We were officially offered an apartment today. It is a 2nd floor 2-bedroom apartment in a small complex of 4 (there are probably 15 of such complexes in a few block radius). Our apartment has a detached, fenced side yard that abuts to the building. We really, really lucked-out with our side yard because it is very sunny and not exposed to the street and sidewalk. The apartment is fairly large, and has a living room, dining room, balcony, medium-sized kitchen (large compared to most Japanese kitchens), 2 bed rooms, and 1 bathroom. The living room is larger then our living room in Virginia Beach. It also includes a washer and dryer. Our balcony view is pretty nice – it overlooks trees that “fence” the golf course.
Unfortunately we won’t be able to move in until mid-June, and I’ll have to move by myself. I’m feeling okay about moving without Michael, since I’ll have neighbors around (including new friends!) to ask for advice and help. Michael will be 100% out of touch (even by email) the day of the move, so we got Special Powers of Attorney for me so that I can orchestrate the move solo – btw, it is INSANE to me that, as a spouse, I need a special power of attorney to orchestrate a household move that is on official military orders. The Japanese movers set-up everything for me, so I should be up and running by that evening.
The other problem with moving in mid-June is that Norma probably won’t be able to join us until late September due to the heat here. We cannot fly her during the summertime because of the possibility of her overheating on the tarmac during flights. Actually, we don’t know of any airlines who will fly animals during the summer. She is also now way too big to ride int he cabin! Our little corgi is 25lbs! I will miss her SO MUCH this summer, but we don’t want to risk her health or life by flying her here too soon.
After officially accepting our apartment and getting Powers of Attorney today, Michael and I went window shopping at the “Home Store” on base. We need to buy a couch for our apartment because we threw out our living room set when we moved. We think that we found the perfect couch at the Home Store. We also plan to purchase a china closet, a bar, and a dining room set, but I’ll wait until I find something fabulous at a flea market sale around Japan. We have a few framed wedding pictures for our walls and a few military-related things, but I’ll also be on the look out for some Japanese wall art. Last, and perhaps most importantly, I need to buy black-out curtains! The sun is already rising before 4:30am, and by the height of summer, the sun will be up at 3:30am. Many families buy nice curtains to disguise the blackout curtains, so I will do the same. I already have a girls’ shopping trip set up to buy curtains 🙂
The homes here are utilitarian and kind of ugly, but I don’t mind. I can’t wait to cut the grass in the side yard, plant a garden, and put down some patio pavers for our patio furniture! This 2 bedroom apartment is the typical housing for O-1 to O-4 couples who have 1 or no kids. Some O-4s (depending on timing) are immediately eligible for a townhouse, but I think they weigh the arrival with the need (such as if there are other officers who need the 3-4 bedroom townhouse for their children). The ground floor apartments are usually reserved for couples with dogs (like us), and we would be a upset about not getting a bottom floor place, but there’s a giant bug problem here. As in, there are literally giant bugs here that prefer the ground floor places. I am glad that we have a top floor, and I’d rather have to walk up and down the steps with food, etc, then have to deal with a legion icky, yucky, huge bugs crawling into my apartment.
Here are a few pictures of the outside of our apartment! I can’t wait until we move in. We are going to a local home store tonight to peruse and window shop.