So, we arrived from Seoul, Korea to Okinawa, Japan a week ago. We are just now getting our feet wet, so to speak, here in sunny Oki…It has rained on and off for the entire time we’ve been here. I wouldn’t expect anything less seeing as we are in the beginning of Typhoon Season here. (It will run until November.)
In the time span of a week, we’ve had to take an Okinawan Driver’s Test, which we both passed; learned how to drive on the left side of the road, but on the right side of the car (totally backwards from the United States); looked at different housing options and accepted one house on base; bought not one but two vehicles; registered three kids in two different schools; battled getting the entire family registerd in Tricare Asia Region; found Immunizations at the hospital and had records created for the family at Outpatient Records in the Hospital; found our way around the island; and began the paperwork for us to take some much-needed, much-deserved leave back to the United States, specifically to go to Target….aaaahhhhh, it really is the little things that make a girl go goo-goo over. (We’ve gone over two years without cable TV, and without going to a mall, Walmart, or Target. I am over 5’9″ and my husband is 6’2″ and we’ve been living in the “land of the little people” so we need to get back to the States to buy some clothing that actually fits us.)
For those who aren’t military, when you move to Okinawa, Japan, you are not allowed to take your cars with you. The government will pay to store one of your two cars. When we moved to Korea, we were allowed to take our car, which we took the smallest of the two and left our Sequoia in the States. So, for two years we tooled around Seoul, Korea in our Honda Accord, which fit our family of five perfectly. When we left Korea, we had to ship our Honda home to go into government used storage facility and buy two “new” used cars in Okinawa. (No one buys new over here. We buy used and sell them at the “Lemon Lot” on base to another military member and their family to get by with for their tour.) So, this tour we bought a “like new” white van the kids named “Farkle” in honor of friends of ours in Korea. We all used to play Farkle together so it reminded the kids of Mr. Mike and Miss Aimee.
Our second vehicle just needed to get good gas mileage and frankly, be a “hoopty” car. We got our wish! This car, can you believe, seats our family of five to a T, but not much of anything else. It gets great gas mileage and is perfect for my husband to get to and from work. The kids have named this car “BLAMMO!!”, again in honor of Mr. Mike and Miss Aimee. The funny thing about this car is that my oldest daughter, who is eleven, is taller than the car. The kids love tooling around Okinawa in it.