Friday, October 30, 2009

Lost in Translation

Both the Japanese and English languages are some of the most difficult in the world to learn. When you combine them, there is potential for disaster. Today I thought it would be fun to give you a good laugh at some of the signs that we have seen around here that could have been translated a little better along with a few other odd things! Yes, these are all REAL things we have seen here, there have been no alterations made to the photographs!

Sorry buddy, the road ends here for you.
What?!?! Nothing about the spelling on this entire sign is correct.
As opposed to your child smokers...
I guess Japan gets 2 more hours than the rest of the world.
Lets take a ride in my spazz-mobile!
This one was strangely at the aquarium. It just looks like a bad idea to me, especially right next to a water fountain. I was not brave enough to try it out to see what it was. I know it is some sort of gargle, but once again, why out in the open at the aquarium?
I bet you guys don't get this in the States!
Here is a perfect glimpse into the joys of driving here. "What do I do?" Was the first thing that came to my mind the first time I pulled up to one of these!Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Things NOT to say to a military wife

Well, John is on an airplane right now headed for the States before he goes to "the big sandbox". Last night we had a nice dinner at one of our favorite sushi restaurants.I found this list posted on a friend of mine's facebook page. I know we are early into this deployment, but I am just going to throw these out there just in case any of you hadn't heard that some of these things aren't so great to say! Don't worry if you have already said any of these to any military spouse you know, we will forgive you! This is all done in good humor. I am not sure who wrote this, she's a little crass (I edited out a few things!), but it is true while being funny! So here you go...14 things not to say to a military wife!

1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"
This one ranks in at number one on the "duh" list. Of course we're afraid. We're terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds —but thanks brilliant, you just brought it back to the front.

2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."
This is intended to be a compliment. Though, its just a little annoying. Here's why: it's not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we'd get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We're not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.

3. "At least he's not in Iraq."
This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Afghanistan. What do they think is happening in Afghanistan? An international game of golf?

4. "Do you think he'll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?"
Don't you watch the news? No! They don't get to come home for any of these things. Please don't ask again.

5. "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there's a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy.

6. "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"
This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren't counting down the days until they "can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq b/c there is work that needs to be done.

7. "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."
We do learn coping skills. We figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets "easy" and the bullets and bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before. The worry never goes away.

8. "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through." (This is my favorite!)
This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband's three week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 6-15 month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, and he flew comfortably on a commercial plane. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a crappy Hyundai Excel with a Mercedes convertible.

9. "Wow you must miss him?"
This one also gets another big "duh". Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and they're now divorced.

10. "Well, he signed up for it, so it's his own fault whatever happens over there.
Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid comments like that. He didn't sign up and ask to be hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that "You're welcome." He's still fighting for your freedom.
11. "Don't you miss intimacy? I couldn't do it!"
Military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night.

12. "Well in my opinion….."
Stop right there. I didn't ask for you your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Nordstrom, not in a bar when I'm out with my girls trying to forget the war, and CERTAINLY NOT AT WORK. We tell co-workers about deployments so when we have to spend lunch hours running our butts off doing errands and taking care of the house, dog, and kids, they have an understanding. We do not tell co-workers and colleagues because we are giving an invitation to ramble about politics or because we so eagerly want to hear how much they hate the President.

13. " it time already for him to come home? This deployment just FLEW by!!"
So glad it was a quick ride for them....

14. "OH, that's horrible…I'm so sorry!"
He's doing his job and he's a badass. Don't be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our MARINES/soldiers/airmen/sailors fight the wars abroad so those wars stay abroad. If you want to say anything, say thank you.
I hope you got a little laugh out of these! The bottom line is that although we go through some tough times, most military wives are so very proud of their husbands and are willing to be a part of the sacrifices they make to serve out country.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yep, the States again!

I know, it is a bit ridiculous, but we went to the U.S. again! Well John had a conference to go to in Reno and I decided to tag along! As you know, we moved to Okinawa from the Reno area, so I had some friends there that I wanted to see, and of course, who would pass up an opportunity to be near Lake Tahoe?!
We flew into San Francisco and the first night had an amazing dinner in the city with John's family. I don't know how I married into such a tall family! I have heels on in this picture and yet am still so short!
We made our way to Reno the next day and stopped in Davis to have lunch with John's best friend Doug, his wife Kellie and their son Jackson. This is their first appearance on our blog, so I am going to pause for a moment so they can soak it in..........
Kellie, I hope it is everything you thought it would be!
Anyway, we had a great lunch and enjoyed some time catching up then after a trip to the nearby outlet mall, we were back in the car.
As we are nearing Reno, we stopped again in Lake Tahoe to barge in on John's cousin's family dinner! Tim, Kim and their two gorgeous girls were at a cute little restaurant where we snuck in to spend a little time with them. We were certainly entertained by the girls the entire time!
We later made it to Reno safely and crashed after our full day. The rest of the week I spent shopping while John attended meetings! I know, what a terrible life!
We also had a chance to meet up with some of our closest friends from Topgun that are still stationed out there. I don't know why, but we didn't take many pictures!
As you all know, my wonderful husband now has a slight obsession with scuba diving! He was determined to dive Lake Tahoe. I don't know how many of you have ever been there and touched the water but it is NEVER warm, especially in October! Once I jumped in on a warm August day and felt like it took my breath away for a minute because it was so cold! As soon as we got into town, John was on the phone with the local dive shop to find out how he could make this dive happen. He was able to schedule a time to get a certification for drysuit diving, which would allow him to dive in Tahoe. The landscape is quite different from the coral reefs we are used to in Okinawa. There were many rock formations and even a sunken forest.
He had such a blast! I think in his excitement, he forgot to get a picture of himself but here is his instructor and you can see how much more gear he has on with the drysuit!
Our last night in Reno we went to an amazing steakhouse called Charlie Palmer, at the hotel where we were staying. We had been a few years earlier on Valentine's Day and were looking forward to some great food. It certainly did not disappoint!
We ended our weekend with a stay at John's parent's lakehouse with more family and friends. We had such a great time, John practically had to drag me on the plane to come back to Japan! I think that will be the end of our trips for a while!
Please keep both John and I in your prayers as he heads to the desert soon. I will keep you guys updated as much as possible, but I will forewarn you that for a few months you may have to just settle with the adventures of Andrea!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Okuma Beach Resort

Way up on the Northern part of Okinawa is a military resort called "Okuma". I have heard people ranting and raving about this place. It is sometimes hard to get is, so we got really lucky and were able to fit in one night there. They have cabins, campgrounds and condos for very reasonable prices and they are all very close to the water.
They also have just one private cabin (for couples only) with its own private beach. This is what we scored for the night! I was so excited! When you live on a little island a 30 minute drive seems to take forever, but it took almost 2 hours to make it to Okuma. It was certainly worth the trip!
The private cottage comes with the use of a golf cart, so we checked in, got our keys, then off we went to our secluded cottage. We were more than impressed.
It had it's own little locked gate and we could pull the golf cart up next to it.
The cabin was one room with a little bathroom and a TV. It had a porch with a fabulous view. No complaints here.
We had a nice little dinner at the restaurant on the grounds, then hung out on the front porch before heading to bed. In the morning all I wanted to do was this...
Here is a picture I took of John from the front porch so you could see out little beach area.
It was a short trip, but a much needed break from everything.
Since we were the furthest north we had ever been on the island, we decided to keep going up the Hedo Point, the northern most tip of the island.
I am certain these monuments mean something!
So now we are back home for a night before we head to the west coast! See you soon!