What happens when you get out of bed at a (reasonably) early hour in Japan? A stuffed Power Rangers toy is just one of the many perks!
10:00 a.m.- Wake up and eat a breakfast of champions: a leftover burrito and a chocolate bagel.
10:30- Use the world’s greatest invention, the Magic Jack, to call my mom and long lost friend, Cubicle Dave. If you are an American or Canadian and are going to live abroad, get one!
11:05-12:00 Set up online banking through Shinsei bank, only the second English friendly product I’ve met in Japan (the other being Hyperdia.com for the train schedule)
1:00- Go to the bike repair shop for the third time in one month. Through hand gestures and various grunts and groans, finally able to find a leak in the tire this time and I have my bike fixed right.
2:00- Deposit 70,000 yen into Shinsei bank, the first step towards finally sending money home. If you are living in Japan and want the most cost-effective way to send money home, let me know. Bobby, from Ramblin’ Man, figured it out and has helped me set it up. It’s a pain at first, but once you get it straightened out it gives you the best exchange rates, bar none.
2:05- Treat myself to a mid-afternoon Crunky bar due to my elation at putting money away. My first ice cream of the day.
2:10- Bike the 20 minutes to the Oki-Doki thrift store to work off a quarter of the ice cream bar.
3:00- Man up and finally buy a couch and an oven to (hopefully) complete our home furnishings. Am told it would be delivered within two hours. Find an awesome panda puppet and stuffed power ranger in the “0 yen” bin. Am elated!
4:00- Bike rapidly home and wait, hoping the delivery truck would beat Heather home from work and I could surprise her.
4:45- Heather arrives home from work.
5:15- Delivery truck arrives. Delivery guys spend 15 minutes trying to wedge a full size couch into a narrow hallway. Finally, they decide to come in through the back porch sliding door (foreshadowing).
5:30- Heather is overjoyed with the new purchases and immediately bakes chocolate chip cookies.
6:00- Drew, Heather and I embark on a trip to the Great Outdoor shop. They do not have the pack that I want but we do find out that they sell travel hammocks for 3300 yen ($40). I store this in my memory bank for later.
7:00- Enjoy an awesome curry meal at a tiny joint we have been meaning to try for three months. Drew asks the owner where he is from. He answers Nepal. I “kindly” point out the name of the restaurant (Nepal Kitchen) as well as the five large, and titled, pictures of the mountains of Nepal that surround the cash register.
All day- Continuously refuse attempts at trying to be roped in to going to see Harry Potter 7.
8:37- I walk home wearing an awesome hat which I plan to steal from its rightful owner (shhh!). Drew and Heather drive off in the other direction towards the theater.
8:47- I arrive home. The door is locked. I have no key.
8:50- I attempt to break in to my house through the back porch but all three sliding doors are locked (only in Japan would the delivery guys have been so conscientious to lock ALL THREE SLIDING DOORS. The one door has never been locked for the whole 3.5 months I’ve lived here!) In the process, I do my best beached whale imitation to get over the balcony railing. *recreated below for your enjoyment*
9:00- Bike to McDonald’s, the only place I know that is 24 hours. Befriend a gay British dance instructor named Tommii.
9:10- Buy 100 yen vanilla milkshake. My second ice cream of the day.
9:15- Spend 2 hours reading “A Time to Kill” on my Ipad and enjoying the warmth.
11:15- Grow bored and bike to the combini. Purchase a bottle of Morning Rescue because I like the name. Quickly realize the name is better than the taste.
11:20- Bike to the Wildcat’s “Dart Café” but don’t enter because the only patrons are two scary looking guys playing darts together and one girl playing darts alone. And because its a darts cafe.
11:25- Take an hour long bike ride through the rice paddies. Reach a state bordering on nirvana for about 10 minutes as it is completely silent except for the sound of my pedals and the whirring of my friction powered bike light.
11:35- Pass a small little church in the middle of nowhere. I am overwhelmed by a feeling of complete peace and reminded of God’s great presence.
12:45- Return home, lay on my new couch, eat two more cookies. Decide that the two purchases have already paid for themselves.