I guess if things didn’t keep happening to the Holmans, there would be nothing to write about!
I am very saddened to admit that we lost our Japanese home. L We will now be moving on base instead. This is not something that Nick and I are happy about, but we both know that everything happens for a reason and God has a purpose!
It all started Wednesday….
Nick came home from work (after midnight) to tell me the first bit of “good” news. Guess what? The very thing we had been anticipating finally came knocking on our door….Nick was deploying! Like within days!
Well when it rains, it pours. After trying to get used to the idea that this was going to happen whether I liked it or not, I was at least comforted by the idea that we would be moving into our new home in 2 days and our things would arrive in a few weeks!
The next morning we went to the household goods office to check on our stuff that was being shipped from the States. The man at the office tells us that no, in fact our stuff has still not been taken out of storage and started it’s journey to Japan! Excuse me? Can you repeat that? It is not going to be leaving the warehouse until August 15th! Oh, ok, that makes us feel better….NOT!
After a good hour at the household goods office, we left a little more than ticked off at the realization that our stuff wasn’t on it’s way yet, and there was NOTHING we could do about it! (Yes, Nick did ask several times who he could contact to complain…the man we spoke to just said that because it was the military’s fault and not the moving company, there was nothing we could do and no one we could say anything to! Great!)
Leaving there and going to housing in the state we were in, might not have been a good idea…nonetheless, we showed up at housing at the time we were asked to, in order to fill out paperwork and pick up the keys to our new house! We met with the counselor in housing who deals with off-base housing residents, and she handed us the paperwork we were to look over and sign.
The problem occurred when Nick looked at the sheet with the total on it and it had been changed from it’s original price. He asks the counselor why the price had changed and she pulls out our lease, which we had signed a week prior and shows us where the total had been scratched out and written below it with a new total. Of course, we were a bit confused by this. Apparently the landlord had come in the office that morning and been made aware of a “mistake” in the total, then the housing lady and landlord made the changes to the lease we had already signed. Hello, maybe they do that in Japan, but in the States, you can’t change something once it has been signed!!! That is completely unethical and illegal! Nick therefore refuses to sign and/or pay the extra amount! The counselor gets pissed (pardon, but she did…like steam was coming out of her ears!) and keeps repeating herself, trying to explain why it was ok for her to make changes…well it wasn’t! She then calls the landlord of the house we were supposed to move in to and starts going off in Japanese! (If only we knew what she said!!!) She then gets off the phone and says, “well, the landlord apologizes, but says you can either pay the extra money or find another house!” Ok, so glad we cleared that up!
Nick still refuses to sign and tells the counselor that he needs to have time to think about it. We leave and Nick calls the JAG (military lawyer) on base and asks his opinion on the matter. The JAG advices him to talk to the man in charge of the housing office. We then go back in housing and ask to speak to the boss man, and were told to have a seat and wait while he finished a phone call. After a few minutes the counselor whom we had the discussion (argument) with walks by and says, oh, are you back to sign the lease? Nick says, “no, I just want to get a question answered first.” She goes, “excuse me, do you mean my boss?” She then storms off, saying that she needs to talk to him first! At that moment, the boss walks out of his office, and calls us in! The counselor tells her side, we tell ours, the boss asks the counselor to leave and he shuts his door to speak to us in private! He is furious that this could have happened and agrees with us that the situation is not right! He tells us to leave so he can clear the mess up, but to come back in a couple of hours to settle everything. (Just a guess, but I think the counselor got mad because we went above her head!!!)
When Nick and I get back, the boss says, “I have some bad news, they don’t want to rent to you anymore!” WOW…thanks a lot! All because of their mistake, suddenly we have to pay for it!?! He says, “look, you don’t want to rent from them anyway if this is how they are going to be.” He tells us that while we were gone, the counselor made another phone call to the landlord and said God only knows in Japanese about us. He told us that he didn’t know exactly what was said, but it wasn’t very pleasant!
Ughhh! The language barrier is no fun!!! This situation was completely frustrating and out of our hands! It wasn’t fair that they could just change a document without telling us first, and had we gone along with it, it very well may have happened again! We weren’t ok, with letting something like that just slide under the table. However, standing up for ourselves, cost us the house in the end!
Lesson learned, do not question the Japanese!
The boss felt so sorry for us that he offered us a deal. He tells us we can move into a 3-bedroom townhouse on base the next week and be done with off-base housing. Nick and I didn’t want the offer, we were set on living off-base. But the boss told us that we would be looking at living in the Navy Lodge at least another month, while we go through the same ordeal we just experienced, looking for a house, waiting for it to pass inspection and then having to set up another move-in! He told us that the on-base house was ready for us to move into immediately and we were crazy not to accept!
We were able to look at the townhouse today, and it was very nice! As an O-2 (Nick’s rank) we are only eligible for a 2-bedroom townhouse. The townhouse that they are letting us live in (due to our bizarre situation) is a 3-bedroom and is only available for senior officers or families of 2 or more children. It has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a fenced in backyard, it’s two story, has covered parking, covered front patio, extra storage closet outside and under the stairs, and is plenty big enough for us. The problem was, we had our hearts set on living in a Japanese-style home!
The boss tells us that because we would be living in a place above our pay-grade, he would actually pay for our move if we decided at any point to move out in town! So, despite the stinky situation…the ups and downs of it all…we have really been blessed. It might not be ideally what we wanted, but it’s a situation we couldn’t pass up! With Nick leaving, it made sense to get me settled into a place. He will be more at ease leaving me on-base, next to so many other wives, than out in town, with an empty house and no dog! It will give us time to look at more houses off-base and wait for the “right” one to open up! This way, we won’t be rushed, because we will already be in a house, and can therefore take our time looking! (And by that time, Beretta will be here as will our furniture)
Yes, Nick is being deployed soon, yes our furniture won’t arrive for another month and a half, and yes we won’t be moving out in town as soon as we had hoped…but we have to be thankful for what we have and know that God has other plans…for now, it seems those plans are for us to live on base!
Liberty Lane, here we come!
(I apologize for the lengthy dialogue. Rather than answering a million questions and having to tell the story to multiple people, it was easiest for me to simply explain it on here and be done with it!)