Sunday, January 11, 2009

Settling In

I am really looking forward to our air shipment arrival. Then we can unpack and really feel more settled rather than the "camping out" feel we have right now.

Nick and I have taken care of some official business - the required registration at the local ward office in Shibuya. Soon we will get our gaijin cards and be officially resident aliens. (Gaijin is the Japanese word used for foreigners.)

Our family connection through the American School in Japan (ASIJ) is a family in our apartment building - the Olivers. They are a very friendly and approachable family, and Chris and their son Michael are proabably in the same class at ASIJ. Anyway, Michael Oliver has 3 teenage older sisters who babysit. Sarah looked after our guys when Nick and I did our business in Shibuya.

The other thing we have been doing this week is furniture assembly. Nick's company had budgeted for furniture rental while we were here, and the sum was ridiculous (in our eyes). We offered to take a percentage as an allowance and use the allowance to purchase furniture. Nick felt it would be a good will gesture, showing our reluctance to fritter money away foolishlly.

Well, Nick was in Tokyo in the first week of December and made a big IKEA purchase. Everything was waiting for us when we arrived - the matresses were great to have for the first night. However, after assembling 3 single beds, headboards, and bookcases, one queen headboard/bookcase combo, we want a divorce from IKEA. Never again! Too many allan wrenches, locking rings and bumped laminate!

I told Nick I was ready to hire myself out as an IKEA assembler. I could make business cards and hand them out in the IKEA parking lots. "Furniture assembly by Pam - in your home!" "Don't curse IKEA, call Pam!"

But what would my official title be? Nick suggests IKEA Savant, which has a nice ironic touch. Or perhaps IKEA Maven?

School starts tomorrow for Chris and Michael, and the whole family is going in the morning for an orientation. The alarm clocks are set, and backpacks are packed. Here we go!


  1. Hi Pam -
    Let us know what the boys thought of their new school! How are they doing?

    Also - I'd love to see some photos of your place!

    When am I allowed to open the "when 40 approaches" envelope? Aren't I approaching 40?
    ha, you.

  2. I will post some photos when my computer arrives. Right now I am posting and emailing from my Ipod, which is horrible to do for any length of time. This morning I borrowed Nick's laptop and it's certainly easier to type an entry, but I still can't post photos.

    I say you can open the envelope when you are 39!!! And 40 is in the headlights! So give it a few months. It's not a big deal - just some stuff Mom gave me when I hit 40.

    love you too