We had planned to go to church this morning…you know, a little Jesus in Japan (hehe)! Our lodge is right next to the base Chapel, and our first appointment to look at a house wasn’t until 1pm, so we had plenty of time to go to church. Or so we thought…until our “little jog” turned into a ½ marathon!
Today was house hunting day #1! I would say it was a success! We only got to look at 2 houses, but we really liked one of them. One of the realtors was young and spoke really good English, and would be our translator because the owner does not speak English. The second realtor did not speak very good English and sometimes we had to just nod our heads because we did not know what he was saying! Haha!One thing we are getting used to is taking our shoes off when we get inside a Japanese home. It isn’t even a question…everyone takes them off the minute they walk in the door. In fact every house we have seen, friends houses included, have had a shelf by the front door specifically to put shoes! Love it! So different than in the US! What we thought was funny, was that in both of the houses we looked at today, the realtor set out slippers for us to put on to wear to walk around the house. I was a little weirded out by wearing someone else’s slippers, but didn’t want to be rude, so I wore them! The funniest part about the situation was that they were clearly made for Japanese people, aka small feet! Nick wears a size 13…if you can picture that….lets just say only half his foot fit into each slipper. He was dragging his heals on the floor and it was quite hilarious!!! (Again, I forgot to take a picture! Darn!)
Japan is what I would call a concrete jungle, no yards, no grass, and it is considered a good house if it is located near a park! Seriously, I am from Texas! Everything there is BIG and there is LOTS of green! This was something I was very worried about, especially since our dog will be living here with us for 3 years! A yard was what we really wanted, and lucky for us, the Lord provided! Both houses we looked at today had a yard! This was a surprise to Nick and I and was totally unexpected, so before we even saw the inside of the first house we were excited!!! One of the houses only had a small patch of yard, but it also had an open patio that opened to that grass, so it was definitely do-able! However, the second house had a full gated in yard!!! Not only was the entire yard gated in so Beretta could run around, but it was GREEN! Trees, grass, bushes, flowers, stepping-stones and a patio for BBQ’s! We loved it!
View from the back patio!
The other thing we were worried about was that there wouldn’t be enough storage space in Japanese homes. Again, this house surpassed our expectations! It had a storage shed outside and a “garage” all for extra storage! (what the Japanese mean when they say garages, is that you can put storage in them, not cars…it is in the back of the house and no where near where one could park a car!) Plus, in every room there were big closets, including several in the living room and the tatami rooms. Tatami rooms are a Japanese-style room, with the floors covered in tatami mats. Tatami mats are soft and covered in straw, they are how the Japanese measure the size of a room…for instance a 9 tatami mat room. Nick and I really want to live in a Japanese-style home with tatami rooms, sliding doors and all (there are several that are considered modern or Western-style and not as Japanese as we want). Again, the house with the big yard had all of the above! The only problem is, the realtor had to talk to the owner and see if he was willing to accept a dog or not. We are still waiting to hear back from him to see if we can live in the house or not! Hello?...who else would appreciate a yard as much as Beretta!??
A picture of my friend Mari's tatami room! Love it!
One more funny thing from today…we are in the car on the way to look at the second house and the realtor asks how to say Nick’s name. After Nick tells him, he gets a look of recognition on his face and then says, (in very broken English) “oh, have you ever heard of Nicholas Cage (only it sounded like Nick-o-las Cageee)?” Of course we were like “yes.” And he says, “yes, he is a big actor, very famous!” Haha…hilarious, as if we didn’t know that! But it’s how they associate how to say a name, with a famous actor/actress! Love it! Yet, when I said Brittney Spears, so he would know how to say my name, he still asked Nick how to say my name the entire time we were with him…oh, well!