Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vending Machines

Yes, vending machines. You might be thinking, "How could vending machines really be any different than in America?" Well, I thought the same thing when I got here. It's a vending machine, you can't go much different than inserting money and receiving a drink after pushing a button. Well, that's the basic part of it.

What is so different here in Japan is that these vending machines are everywhere. That is not an exaggeration. I'm not kidding you one bit. These vending machines are placed everywhere like Subway Restaurants, McDonald's, or a Starbucks. Everywhere. Across the street from each other. Right down the block. On the same block. Yes everywhere.

See these vending machines here on the right? They are the same ones in the picture above. But did you catch the red square in the left of this photo? THAT is another drink machine. I am not kidding. You can see that they are just a few yards away from each other.

And down the hill, almost to the main road just around the corner is yet another set of vending machines just like the ones pictured here.

Also note that this is in my cho. It's not on some highly-trafficked area but on a hill in a neighborhood. I don't know how often these things get restocked but they typically always have enough drinks in them. They mostly have cold drinks in them, but occasionally they serve hot drinks. It all depends on which one you go to and what it happens to have in it. See, the white one on the right has mostly teas and coffees, while the red one has mostly sodas and fruity drinks.

Well, this has been the first of "WTF Wednesdays" (AKA "Yep, the Japanese have that" AKA "Whatever I feel like righting about on Wednesday that you might find interesting") I hope you've learned something about Japan and be sure to come back!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Missing You Monday

This post is dedicated to the ones I love who are stuck stranded in the States without me while I'm all the way without them on an Island Nation in the Pacific Ocean called Japan. Yes, that's right, I have loved ones. And you just might be one of them since you took the time to read something I wrote. In fact, I do love you for reading something I wrote.

Yep, here I am in Japan by myself. "Where's Evan?" you might be asking yourself. Well, that's a good question. See, he had to go do this thing called Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) pronounced "swauce" like (bbq) sauce but minus the condiment and add a "w" after the first letter. Yeah, he's been there for two-and-a-half weeks in Rhode Island while I've been here coaching, playing, and quitting coaching soccer. I've also been working on some paperwork for me to actually stay here and all the privileges that come with living here, like driving and seeing a doctor. Well, that all ends on Saturday (or Sunday if he doesn't get an earlier flight) when I get to see him again because he'll be done with that swaucey school of his and endure roughly 14 hours on one flight to Tokyo and then another 6 hours to get through customs, wait on his next flight, and the ride the bus all the way to Sasebo to see me.

So, for the first in the series of What America Has That Japan Doesn't and I'm Currently Missing (AKA Missing You Monday AKA What I Miss Most), this one's about you Evan (mostly) and the rest of my family where there were two birthdays since I've left and mine's up next. I miss you all where ever we are stranded without each other...hopefully missing me, too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Series

When I decided to introduce the two new series that I'm going to be writing about (at least try to) weekly, I had to think to myself, "What if I'm talking about more than one series, what's the plural form of 'series'?" And it turns out there does not exist a word for multiple series. I would have thought "serieses" would work, but the annoying little red line appears underneath it. So I'll just try not to confuse you with saying "series" when I'm talking about introducing multiple ones and not just one series...

Anyway, the one I'm most excited about is going to be called "What I miss most" and it will feature whatever it is that I don't have access to here in Sasebo but is still in America. I've got plenty of these things just waiting to be written about all lined up. You can look for this weekly and maybe it will find out there waiting.

The other series that will be new is going to be called "Yep, the Japanese have that here" and I think it's one that you are going to be most excited about since it will feature crazy things that seem odd, different, unique, or any other thing I mind find at the last minute I think you might mind interesting.

Remember that I am 13 hours ahead of the East Coast so my Monday is not necessarily my Monday when I feel like posting something each week.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back on Monday for the first "What I miss most"!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm in Japan!

I've been in Japan for two weeks now and it's rather nice being here with Evan. It's nice not "just visiting" or seeing him over Skype. I'm actually here! I don't have a return plane ticket. I have my passport stamped designating me SOFA status. It says I am allowed to live here for longer than their 90 visa that tourists get.

So far I've coached one youth team (7-8 year olds) and got recruited to coach a second team (11-15 year olds) and to play for the women's 18+ soccer team for Sasebo's main base. The youth teams play the other team in the same age group within the Main Base and we also play the other base affiliated with Sasebo called Hario. The women's team, we play Hario and I think we also play a Japanese team.

For the last ten years I played soccer (I played for 13 years) I was mainly in the goal playing goalie. This team I'm playing on now may mean I'm on the field. We've got a few very skilled players, including myself, and we've got some good players, and some very fresh feet who have never played before. While I've got some theories on how I would field us, that may not be how the coach decides to play us. We'll see how it all goes. For all three teams, our first games are on Saturday. Wish us luck!