Sunday, March 20, 2005

TDY (Temporary Duty)

Tokyo is just over a one-hour flight from where I live. However, it took ten hours of travel to get from there to here today. I'm beat! I drove my car to the Hiro Airport, flew to Tokyo, took a two-hour bus and then a 25 minute train to end up in NW Tokyo, and then a company driver picked me up and brought me to base, sparing me a 10 minute taxi ride. Jeez! Planes, trains and automobiles!

I already ran to the PX and stocked up on a few things that I can't get where I live, although I have to admit, it's not as great as I remember it. The base is pretty small, and it makes me feel kind of grateful for mine. I also made a quick stop at Cinnabon for breakfast tomorrow. Can't leave out Cinnabon.

I was really tired tonight after I got settled into billeting, but I decided to be adventurous and go into the city a little. I ended up spending two or three hours in Tachikawa, which is an awesome area. I really like Tokyo. I had a strawberries and cream Frap from Starbucks and I found a Paul Smith Bag store -- LOVE those Paul Smith bags. I bought a small ID holder to match another purse I have, and then found a special Hello Kitty display that was fun. I also went into American Pharmacy for a few minutes -- American Pharmacy is the biggest scam around. It's all imported stuff from America and the UK and the prices are JACKED. A little box of Bounce dryer sheets was $7.00. I found some paper from the UK that I like and stocked up.

On the way back to base, I saw a blonde kid on the train and asked if he was going where I was. He looked a little nervous, and I heard him counting the number of stops outloud to make sure he would get off at the right place, so I figured he could use some help. He was, of course, headed to base, and so I asked him if he wanted to split a cab. That's pretty common in foreign cities with American bases -- I never go anywhere without someone approaching me. Anyway, he agreed, and we came out of the train station and got in the cab and he said suddenly, "I have a Japanese girlfriend." He was an Airman, so I guess that means 18 or 20, but he looked about twelve, and I wished I had the guts to say, "Darn. I was about to ask you to marry me." Ku-ku-ku-choo, Mrs. Robinson. I could have been his mother.

System training starts tomorrow at 8:00 AM. I think it's going to be a long week. I'm still struggling with my job and my contract, so I feel kind of on the edge right now. I'm going to try to chill. It's not easy for me.

I have lots of fun pictures from my birthday celebration with friends, and more Japanese stories, so I'll try to get those up soon. Sayonara!

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