It is 9:30 am. Outside it is overcast with gray clouds, and my weather app tells me that it is currently 84 degrees with a 40 % chance of rain, including thunder. Yay! (We have nowhere to go today. Let it rain!)
Inside, I am listening to the Juliette Greco station on Pandora, and utterly loving it. It’s lovely, light French music, and is just perfect for this morning. Â We have friends coming over in 1/2 hr, and are expecting both our air shipment delivery and the girls’ bunk bed delivery this afternoon. Â Woo hoo for friends and stuff!
The girls are playing doctor with the empty boxes in the living room. I believe this is some sort of MRI machine, though neither of them has ever seen one. Z is inside of it.
I wanted to answer questions about the cost of living in Japan, posed here and on Facebook. It is more expensive to live here than in CA (who knew that was possible?), and a cost of living increase was part of the negotiations in B taking the job here. Housing is definitely more expensive, and fruit is very expensive. The rest of the food isn’t bad, especially if you’re cooking Japanese and not using a lot of imported foods. We’re working on finding a balance. 🙂
Brandy asked: “if the cost of living is more than in Santa Clara, are the salaries correspondingly higher?” Ours is, but that’s not necessarily true of the rest of the people (Japanese and not) working in Japan. Most ex-pats’ income is adjusted for the cost of living. I think the Japanese who make less either live in a smaller place and are just resigned to a large percentage of their income going to rent, or they live outside of Tokyo (or on the outer parts) and commute in. In a lot of marriages, both people work, and a lot of couples don’t have kids, so a 1 bedroom place would work. I assume that single people could have roommates to cut costs.
Anna asked how the girls are coming along with Japanese. We haven’t started working seriously on it yet, but they’re picking some up. They were singing Japanese words as we walked to the train yesterday, and I’m sure passers by were wondering why they were singing ” boy, girl, cheese” over and over. Tiny in particular will learn a word or phrase and it just becomes part of her vocabulary, like “becha becha” which means “chit chat”.
Other random things around our house:
Our water is heated by gas (that’s all I know about it), and we have to turn it on for it to be hot. If you just turn on a faucet, the water will be cold. But if you push the little button (shown below) you can indicate how hot you want the water to get, and then if you turn the faucet to hot, it will be hot. (The cold side will still be cold.) There’s a panel in the kitchen and one in the bathroom. The one in the bathroom also controls the water filling into the tub- you can control temperature and how deep you want the water to be. It’s totally magic.
This is the bathroom, or shower room, as the girls call it. You stand outside the bathtub and shower, and the controls for the shower are connected there by that tubey thing. After you shower then you would take a bath if you were going to do that. The water from the bathtub fills from a … thing in the bottom of the tub- there’s no faucet.
This is the washing machine/dryer of doom. We are currently in a truce.
This phone is downstairs. There is a similar one upstairs, and you can call from downstairs to upstairs. The girls are currently ordering pizzas from each other.
Also happening right now- Sinead O’Conner is singing Don’t Cry For Me Argentina on my computer. How have I never heard this before??
Some pictures of the backyard- I’m looking at this as I type.
Better go get ready for the arrival of friends.
What’s happening with you at this moment?