One month ago today we headed on over to Logan Airport and boarded our flight to Japan (well, via Toronto to Japan). A full month ago. Within that time I’d say that we’ve successfully acclimated to life in Asia. Randy appears to have gotten his commute down pat (which wasn’t too difficult since we’re within walking distance of his office). We’ve made a few friends (mostly through Randy’s work, and then friends of friends). I’ve begun to figure out how and where to shop for the lowest priced produce since there are no American style super markets to be found anywhere.
I’ve also been getting more adventurous with the foods I’ll eat (horse, anybody?). Still, we’ve actually not had very much Japanese food since we’ve been here. We’ve either cooked ourselves (stir-fry, salad, etc..) or gone out to eat at various ethnic restaurants: Turkish, Italian, Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, etc…). I think the reason for that is that the Japanese restaurants have those curtains in front that block the entrance. I’m guessing in their minds those curtains are welcoming. To my western mind, they’re advising to me to stay out. What are they hiding in there?
We’ve also had a few adventures since we’ve been here. Just two weeks after moving we survived our first hurricane (or, typhoon, as they call them here). Twenty-seven floors and 300 feet above the ground our apartment creaked and swayed so much that I was starting to feel seasick. A week and a half later I was sitting on the sofa when I felt the building shake very slightly (and heard light creaking) and realized I was experiencing my first Tokyo earthquake. Randy didn’t feel it at his office, but for my Boston friends it reminded me of the one the east coast experienced last summer.
However, yesterday we felt our first real “big” earthquake. Randy had just finished a conference call so we were both in the apartment at around 11:31am when we both felt a jolt. We immediately looked at each other with that “did you just feel that?” looks on our faces. Then there was a rumble and the building started creaking and popping and stuff on shelves rattled (like the television). That was followed by less than 15 seconds of gentle swaying. After a while I went online and read that it was a 5.4 earthquake just southeast of Tokyo Bay. According to the Japan Meteorological Society Seismic Intensity Scale, our area of Tokyo experienced a level 3 (out of 7 levels, with 0 being minor and 7 being catastrophic). Areas closer to the epicenter experienced a level 4.
So le’ts recap: 1 month, horse meat dinner, a hurricane, and two earthquakes. Our future should sure be very interesting.
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