people. Ok so how do I know this if everyone was speaking Japanese? Luckily we sat next to an American who had a translator and we just listened to her. So the party started at exactly 7 pm (no Puerto Rican time here) with an opening statement from the boss. Then the people whom the activity was for stood up one by one and said something (thank you for all your hard work etc.). Finally it was Orlando's turn to talk and he had prepared something in Japanese to read (I look forward to working with all of you etc.) I thought he said it very well. Good job Orlan!!! The unexpected part was that after he sat down one of the gentleman there stood up and said "Now a few words from Orlando's wife". I was completely unprepared, if I would have known I would have tried to say something in Japanese, but since I'm so shy I just stood up and talked in English (most of them understood). All I said was "thank you for accepting Orlando into your group and yelling him get adjusted", what else was I gong to say? I keep getting lost? Later I found out that it was a Japanese custom for a new person to stand up and introduce themselves when it's there first time in a new group - very valuable information that I wish some one would have told me on hour before we got there. The party ended exactly at 9:30 pm again with a closing statement (no "asopao" - soup - at 4 am here). It was very well organized.
On Saturday we went to the modern art museum and to a soccer game. The art museum was very cool and had an animation exhibition (my friends Hector and Karin would be lost in there for hours). The museum was on top of a very steep hill that reminded me of driving to Maricao (where my mom works in Puerto Rico) with a very narrow road and blind curves. Later that day we went to the season opener of the Hiroshima soccer team. The interesting part was that the stadium was outside of the city so we had to drive there. Luckily we followed our neighbors who have been here two years. To take the toll for the highway we had to pay $4 US dollars to get out and another $4 to get back, so now I know why all the public transportation is full. The game was fun luckily we sat by the hard core fans who had a giant banner that we got to hold on to and wave a few times. All I understood while I was there was "Hiroshima something something Hiroshima" so we basically clapped. It's rainy season here and it has been raining all day!!! As a result we already have 6 umbrellas. There will be enough of them to go around when someone visits. Rain Rain go away!!!!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Alright so we have survived our first week in Japan. I don’t have my camera yet so I will share with everyone random observations I've made so far.
- People -> The Japanese people are very nice and try to help us out as much as they can, considering we can't communicate. We have met a few foreigners living here that have been extremely helpful. The community of English speakers are from all over the world - United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina to name a few. Most of them are in their second or third international assignments. The people that we know basically show up in our front door either on foot or in their bikes (like if you were 12 years old and your friends will come to get you at your house) and take us around downtown.
- Wrestling -> There is allot of wrestling on TV. The same as the US (WWE) and the Japanese wrestlers dressed as the bad guy from the Power Rangers with masks and lots of colorful suits. Orlando saw the Legion of Doom (for those of you who remember) wrestling in the Japanese league - we are still looking for the Ultimate Warrior - yes they are still wrestling at about 60 years old.
- Music -> The Japanese MTV is a source of endless entertainment. The types of music (Hip-Hop, pop, dance etc.) are the same as the US but in Japanese obviously. I did not know what they where saying but the MTV V-jay was interviewing a band in a studio full of Jamaican flags and the singer was Japanese with corn rolls - yes it exists. We did hear "La Gasolina" yesterday blasting from a clothing store - gather your things it's the end of the world. If anyone knows of good radio stations thru the internet let me know
- Church -> We went to the English mass in the Catholic Church in front of our apartment. Once we got to mass it was obvious that we where not in Kansas - in our case Michigan - anymore. There was us about 6 Americans and the rest of the people were from the Philippines. The mass started out in English and then the songs where in Phillipino so I understood half of what was going on. It was definitely an experience to say the least.
- Peace museum -> We went to the Peace museum on Saturday. It’s very impressive and about the only cheap thing here, only about $3. It showed the destruction after the atomic bomb and, the saddest part, the effects of the radiation on the people.
- Baseball -> There is allot of baseball on TV. They give allot of the Yankees games and Seattle Mariners games since they have Japanese players on their rosters. At the end of the game the managers are interviewed in the middle of the stadium and transmitted through the loud speakers. This particular game we where watching had Bobby Valentine’s team win and he spoke at the end and people cheered for him once is translator spoke. Also the MVP of the game is given a giant plush toy (peluche) at the end. There is allot if Americans and even some Puerto Ricans (Hello, Orlando knows them all) playing in the Japanese Baseball league. It’s interesting to see the Japanese’s take on America’s past time.
Monday, July 17, 2006
We began this blog in order to share our experience in Japan with friends and family. As you might have already noticed from the blog name my husband and I are from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico "la isla del encanto" - the island of enchantment. How we ended up in Hiroshima, Japan I'm still asking myself but basically for work. In a conclusion we are half way around the world from our home.
We have been riding around Hiroshima in our bikes the past few days exploring our surroundings. You have to look out for all sorts of thing like people walking, more bicycles, kids running and funny looking mopeds with crazy drivers - it's like the game Frogger but with real people. Below you can a see a picture of our bikes, mine is light blue and Orlando's is black.
We also got our car and literary went around the block and back. Basically because it did not have a lot of gasoline and we have to figure out how to say fill it up or simply put some gas in this thing!!! We got navigation system in it and made the lady who brought it to our apartment program in our house. Since its in Japanese we basically drive and try to make the arrow on the screen go toward the blue house that indicates home. Finally we where able to put some gas into the car but 3/4 of a tank was about $52 US dollars !!! I have a feeling my bike is going to be my best friend in terms of transportation. Below is a picture of our Mazda Verisa.
In terms of food we are doing OK and "inventing" a few meals. The quantity of food portions is small so that it's fresh (almost everything expires 2 days later). I was able to figure out the stove somewhat so that we won't cause any fires or anything like that. Now the rest of the appliances are waiting for my guessing game of function buttons.