We’re not really “on holiday”

Japan

Hi there. I apologize for the lack of blog updates. If you’re following me on this blog and on the verge of giving up on me, please follow me on Facebook as I am updating snippets and photos of our Japan “vacation/holiday” there. The only internet I have is on my phone and it is much easier for me to update in Facebook than sitting down and write a full blog post, except when we are in a WiFi spot and only if Benjamin is asleep, like now!

Moving on to today’s post…

A friend of mine exclaimed, Wow, a holiday in Japan! I’m jealous!

Well, please erase the jealousy because actually we’re not really on “holiday” if you stick to the definition of holiday in the dictionary. We came here for two reasons:

(1) To renew my Japanese driving license which has expired 2 years ago.

Another 6 months and I will lose it. I don’t want to lose this precious license I worked hard for – paying (getting a driving license in Japan is expensive) and the tests are difficult to pass. I got it way back in 2001 and it’s because I have this that I am not required to
enrol in a driving school in Dubai. Japan is one of the countries eligible for automatic driving license transfer. This saved me a lot of money and time…and possibly trauma! Remember that colleague of mine who failed the driving license test 5 times?

Due to certain rules, we have to process my license renewal in my husband’s home town. It’s far from Tokyo but it was a nice side trip to see the countryside.

Rice field in Niigata

Can you tell one of them is really excited to see all the greens?

small town at dusk

We left when it started to get dark and started the 3 hour drive home to our house in another Prefecture.

(2) To put our eldest daughter in Japanese school so she can immerse not only in the language, culture and customs but also (re)connect with her roots.

We’re staying in the house we left seven years ago. And this is where the “not holiday” part of our vacation starts…

We own the house and we had it rented out all the time we were in Dubai. The tenant left last May so the house is empty. It’s perfect because we have place to stay while here – however, the house is empty as empty can be: we don’t have anything, anything at all!

Like a camping trip

Our kind neighbor friend have lent us beddings, a set of (picnic) table and chairs, some cutleries, a portable gas stove, a bicycle (we don’t want to spend too much to rent a car plus a bike in Japan would make our stay more…Japanese LOL), a bucket. We have no TV, no internet (except on my cellphone), no microwave or fridge and get this: the shower needs plumbing job! We could go to a sento (public bath) but it’s far so we boil water using the portable gas cooker, put it in the bucket and take a bath with as little water as possible. To be honest, I’m a little, ok, hugely frustrated that the bathroom tub is not working. There’s nothing like a Japanese ofuro soak to take away the day’s fatigue.

* Actually we’re in a public bath facility right now and had a very nice full bath and soaked in different types of hot spring. They have WiFi so it’s great!

So with the above situation we are really not on a holiday. In fact, we’re like on a big camping trip, only with a toilet that flushes! But I am used to make-do of things, I can handle this! The kids are so far enjoying the time they have both of their parents all to themselves! No work!

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