Ohayo! Day 2: Is This Really Japan???

For anyone who doesn’t know, Yokota Air Base is owned by the United States Air Force. Uncle Lonnie is a teacher here, so he and Tita Ruthsie live inside the base, along with a significant number of other Americans. We’re supposedly checking into a room at Kanto Lodge, but we stayed over at their house for our first night here in Japan.

We woke up to a dreary and cold Thursday morning, so cold that I had no choice but to jump into bed with my mom and Abuela  since I slept on the floor and I didn’t have a blanket of my own. We had a relatively early breakfast (yes, for me 8AM is early) and headed down to the visitors’ center to get extended passes, since our visitors’ passes from the night before were only good for 24 hours. But not before I took some photos inside Tita Ruthsie and Uncle Lonnie’s home!

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They have this cuter-than-cute but larger than life cocker spaniel named Sophie, and we couldn’t stop fussing over her! I think her body’s circumference is bigger than my waistline. I should have taken a photo with her so that you could see how big she really was.

The weather was still bleak by the time we were going to leave, but Zoe and I conquered it with our colorful outfits! Napaghahalataan na kung gaano namin pinlano ang mga dala naming damit dito. (Thanks to Camille for our hats BTW!)

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Daddy, Mommy, and Max didn’t look to shabby as well.  I didn’t get to take a photo of Abuela though, I’ll try to remember tomorrow.

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We went down to a different visitors’ center this time so that we could get long passes that would last us our entire stay here. I was shy to take photos inside the office, but you should have seen how many American Air Force people were there! I felt very small yet again. But it was a pleasant surprise when one of them was actually Filipino, and my dad got to chatting with him and whom I would presume was his girlfriend. It’s nice to meet kababayans in other countries.

We were done by around lunch time, and we headed to the Food Court to get our bellies filled once again. I remember telling someone that I was sure to trim down a bit when I get to Japan because they eat all healthy here, but guess what? That certainly isn’t happening today.

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Kumusta naman ang size ng pizza na yan? And I had two of them, as well as a large cup of Fanta. That’s a gazillion calories right there, hahahaha. Other food establishments we found there were the likes of Popeye’s, Taco Bell, and Baskin and Robbins. The feeling inside was very All-American, so much so that I was starting to think that we had gone to the US instead of Japan. As Max so concisely put it, “Feeling ko nasa Subic tayo.”

Despite all this though, there were certainly differences that were apparent, as pointed out by our more elderly companions (namely my dad, mom and lola HAHAHA). The one I found most interesting of these differences was the size of Japanese cars. Ang cute ng mga kotse dito! A bit boxy though, but I think I could definitely drive her without much problem. Well, except for the fact that it’s right hand drive here. Here are some of the cars I saw and thought as interesting. (Note: The driver of the pink car is actually a really buff military guy XD)

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The Japanese also have a different way of getting vehicles to slow down at checkpoints. Instead of the traditional roadblock, they have what are called tire shredders. They have these relatively large pointed blades that can puncture your tires if your car is going too fast. Talk about slowing you down.

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We had a few more stops before checking into our room. We went to the Bank to have our money exchanged to yen, and went to BXtra (?) to window shop a little. Being the uber nerd that I am, I went straight to the toy section. And now, I think it’s time for today’s sidebar!

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There were lots of things-that-remind-me-of-Lando today.

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Lando and I often bond over geeky stuff like Star Wars, anime, and other shit like that, so I couldn’t help but miss him a little bit while I was browsing through the toy racks. He always said that he liked red lightsabers the best. The last photo is a children’s drumpad by the way. It reminds me of this conversation we once had of how children these days seem to have everything at reach — great clothes, the most innovative toys – while we barely had squat when we were young.

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Our stop at Tomodachi Lanes also reminded me that Lando and I haven’t gone bowling together ever, even if he has been pestering me for the longest time to do so. That should definitely be on our to-do list when I get back. But not before I get to test run how much I suck first, which I might do on one of our lull days here. Bilang nag Advanced Ten Pin si Lando last sem, while I barely passed the basic course. I don’t want to lose too badly.

And that ends the sidebar for this entry!

After all that, we finally arrived at our temporary home, Room 1095 of the Kato Lodge Air Force Inns. The place is huge! There are three bedrooms and two toilet and baths, as well as a relatively well-furnished kitchen area. We even have a washing machine, dryer and an oven. Talo pa sa bahay namin eh.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon until nighttime just lounging around aka TAMAD MODE. I slept through most of the afternoon because I still haven’t recovered from my lack of sleep brought about by my close encounter with hypothermia. Come dinnertime, I had completely forgotten about the two enourmous slices of pizza I had for lunch. We had yummy katsudon and milk for dinner! But man, rice in Japan is expensive. This container of Japanese rice cost 120yen, equivalent to 60php! I suddenly miss Ate Fe’s where you could get your rice for 8php a cup.

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And now, I shall sleep! May the borrowed jacket I wear bring me sweet dreams. :)

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Our adventure truly begins tomorrow as we explore the streets of Tokyo! YAY!

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Allie has seen many a dust bunny in her lifetime, most of them in her dorm room. She is often mistaken as a 13-year old, further intensified by her weird fashion choices that mostly involve cutesy patootsie rings, colorful knee high socks, and ribbons and bows in her hair. She dreams of waking up one day and finding herself as a character in Star Wars. Preferably a jedi. With a purple lightsaber.

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