Sunday, October 18, 2009

Crossing the border

I was thinking today how big of a deal it has been for us to go "off-base".  I mean, it is a totally different scene once you walk through the security gate.  Before I walk through, I double check to make sure I have my ID- my assurance that I can come back across.  It occured to me that going "off-base" is kind of like crossing the border.  Our base is a little self-contained city.  yes, we are on foreign soil, but everything has been done to make this feel more like "back home"- we even have McDonalds.  Most everyone here speaks English, and all of the signs are in English.
Once you pass through the gate- it is a different story.  Funny how much difference a few feet can make huh?  It feels like you just went from one country to the next.  Some people will spend their whole time on base- only to venture off base when absolutely necessary.  I admit I was hesitant to venture out at first.  But I do think if we had a better sponsor to show us around- it would not have been so scary.  I can't imagine NEVER wanting to go out however.  What is the point of even coming here?  I know if I don't go do and see as much as possible here, I will have huge regrets down the line.
I see the term "crossing the border" as a sort of analogy for stepping out of one's comfort zone and experiencing new things. 

I have to sign off now- the kids and I are going to go "cross the border"- Brother wants to use the camera I just gave him.  Maybe we will hit up the 100 Yen store too, see what flavor of Kit Kats they have today.


  1. I never thought about that! I just thought they plopped you down in the middle of Japan and said, "have at it!" I would definitely take comfort in that "self-contained city". What do you mean what flavor kit-kats?? Do I want to know?

  2. No we live on a base just like you see in the states- with the barbed wire fences and armed guards at the front. The difference here is that we share the base with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense- so they also stand guard at the gate. And- right out front is a Japanese police man- who just stands there for his entire shift. I'll have to take a picture to show you some day.

    They have different flavored Kit-Kats- like strawberry and hazelnut. The Japanese pack Kit-Kats in their children's lunches. Kit-Kat means something like "good luck" in Japanese- I can't remember. So they have different flavors through out the year- kind of like "limited edition" flavors you see on Dreyers (or Edys) ice cream. I have not found any recently though. :(

  3. I love learning about all of this from you.


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