Things. – Yokosuka, Japan

(February 2019)

Before coming to Japan, I was under the impression that tipping wasn’t customary in food establishments. Several people had said this and I’d read it in numerous articles. We aren’t super cheap people or anything, and we tend to leave decent tips when we go out to eat, but we were both looking forward to being somewhere that didn’t expect tipping. We were excited to not have to hand out extra money on top of paying for our bill! In most of the sit down restaurants, this is still the case. However, if you’re eating or drinking in the Honch, which is the neighborhood next to our hotel and a neighborhood that’s full of Americans, they’ve figured out that Americans generally tip wait staff so there are plenty of tip jars. They’re smart because now, every time we see a tip jar, we feel obligated to tip. So, tipping still isnt’ customary… unless you’re an American hanging out in the Honch.

We’ve been here just about a month now.

They gave my position to someone else at work. I knew it was only a matter of time but I don’t think reality really hit me that I wasn’t a part of the Gig Harbor team until my co-worker told me they’d offered the job to someone else. I’m very glad to be here in Japan but I was also a little sad to recieve this news. On the flip side, I’m enjoying all this time off and I don’t miss working. I’m definitely dreading the thought of going back and having to look for a new spot within the company because I don’t enjoy the interview process.

I finally bought a bag I can take home as a souvenier but can also use as a reusable grocery bag while I’m here. Naturally, tonight when I went to the grocery store, I forgot it.

Before we got here, people kept telling us that we might end up in a room or an apartment that’s pretty much the size of a closet. I was relieved when we arrived and had a normal sized hotel room. As we walk the halls coming and going, we can sometimes see in other rooms as the maid’s are cleaning, and people weren’t kidding. Some of those rooms are about half the size of this one and have only a bed and dresser with a TV. We really lucked out with what we got.

For the most part, the New Hotel Yokosuka is a pretty good place to stay. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but something I don’t like about this place is the key situation. They only give one key for each room, which is kind’ve annoying when you have two people coming and going, one of them coming home from work in the middle of the night. Fortunately, I stay up and wait for Rob to come home anyway, but at first, I kept falling asleep and he would wake me up with the doorbell. Also, they’ve had a lot of negative experiences with drunk guests partying a little too hard at all the very conveniently located bars, so they don’t allow guests to leave with the key. Every time we leave, we have to give it to the desk clerk and pick it up on the way back. You can’t get out of the building without passing the front desk anyway so it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just a little inconvenient. Just inside the door to our room, there’s a little slot to place our key upon returning and for the electronics in the room to work, this key has to be in place. This is their way of making sure people aren’t leaving lights on all day or don’t forget to shut off something in the kitchen. When we leave and remove the key, all the electronics in the room will automatically shut off within a couple of minutes. I appreciate what they’re going for but I wish I didn’t have to go through the process of turning everything back on when all I did was leave our room to go to the laundry facility to move our clothes to the dryer.

We were able to watch the Super Bowl, which aired Monday at 8:30 am. It’s so weird to look at the clock at that time, knowing that all the people we know are currently living life at the same time but for them, it’s 3:30pm on Sunday. Unfortunately, we’re pretty limited in the television we get in our room so we spent the first half watching it at a place called Alex’s Saloon and the second half was spent watching it in the lobby of our hotel. They don’t air any of the Super Bowl commercials here.

Anyway, that’s what’s new for now.