Monday, September 21, 2009

On the town

The mailbox next to the Navy Lodge looks like R2D2 - Cute, Huh?

On our third day in Japan, we crossed the yellow line in the pavement that marks the end of US soil and went shopping in Yokosuka. Like most cities, it has lots of traffic, eateries, shops and plenty of pedestrians, including two new Yokoskans. We loved the grocery store and bought edamame, dumplings, tempura shrimp w/sweet chili sauce and some nigiri for that night's dinner. The best part is the amazing, delicious fruit. The grapes were like candy. We intend to make this 'our town'.

This entire week is orientation. Two days to cover what services are available on base (it takes the full two days) and then three days of Intercultural Relations, Japanese history, language, manners, religion, how to take the train and on Friday we can take the written test for our drivers' license. I need to adjust to sitting on the right seat and driving in the left lane.

US Navy ships in Tokyo Bay as seen from the local mall.

I've decided to add some quick lessons to the blog. They will be at the bottom of some entries and will be marked QUICK LESSON so those seeking knowledge, read on.
QUICK LESSON - The Japanese written language uses three separate types of symbols, Kanji originated in China and one symbol can mean a word (like sun or man), Hiragana is a set of characters developed in Japan, and Katakana (which looks a lot like Hebrew) is used to phonetically write out foreign words that have seeped into Japanese lifestyles (co-la, ha-m-br-gr, i-pd, roc-n-rl). Some of each set of characters are seen in this sign.

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