Nick and I were fortunate when we got here, to get a car within hours of arriving. Even though we couldn't drive until we took the driving class and received our Japanese drivers license, it was nice to find a car so quickly and have wheels waiting when we were finally able to drive. Thanks again goes to Mari for sending us the information on the Cube, literally the night we arrived!
Our "new" car is a 1998 Nissan Cube. Yes it's 12 years old, but in great condition...the best part is, we paid for it in cash!!!
We were told cars over here in Japan were cheap, like literally stealing them from the lot cheap...but one can ever fully believe something like that until they witness it for themselves. Well, we have witnessed it! The Japanese don't like to drive cars for very long, they like to drive new and modern cars. Therefore they are always upgrading, which leaves their "old" cars available to us Americans who just need wheels to get from A to B!
Oddly, I will admit that I am already used to driving on the other side of the road. It is ironic how after 4 weeks, Nick and I are already getting accustomed to living in Japan. If we were just visiting it might be different, but we are not tourists in this foreign country, it is our new home. With so much on our plate in so little time, we had to get over the shock factor and just get on with our lives! (That is not to say that at times things don't jump out at me as different, but I am less aware of it than when we arrived in Japan!)
My friend reminded me yesterday that in less than 4 weeks, we found a house, got a car, Nick started work, got his motorcycle license, I got a job at Ichiban, plus 4 tutoring jobs lined up and we have been active and traveling as well! With all that, it is no wonder we are adjusting to life in Japan...we sort of have to!
The car came complete with a Warlord sticker (Nick's new squadron) as well as an Apple sticker! Luckily for us, we are Mac and I-phone users as well as proud to be in the Warlord family!
Nick and I still will at times accidentally go to the "wrong" side of the car to get in. Out of habit we will try to get in the car on what in the States is the driver side, but what is the passenger side here in Japan. We will laugh at ourselves and then have to walk to the other side, hoping no one witnessed our blunder! The other "mistake" we both make is trying to use our blinker, and accidentally using our wind-shield wipers instead! Driving on the "opposite" side of the road became natural rather quickly, however remembering that the wind-shield wipers and the blinker were switched is still a little tricky to remember!
Check out how short the car is...I threw this picture in to indicate the size compared to Nick, otherwise it doesn't appear that miniature. The Cube is rather petite, especially compared to Nick's truck, which we sold in the States. We were warned of the tiny roads in Japan as well as the lack of parking spots. For these reasons, the Cube is perfect...in fact, we see our car everywhere, as in half of the Americans on base have one completely identical to it! (Exaggeration, but pretty close to it!)