Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No Internet for Gaijins


Our last week in the States was highlighted by an event we entitled “Monday Night for the Maloneys.” Our friends and family gathered to give us one big “goodbye”. It was wonderful and we would like to thank everyone who attended. Here are some of those people…



That Tuesday we both had to give up our iPhones, which I do not really want to talk about. Moving on…

We spent Wednesday night in Dallas because our flight left at 6 the next morning. Thanks to the advice of an employee of the airport we arrived three hours before our flight left. Here we are at 3 in the morning ready to go…


The counter opened and we soon found out that all three of our checked bags were over the weight limit. Since a few pounds were the difference between $25 and $150 we quickly redistributed our belongings.

Our first flight was from Dallas to Chicago. Not super exciting. But Chicago to Tokyo, a 14-hour flight, was…interesting. First, the flight attendants had 4 outfits that they changed to and from during the course of the flight. After several movies and a couple of meals we landed and trudged through the infamous immigration office.

Our boss met us at the airport and helped us take the 2-hour bus ride to Mito. I slept. Staci didn’t. We arrived to rain, 30-degree temperatures, and Oklahoma-grade wind. It was very confusing, but eventually we ended up in the car with someone who took us to our apartment.

And that’s when we met…the Kajiyamas! They are a wonderful couple that has basically adopted us as their own children. We stayed with them our first night, which was a good decision because we had no heater and it snowed. But before taking us home they proceeded to fill our apartment with everything but the kitchen stove (which they bought later). We had dinner and later breakfast at a table no more 6 inches above the floor under which my legs would not quite fit.

The Kajiyamas bought us many things for our apartment and we managed to purchase at least a few things without them paying (next post we will just give a tour of the apartment). Here’s the view from our front door (please note the cows)…





We had an intense week of training, filled out a lot of paperwork, went to our schools last Thursday and began working Friday. Here’s part of our group on the way to City Hall…


We are both quite happy right now though the language barrier is not great. Also, we have no phones or Internet, because we have no alien registration card. Usually it takes a week or so, but this year it is taking a month...

See you!

Monday, April 12, 2010

It is your birthday.


First item on the agenda was taking Vienna (the dog) to the Vet. It was very depressing and I made this video to commemorate the experience…


On Thursday, Staci celebrated a birthday. I am not authorized to disclose her age so let’s move right along to the festivities…

I spent most of the day running errands while the Mrs. went to get a pedicure with Heather and Hiroka. Our main plan (going to see a show) fell through so we called an audible and went bowling…

Here we are hoping our Wii skills would translate to actual bowling…they did not. I had the highest score (with 92), but no one could really claim a victory.






Heather is engaged! Will Jason be her Scotty Pippen? (Read Heather’s blog for explanation)


Tonight we spent time with some old friends. We ate some amazing queso and cheesecake and smores and wow that is a lot of food. I had actually forgotten we were “in the country” until a bobcat wandered up to the deck. Luckily, the cat Coco, Oleo, Oreo…(whatever the cat is going by now) defended us.




More to follow…


Monday, April 5, 2010

Home on the Ranch


Our last stop on the Maloney Farewell Tour was to see my grandparents in Lubbock. We played games, went shopping, ate steak and took naps (not in that order). It was great to see them and introduce them to Skype...

Now back in Oklahoma we are spending the rest of our time in the US with Staci’s parents…

We are currently living in their mudroom complete with washer/dryer and a bathroom that is currently out of order. It’s close quarters but is undoubtedly preparing us for an apartment in Japan...

Life in the country is not too bad, but the commute is not great. Every time we leave we are “going into town.”

Here’s picture of Tim tillin’ up the land... All that’s missing is a basket full of chicken and a big cold jug of sweet tea...




There are two new additions to the family. Their names are Vienna and Paris…They are a handful but very cute…



We leave in 10 days!