Three days after arrival

If I don’t start on this blog now, I’ll never get going…..

Bahnjo River

I’ve hit the ground running here. I arrived in Saiki at 2:00 am on Thursday and spent the day running errands. I had to go into work to take care of paperwork, which included finding a map of the town and tracing my path from home to work with the exact distance and approximate time noted. I had to bring the map home to work on because I am not exactly sure which route I will take. I will be reimbursed for gas if I live 5 km away…I think I’ll take a slightly more circuitous route than the 4.5 km route that I took home. I guess it doesn’t matter that much because I am planning to ride my bike on the days that I work in the office.

Taking care of paperwork takes so much longer than it ought to because it takes so long for me to read everything and then of course I am less detail-oriented than is expected. When I went to the bank yesterday to open an account, I had to redo the forms THREE times. The first time, Jiro thought he’d help me out by filling in our address. The teller shouted at him to stop because everything had to be in my handwriting. On the next attempt, I wrote my name in Japanese and had to redo the entire application because I was supposed to write it in English (no, I couldn’t just add it). The third time, I wrote out a word in its entirety rather than as an abbreviation as it appears on my city registration form. They let me just initial the incorrect version…

Today we worked on the space we will live in.

There’s still another month of work until it is liveable. It’s going to be really nice.

I start work on Monday and work 5 days a week from 8:30 to 5:00 and get a 45 minute lunch break that starts at 12:15 like every other city employee.

13 thoughts on “Three days after arrival

  1. Anne-Marie May 31, 2008 / 6:14 pm

    I love your banner image – that’s awesome. The curved beam in that room is amazing, that looks like a really beautiful space.

  2. Bonnie May 31, 2008 / 8:09 pm

    HI Kate, Now I really want to visit — though I would probably spend my two weeks trying to fill out the entry forms (I can’t fill out a form correctly in English — but your descriptions reminds me of trying to pay the gas bill in Morocco. In anycase, What a beautiful place you live in — both the countryside and your new home (I love those arches). Hope you find your work exciting…your description of he position seemed a good fit for you. Now I know why the digital watch was so popular : ) Take care!

  3. Holly June 1, 2008 / 3:05 am

    Wow, Kate, you really did hit the ground running, and it sounds like a marathon! How frustrating that must have been to deal with the bank. I’m eager to hear about your job. I still don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

  4. Nono June 1, 2008 / 10:59 pm

    Ditto to what Holly said. Just filling out forms in Japanese so gives me the twitches I am mind-blowingly impressed at you doing it 3 times!

    I just survived a weekend in the mountains with 6 teenaged boys. Actually the time in the mountains was fine but the car trip there and back was over the top. I decided that each extra body added lowered the IQ by about 50 points. I had 4 of them in my car! As Charles says “ah the vast wasteland of the teenaged boys mind….”

    I love the pictures. So glad you made it safely

  5. Loretta June 1, 2008 / 11:29 pm

    I was just thinking about you the other day. Can you get into our wiki? The opac designs are wonderful and Susan is setting up the test server. I’ll send you a link. We miss you!

  6. Ruth June 2, 2008 / 2:48 pm


    So glad you arrived safely, even if exhausted. That curved beam in your room is gorgeous, great craftmanship. Thanks as well for the pictures of the surrounding area; you said it was beautiful and it truly is. Take care. We all miss you as you can see from the above comments.

  7. jane June 2, 2008 / 3:16 pm

    Kate! Ditto on all the other comments about the banner image, the arches, the countryside and the forms. I also enjoyed reading your bio. GD? Cool. =) Looking forward to reading about further adventures! All good here!

  8. Hannah June 2, 2008 / 4:07 pm

    Glad to hear you made it safely and with most of your sanity intact. No baby here yet – although she’s allowed to come now – it’s week 38.

    Are you living in the house with your mother-in-law until your own space is habitable?

  9. Valery June 2, 2008 / 5:28 pm

    I have to say, I’m loving the scenery! Not sure about your house yet, since it does indeed look like a lot of work ahead for you. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress on it.

  10. Cheryl June 2, 2008 / 6:59 pm

    Kate, It is good to hear from you. Love the gnome, it just looks so “wrong”. Your living space looks like it is going to be beautiful when it gets done. I’m going to take the plunge into riding my bike too. Gas is over $4 per gallon now so I dragged my bike out of the shed and took it in for a tune up. I wonder how long it will take me to go from no activity to 5 miles with hills. Anyway it should be an adventure. As Loretta says, we miss you!

  11. Kerri June 3, 2008 / 8:32 pm


    I’m so glad that you created this blog to share your adventures and pictures of your area. The exterior of your house looks like it has a concrete finish. What is it made of? We’re building our house now, so those details interest me right now.

    We’ve been working every weekend and some week nights building our home. At some point I hope to have time to add pictures to flickr.

    Enjoy your new adventure!

  12. katezawa June 4, 2008 / 12:58 pm

    The building is about 100 years old and has several “updates” the original walls were similar to a lathe and plaster, but with bamboo, mud and plaster. The exterior of three sides are now concrete and Jiro took most of the walls apart and added insulation. I’ve put pictures on flickr, but they’re not organized yet

  13. Jean June 13, 2008 / 3:57 am

    Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I’m looking forward to seeing your space develop. I know enough about leeches to know I prefer garden slugs (yucky enough) between toes now and then to leeches on legs! Your job sounds fragmented (so many schools!).
    Good luck on everything.


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