Checking In

SNOOZE!  Boring blog, no pictures!  I will work on quality posts in the near future but for now, board studying, feeling dislocated in a hotel room and my jet lag are going to serve as my excuses.

So…I’m here!  I’ve been here since Wednesday for a total of four days.  A lot has happened but there’s still a fair bit more to do before I’m fully settled in.

On Wednesday, Jenn met me at the Yokota Air Base.  Although I tried to tell her not to (ha, ha), it was nice to be welcomed and she and I caught up quite a bit.  The bus ride was about 2 hours and the crying baby background noise continued.  Not to sound too cranky, but I was super over it by the time we reached Yokosuka.  But the poor Mom was trying and embarrassed- it looked like the trip was WAY longer for her and her baby than anyone else.

I checked into the Lodge with my stuff and went to the hospital quarterdeck to check-in.  The hospital was already a ghost town at 1600 so I just hung out in my room until going to Rose’s house for dinner.  We had fish tacos- I felt like I was home!  I went to bed around 8 that night.  My sleep hasn’t been great but it’s been getting better.  I think I’m pretty well-adjusted now.  I took a tiny nap today which should get me until 10 o’clock tonight and then I should be pretty set.

On Thursday, I did a lot of check-in at the command and finalized my housing situation.  The policy is very different than when I was here before.  Basically, I was told where I was going to live.  The only other “option” is to live out-of-pocket in town.  By out of pocket, I mean that I would not be eligible for any housing allowances to defray the costs.  Since that would be an unacceptable (to me) percentage of my take-home basic pay, I use the word “option” loosely.  Frankly, I understand the financial reasons behind the decision to make base housing fill up.  The base housing is already paid for as opposed to paying a lot per month for families living off-base.  In addition, I’m in the military and a guest in another land so ultimately, the Navy tells me what to do.  I think it sucks in terms of effect on morale but since no one asked me and the alternative of no housing allowance is unattractive, it is what it is.

On the upside, I will live in Ikego, which is a housing annex about 30 minutes away from the main base.  I am excited because my unit is about a 5 minute walk to the train station attached to the side gate (Jimmugi).  In addition, Ikego is on the outskirts of a cool beach town Zushi and only 6 km from Kamakura.  It is a place I had thought about living and was actively researching off-base options before I knew about the new policy.  Also, American housing will be nice in terms of size, both square footage and American appliances.  Finally, the insulation and central air will be nice for the Summer and Winter, especially since SMS is prone to getting cold which makes him feel unwell.

Friday was more check-in and some studying.  I’m pretty much done with checking-in except for computer access since the software to create accounts is down.  I’m not too worried about it but it is a little inconvenient since, somewhat unfortunately, computers and Outlook email are basically pre-requisites to practicing military medicine.

Today is Saturday and Friday night back home (I feel like Rebecca Black).  I’m studying a lot, current blog post notwithstanding.  I’m going to be pretty boring until 20 Sept although Liz is coming to town and I feel like she and Rose will try and talk me out of my shell.

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