We now have driving licenses, a deposit down on a house (move in May1 or sooner), and two cars expected to be ready on Monday afternoon. Tim has posted pictures of the house. And with this link, you can see pictures of a car similar to the one we bought for me, a Step Wagon (8 configurable seats!), but mine is teal, I think. The car buying process was actually very easy, which felt a little odd. I asked to see a Step Wagon, he told me that he had four of them on the lot, and immediately took me to the least expensive one. There was nothing wrong with it, whatsoever. One of the first cars he showed me before I had asked about the step wagon, I don't remember what kind it was, but it was being disassembled for cleaning - he told me the previous owners had been smokers, he knew I probably wouldn't want it because of that. They even gave us discounts for buying in bulk. Tim chose a silver Bolero March, about the size of his old Mini, enough room for all of us, sans dog. I like the large round headlights and oversized grill on it, very classy. The dealer takes care of the insurance and Japanese safety inspection, plates, everything in a matter of a few business days. So we pick them up Monday afternoon. I am terrified of driving back to the lodge at that hour - 4-6pm.
This weekend should be pretty quiet, I'll be trying to catch up on laundry and repacking our bags, maybe we can get out of the lodge and into the house sooner than Thursday. Tim's at the housing office to handle the next few steps in the process.
Also, we have been invited to a new friend's house for dinner tonight. A co-worker of Tim's, used to be a mechanic before he was a Marine, and helped us when we went car shopping yesterday. His wife, Yoko-san, is an Okinawan native, and they live in a traditional Japanese style home with her parents in the north, near Tim's base. Yoko-san and Sean have a 13 month old daughter, and two children from her previous marriage, they are 7 and 8 years old.
I'll be sure to post about our dinner experience when we get back tonight.