Weekends are not long enough!

Now that i'm back working full-time for the first time in over 3 years, i once again realise that weekends just aren't long enough. I really enjoy my new work, but I also just want to spend all my time hanging out with my family and exploring my new home.

Friday night we finally tried out this pizza and wine bar we've been eyeing off since we got here, and it didn't disappoint. It's called Wine and Pizza 58, and the pizzas are tasty. The weird thing we've noticed over here though is all places we've been to so far serve their red wine chilled. I have no idea why. It's so weird!

We took the little man for a much needed haircut at a salon I had seen a few times in Okinawa City. It was great! He got to sit in a car and watch Planes (the movie) while a woman cut his hair. It was so easy and so cheap! The play was called Hair Boy or something, and you just turn up without an appointment.

I also got to go to Hama Sushi, which is a 100 yen sushi train in Okinawa City. Super cheap and delicious! They have a decent amount of vegetarian stuff for my lady, and lots of fish for me! I know it's like the McDonalds of the sushi world, but I could eat there everyday. Also, Griff thinks it's the best place ever having plates of food going around on a conveyor belt!

It's gradually starting to get warmer over here, and i'm really excited for beach swimming weather, but I know it will also quickly get crazy hot a humid, which i'm telling myself I will embrace, rather than letting the humidity turn me in to an irritable crazy grump like it does when I go to Brisbane. Hopefully having the ability to walk over and swim in the ocean will help!
Sushi Train and cold beer!

Hair Salon puppy

Sunday morning beach stroll

I found this transparent jellyfish on the beach

America Village in Chatan

You can see our house across the bay here

Seeing a doctor in Japan

I thought I might as well post something that may be of use to anyone new to Japan and the medical system over here.

Although I've only been here for just over a month, I've already been to see a doctor twice! Once for my son, and once for me when I got the flu last week.

Firstly, going to see a doctor in Japan, is not like Australia. In Australia, you make an appointment before you arrive, turn up to the doctors at that time and (if you're lucky and they are running to time), you will see the doctor for your allotted 15 minutes, pay, and then leave.

The process over here is much much more laborious.

Firstly, I needed to take my son to the doctor to get the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine and a Tuberculosis skin test so that he would be allowed to start at his kinder. In order to be able to see a doctor, we first needed to go to the local village office so they could give us a "form" that basically outlined the vaccination we needed to get, and once we had that, we were able to go to the clinic クリニック. We were advised that the clinic opened at 9am, so arrived on time, however soon found out that we were actually number 21 in line to see a doctor with an estimated wait of 2 hours! I've now realised, that the doctor starts seeing patients at 9am, however, the reception counter is open much earlier....
The process involved a nurse first of all, checking my son's weight, temperature and medical history, then a further wait until we were called in to see a doctor for the first vaccination, then being sent to wait in the waiting area again, before my son could receive the second (more traumatic) TB skin test needle. All in all we were at the clinic for 2 and a half hours.

The process I went through to see a doctor when I had the flu was very similar. It involved being checked by a nurse, then being seen by a doctor to have the flu test, then more waiting around, seeing the doctor again for the flu test result (I never knew they could diagnose flu by testing your snot!) and getting a prescription for Tamiflu (wonder drug!). It all sounds relatively simple, however again this took over 2 hours, when all I wanted to do was take my fever of 39 and go back to bed and sleep.

I was lucky in that the clinic near me has english speaking staff, and therefore can explain things quite easily, however if not, I would recommend getting a Japanese friend or colleague to help with making an appointment for you if you need one.

All together again

I feel like life is finally starting to settle down here and become, well, life.
My new work has been great so far and i'm really excited by my role and the opportunity to be working somewhere so completely different to where I was.

    My space age work building

My mum left on Saturday, and we managed to get a couple of hours of sun for the first time since the day she arrived 2 weeks ago, which meant BEACH. Griffin and Ollie had such a fun time paddling at our beach and we managed to find a really nice spot near the seawall to swim even though it was low tide (which means lots of seaweed pretty much everywhere else).

We are still waiting for our furniture to arrive (maybe in another few weeks), but the place is gradually becoming more and more comfortable and less bare.

My love arrived on Saturday, and it's so nice to have the family back together. I feel like even the pets are feeling more chilled out now that we're all here and ready to make a life in Okinawa. Griff also started at his new childcare today. Half the day is taught in English and the other half in Japanese. I'm hoping he picks it up quickly and it's not too daunting. We arrived early to help him settle in this morning but he waved us off 5 minutes after he had arrived!

    Home made vegetarian udon soup

   One of my neighbours' Shisas dressed as Santa

   Calling tuna "sea chicken" will never get old

   Funassyi drinks!

Back to Reality

Tomorrow I finally start my new job. Eek!
Even though I have been here almost 2 weeks, I feel as though I have spent all that time running around sorting out boring registration type things, like inspecting rentals, registering my residency, setting up a bank account and getting a pension book. I have, however, managed to fit in a trip to Churaumi Aquarium and lots of shopping.
Our view from the aquarium cafe

One of the many flower statues at Ocean Expo Park

I forced myself to spend some time winding down this weekend and did a puzzle and spent some quality time on the beach even though the weather has been miserable. Also, my Kindle arrived, so it's been hard to put it down and make myself sleep of a night.

This weekend I have also had the chance to meet some of my neighbours and everyone has been really sweet, curious and friendly about the gaijin family that has moved into the big house. 

I really hope all goes well with my first day tomorrow!